Today Wayne Hale announced his retirement from NASA, effective July 31. Hale has a storied career at NASA. One of Hale’s many positions at NASA was as Shuttle Program Manager at the time when the Shuttle program was recovering from the Columbia Disaster. Since returning to flight, there is near unanimity that the Shuttle today is a much better spacecraft than it was before Columbia and her crew perished. A big part of any credit for that should go to Wayne Hale and his leadership by example.
All of us here are huge fans of Hale and will miss his NASA Blog, which stood out for its candor, insights, and balance. One cannot read even a few of Mr. Hale’s posts without walking away with the recognition that he is, to use a very antiquated but appropriate term, a gentleman of the first order. We look forward to Mr. Hale writing of his experience at NASA and in the American space program at some future date.