Administrator Sean O’Keefe today announced the selection
of veteran astronaut, astronomer, and astrophysicist Dr. John
M. Grunsfeld as the agency’s new Chief Scientist at NASA
Headquarters in Washington. He succeeds Dr. Shannon Lucid,
effective immediately.

Grunsfeld, who played an integral role in two Space Shuttle
servicing missions to the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), has
studied astronomy and physics throughout his career. As
NASA’s Chief Scientist, he’ll work to ensure the scientific
merit of the agency’s programs.

“John has a deep interest in astronautical science and has
the hands-on experience to back up what he has taught in the
classroom,” said Administrator O’Keefe. “With his background
in physics and astronomy, John is a natural selection to
direct NASA’s important space-based science objectives.”

After serving nearly two years in Washington, Lucid will
return to the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston to assist
the agency’s Return to Flight efforts. “I asked Shannon to
come to Washington to help get our science priorities in
order,” added Administrator O’Keefe. “Thanks to her
leadership, and work with Mary Kicza, our Assistant
Administrator for Biological and Physical Research, our
research goals have focus and a clear direction. Shannon’s
insight and candor will be missed in Washington, but I’m sure
her colleagues in Houston are looking forward to her return.”

She was selected as Chief Scientist in February 2002. During
her tenure, one of Lucid’s most important tasks was to work
with the offices of Biological and Physical Research, Earth
Science, Space Science, and Space Flight to develop a
comprehensive plan for prioritization of research on board
the International Space Station.

Lucid also updated NASA’s science policy, which had not been
done since 1996. The policy stipulates science grants will be
peer reviewed, and NASA scientists must compete for research

She joined NASA in 1978 and became an astronaut in August
1979. She has flown as a mission specialist on STS-51G in
1985, STS-34 in 1989, STS-43 in 1991 and STS-58 in 1993. In
1996, she was flown to Mir during STS-76, where she served as
an engineer and conducted numerous life science and physical
science experiments during her stay in orbit.

When Lucid returned to Earth after STS-79, she had traveled
more than 75 million miles and spent more than 188 days in
orbit, an American record at the time. For her extraordinary
efforts, Lucid was awarded the Congressional Space Medal of

Grunsfeld is a veteran of four Space Shuttle flights. In1999
and 2002 he took part in a total of five successful
spacewalks to upgrade Hubble. As a Mission Specialist on STS-
103, Grunsfeld helped install new gyroscopes and scientific
instruments and upgraded Hubble’s systems. During STS-109, he
served as Payload Commander, in charge of the spacewalking
activities and the HST payload. He and three other crewmates
installed a new digital camera, cooling system for the
infrared camera, new solar arrays, and power system.

“Servicing the Hubble Space Telescope is by far and away the
most meaningful thing I’ve ever done. It’s helping us answer
fundamental questions about our world and our place in the
universe,” said Grunsfeld. “I was born the same year NASA was
established, so we grew up together. I quickly discovered
space exploration and science mesh well together and I
couldn’t be more excited about this opportunity.”

A native of Chicago, Grunsfeld received a bachelor’s degree
in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in
1980. He earned a maters degree and a doctorate in physics
from the University of Chicago in 1984 and 1988,

Grunsfeld was selected as a NASA astronaut in 1992. His first
flight assignment came in 1995 on board the Space Shuttle
Endeavour on STS-67. In 1997, Grunsfeld served as flight
engineer for the Space Shuttle Atlantis during STS-81 and a
10-day mission to Russia’s Mir space station. He has logged
over 45 days in space, including 37 hours and 32 minutes
working outside the Space Shuttle.

Grunsfeld has been honored with the W.D. Grainger Fellow in
Experimental Physics and was awarded the NASA Distinguished
Service Medal earlier this year. He was awarded NASA Space
Flight Medals in 1995, 1997, 1999, and 2002, and earned the
agency’s Exceptional Service Medal in 1997, 1998, and 2000.

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