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For Release: Jan. 11, 1996
NOTE TO EDITORS: 96-1
MARSHALL CENTER DIRECTOR TO RETIRE
G. Porter Bridwell, Director of the Marshall Space Flight in Huntsville, Ala., today announced plans to leave his position and retire from NASA by Feb. 3. Bridwell, 60, has been director of the NASA center since January of 1994.
"Ive been out here for 38 years, 34 of it with NASA," he told his senior staff this morning, "its time to go."
"During his long career, Porter Bridwell has epitomized all the best qualities of federal service," said NASA Administrator Daniel S. Goldin. "And, as Marshall Director over the last two years, he has paved the way in restructuring the Center and defining its new role for the future. At my request, he initiated a comprehensive study of how Marshall will lead NASA and the nation in developing new concepts for rocket propulsion and launch. His contributions will pay dividends to the space program for decades to come, particularly in the critical area of reusable launch vehicles."
Bridwell started his career as an aerospace industry engineer in 1958, joining NASA four years later. He served as an engineering manager on the Saturn program, headed the development of the Space Shuttle External Tank, and managed all the Space Shuttle main propulsion systems while at Marshall. He also served as director of the Institutional and Program Support Directorate here, and headed efforts to develop a new heavy lift launch vehicle.
In two NASA assignments away from Huntsville, he served as acting director of the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi (1987), and served at NASA Headquarters (1993-1994) on the Space Station redesign team and as leader of the team that handled initial integration of the Russian elements into the International Space Station system.
Bridwell has received the NASA Exceptional Service Medal, Outstanding Leadership Medal, and Exceptional Achievement Medal. In 1989, the President of the United States awarded him the rank of Meritorious Executive.