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Todd May named director of Marshall Space Flight Center

Todd May, Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) acting director, speaks at the Michoud Assembly Facility (MAF) on January 26, 2016

Todd May speaks at the Michoud Assembly Facility (MAF) on January 26, 2016. Photo Credit: NASA

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Earlier this week, NASA announced that Todd May has been named director of the agency’s Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). May was appointed as MSFC’s deputy director in August 2015 and has served as acting director since former director Patrick Scheuermann retired in November.

“Todd’s experience and leadership have been invaluable to the agency, especially as we have embarked on designing, building and testing the Space Launch System, a critical part of NASA’s journey to Mars,” said NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden. “He brings his expert program management and leadership skills and sense of mission to this new role, and I look forward to having him at the helm of Marshall.”

May began his NASA career in 1991 in the MSFC Materials and Processes Laboratory. He later served as deputy program manager of the Russian Integration Office in the International Space Station (ISS) Program at the Johnson Space Center (JSC).

In 2004, he assumed management of the Discovery and New Frontiers Programs which was created to explore the Solar System with frequent unmanned spacecraft missions. Then, in 2007, he moved to NASA Headquarters (HQ) to serve as a deputy associate administrator in the Science Mission Directorate (SMD).

May returned to MSFC in 2008 as associate director, technical – a post he held until being named Space Launch System (SLS) program manager in 2011.

As the SLS manager, May led the program through a series of milestones, including a critical design review (CDR) of what will be the most powerful launch vehicle ever constructed, and that will be capable of carrying astronauts further into space than ever before.

May earned a bachelor’s degree in materials engineering from Auburn University in 1990. He has received numerous awards, including NASA’s Exceptional Achievement Medal, the Presidential Rank Award of Meritorious Executive, NASA’s Outstanding Leadership Medal, and the John W. Hager Award for professionalism in materials engineering.

MSFC is one of NASA’s largest field installations, with almost 6,000 civil service and contractor employees, an annual budget of approximately $2.5 billion, and a broad spectrum of human spaceflight, science, and technology development missions.


Scott earned both a Bachelor's Degree in public administration, and a law degree, from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. He currently practices law in the Birmingham suburb of Homewood. Scott first remembers visiting Marshall Space Flight Center in 1978 to get an up-close look at the first orbiter, Enterprise, which had been transported to Huntsville for dynamic testing. More recently, in 2006, he participated in an effort at the United States Space and Rocket Center (USSRC) to restore the long-neglected Skylab 1-G Trainer. This led to a volunteer position, with the USSRC curator, where he worked for several years maintaining exhibits and archival material, including flown space hardware. Scott attended the STS - 110, 116 and 135 shuttle launches, along with Ares I-X, Atlas V MSL and Delta IV NROL-15 launches. More recently, he covered the Atlas V SBIRS GEO-2 and MAVEN launches, along with the Antares ORB-1, SpaceX CRS-3, and Orion EFT-1 launches.

Reader Comments

This is a brilliant choice, IMO. Todd May is a great evangelist for NASA and human spaceflight.

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