The first chief engineer for NASA’s Exploration Systems Mission Directorate will be Garry Lyles. Lyles has 29 years of experience in systems analysis and technology program management and previously served as chief engineer for the Space Shuttle main engine program making him “an ideal selection” for the role, according to an agency release. ESMD is responsible for directing the development of systems needed for the Bush Administration’s plan to put humans on Mars and back on the Moon. This includes the new Crew Exploration Vehicle, the replacement for the aging Shuttle.

“Garry is a proven technical leader within NASA’s engineering and technical management community and will contribute tremendously to the highly complex development of new human spacecraft and supporting systems. Garry’s experience and understanding of NASA programs will be a major factor in our ability to ensure technical readiness of our development efforts,” said Craig Steidle, NASA’s associate administrator of ESMD.