Wayne Hale, the former flight director and space shuttle program manager who oversaw the shuttle’s 2005 return to flight, announced July 7 that he will be leaving NASA at the end of the month.

Hale, a 32-year veteran of NASA, was the space shuttle deputy program manager from July 2003 to September 2005, when he was named manager. He oversaw seven more shuttle missions before stepping down in February 2008 to become NASA’s deputy associate administrator for strategic partnerships. In that position, Hale was responsible for creating public and private sector alliances with the U.S. space agency.

Hale announced his retirement on his NASA-sanctioned blog. “After long consideration I have filed my retirement papers and will be leaving NASA and the U.S. Civil Service on July 31,” Hale wrote. “Let me hasten to add that this is a personal decision based mainly on family considerations — which I needn’t enumerate here today.”