Patrick Scheuermann will retire from NASA after three years as director of the agency's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Credit: NASA

WASHINGTON — Patrick Scheuermann will step down as director of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center effective Nov. 13, according to an email the 27-year NASA veteran sent out to employees at the Huntsville, Alabama-based field center Oct. 19.

Scheuermann, who is retiring from NASA, was director of Marshall for three years. His retirement letter, a copy of which was obtained by SpaceNews, comes less than two months after Todd May, former program manager for NASA’s Space Launch System, was appointed deputy director at Marshall.

Scheuermann did not say in his email who would replace him as director, nor did he say whether he would continue to work in the space business after leaving the agency. He did, however, indicate he would remain in the Huntsville area.

“My family and I have become very fond of the Tennessee Valley community and will remain here,” Scheuermann wrote.

Below is the text of Scheuermann’s email.

From: Message From the Center Director – MSFC <>

Sent: Monday, October 19, 2015 11:00 AM

To: MSFC-DL-The Marshall Team

Subject: Retirement

Marshall Team,

Effective November 13, I am retiring as Director of Marshall Space Flight Center and from NASA.

Working for NASA is a career many can only dream about. You and I are so fortunate. I certainly have been blessed to serve with you—in Huntsville and at Michoud—an assignment I have looked forward to every day.

Thank you for all we have achieved over the past three years. Together, we have brought Mars closer and made the journey more tangible for others. We have pushed the boundaries of scientific discovery and cutting-edge technology. We have added prominent infrastructure essential for today and enabling for generations yet to be hired.

No less important, in my opinion, we have moved our culture forward, increasing the sense of excitement and adventure that we are supposed to be about, and have grown as a family, especially when colleagues have had personal tragedy.

Because of you, I leave Marshall a strong team in good standing. Hopefully, I provided a few unique contributions, enhancing our mission progress and esprit de corps.

My family and I have become very fond of the Tennessee Valley community and will remain here, so I may see you around town.

I wish you, your teammates, and families the very best. Don’t ever forget: what you do every day strengthens the Agency, inspires a nation, and encourages humanity’s hope for a brighter future.


Dan Leone is a SpaceNews staff writer, covering NASA, NOAA and a growing number of entrepreneurial space companies. He earned a bachelor’s degree in public communications from the American University in Washington.