At pivotal points in human spaceflight, NASA undergoes major reorganization

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SpaceX And NASA Prepare For Next Launch Attempt On Saturday, After Weather Delays Wednesday Launch
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The body of NASA tasked with managing human spaceflight is being split into two distinct directorates, the agency’s chief announced on Tuesday, embarking on a major reorganization that past officials have tried and failed to execute for years. The move comes as private companies like SpaceX demonstrate leaner methods of putting people in space and as NASA pushes ahead with ambitious plans to build settlements on the surface of the Moon in the next decade.

The breakup of NASA’s human exploration wing, called Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, will spawn two new bodies: first, the Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate, which will manage NASA’s most ambitious development programs like the Artemis program...

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