NASA Has a New Leader to Keep Its Astronauts Safe in 2021

George PaulPeople on the Move
W. Russ DeLoach's headset next to the NASA logo

Image credit: NASA

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the independent US agency responsible for activities in the final frontier, has a new top safety official. Beginning in January 2021, W. Russ DeLoach will take over the role of Chief of Safety and Mission Assurance from Terrence Wilcutt, who plans to retire from NASA after more than 30 years on the job.

In his new position, Deloach will oversee NASA’s efforts and protocols to assure workforce safety and mitigate risks across the agency’s portfolio of human spaceflight.

DeLoach is no stranger to NASA protocols as he first joined the organization in 1987 as an intern in the Army Materiel Command's Quality and Reliability Engineering training program. He has since served in a series of safety and reliability positions, including his most recent post as the Director of Safety and Mission Assurance at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. He also held the same position at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

“Russ truly understands NASA’s safety environment and protocols,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. “His leadership will ensure NASA continues its safety first ideology across the entire agency.”

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