BREVARD COUNTY  — NASA Administrator Bill Nelson has named Vanessa Wyche director of the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston and Janet Petro director of Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Wyche has served as the acting director of Johnson since May 3 and Petro has served as the acting director of Kennedy since May 17.

“Both Vanessa and Janet are exceptional leaders who will help propel NASA forward as we venture farther out into the cosmos than ever before,” said Nelson. “It’s an incredible time at NASA, and with Vanessa and Janet leading the Johnson and Kennedy Space Centers, NASA will embark on a new era of space exploration – starting with the Artemis I launch to the Moon later this year.”

“I’m humbled and honored to be chosen to lead the more than 10,000 employees at Johnson Space Center, who work each day to enhance scientific and technological knowledge via space exploration to benefit all of humankind,” Wyche said. “I look forward to working with everyone as we push forward to the Moon and inspire a new generation of explorers to reach for the stars.”

“It’s an honor to be selected to lead Kennedy Space Center,” Petro said. “Having grown up on Florida’s Space Coast and being the second generation in my family to work at Kennedy Space Center, it’s truly exciting to help grow the multi-user spaceport as we prepare for Artemis and continue launching commercial crew missions to the International Space Station.”

Wyche had served as deputy director of Johnson since August 2018. She is a 31-year NASA veteran. Wyche is a native of South Carolina and earned a Bachelor of Science in engineering and Master of Science in bioengineering from Clemson University. Wyche is the first African American woman to lead a NASA center.

As Johnson’s director, Wyche will lead a center that is central to NASA’s human spaceflight missions and home to the nation’s astronaut corps, International Space Station mission operations, the Orion Program, and more.

Petro had served as the Kennedy Space Center’s deputy director since 2007. She was central to Kennedy’s transition to a multi-user spaceport, bringing a variety of new commercial and government partners to Kennedy.

Petro began her professional career as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army. She graduated in 1981 from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point with a Petro also holds a Master of Science in business administration from Boston University's Metropolitan College.

At Kennedy, Petro will oversee the center’s world class multi-user spaceport, supporting both commercial customers and NASA’s science and human exploration missions.

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