John Shannon (seated, left) watches the launch of the Space Shuttle Endeavour in March 2008. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingals

WASHINGTON — Boeing has tapped a former NASA space shuttle manager to take over as program manager for the company’s work on the Space Launch System, the company announced April 23.

John Shannon will succeed Virginia “Ginger” Barnes as Boeing vice president and general manager for the SLS. Barnes, who had been in that position since 2013, is retiring in May.

Shannon, who most recently was program manager for Boeing’s work on the International Space Station, previously worked for 25 years at NASA. He was program manager for the shuttle from February 2008 through August 2011, overseeing the final fourteen missions of the program.

Shannon later worked as deputy associate administrator for exploration planning in NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, working both within the agency and with international partners to define concepts for future human space exploration activities

Jeff Foust writes about space policy, commercial space, and related topics for SpaceNews. He earned a Ph.D. in planetary sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree with honors in geophysics and planetary science...