Mark Geyer, Canadian-born and Purdue graduate, will head the Johnson Space Center, NASA's home base for astronauts

Graduate of Purdue University, a school claiming the title of Cradle of Astronauts, will be the 12th person representing the Johnson Space Center, the NASA mission, conducts astronaut training in Houston

Mark Geyer, a native of Hoosier who received Purdue degrees in aerospace engineering on Monday, 1982 and 1994, was named after Ellen Ochoa retiring after 30 years with NASA

Ab According to NASA, on May 25, Geyer will oversee an operation involving 10,000 civil servants and contractors on a $ 4.5 billion budget.

Geyer had been Deputy Director of the Johnson Space Center until September 2017. He went to NASA offices in Washington, DC, for a Deputy Position, which helped in the exploration of human space flight.

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"He did it and he did Working through the ranks and knowing what it takes to get our astronauts back to the Moon and Mars, "NASA Administrator Jim Said Briddenstine. "Johnson has been NASA's home base for astronauts and mission control throughout our history, and Mark is superbly qualified to continue this historic legacy."

Geyer joined NASA in 1990 as a Systems Engineer at the Johnson Space Center. In 2007, he was appointed program director of the Orion program, which was designed for a human mission to Mars.

In 2014, an unmanned Orion test capsule was launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, which spent more than four hours in space. This mission carried memorabilia from Purdue with photos of some of the university's 24 graduates who became astronauts, including Neil Armstrong and Gene Cernan, the first and last to step on the moon.

In an interview with Purdue Alumnus Magazine in 2015, Geyer reported on the Orion mission – "It was a thrill," he said – and Purdue's reach into NASA history and its ranks.

"There is a reason for his reputation," Geyer told the alumnus. "It's unbelievable how many people at NASA and in the industry are Purdue Alumni … Purdue's legacy in space is not a thing of the past, but today it's a legacy that enables the University to be a leader in space exploration

President Donald Trump's $ 19.9 billion budget for NASA provides for a plan to launch an unmanned Orion flight by 2021 and a launch of astronauts around the Moon in 2023. [19659007] Ochoa, in a Twitter post Monday, said Geyers's "thoughtful leadership, technical expertise and commitment to innovation and integration make him an excellent leader for the home of manned space travel."

To Geyers Responsibilities include monitoring the International Space Station, which now houses two Purdue graduates – Scott Tingle and Drew Feustel.

"The Johnson Space Center has unique capabilities that are critical to NASA's ability to carry out our mission of bringing people further into the Solar System," Geyer said in a message to NASA's moon ay staff. "And I look forward to working with each and every one of you on the ambitious upcoming tasks."

Reach Dave Bangert at 765-420-5258 or dbankert@jconline.com. Follow Twitter: @davebangert.

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