NASA is just eight days away from sending astronauts to space from America for the first time since 2011, and the associate administrator in charge of human spaceflight has resigned. The development is one that has surprised observers of America’s space agency considering the timing of the milestone spaceflight.

Doug Loverro took the position of associate administrator for the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate in October 2019, replacing acting associate administrator Kenneth Bowersox who filled the position for three months prior. Today former astronaut and shuttle pilot Bowersox resumed the role as the acting associate administrator.

NASA released a statement on the leadership shuffle without explaining the resignation:

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