WASHINGTON — Craig Steidle, the retired U.S Navy admiral and former senior NASA official who took the helm of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation in May, has resigned as president for medical reasons.

Eric Anderson, the Commercial Spaceflight Federation’s chairman, said in a Sept. 9 statement that Steidle would “continue to serve as an advisor to ensure a smooth transition as his successor is selected.”

“The entire commercial spaceflight industry recognizes Admiral Steidle’s tremendous work during his service to CSF,” Anderson continued. “He has been able to accomplish much since taking the helm and the Federation wishes him well and thanks him for all his hard work.”

Brian Berger is editor in chief of SpaceNews.com and the SpaceNews magazine. He joined SpaceNews.com in 1998, spending his first decade with the publication covering NASA. His reporting on the 2003 Space Shuttle Columbia accident was...