New Marshall Space Flight Center Director Introduces Himself, Vision For Marshall

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REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (WHNT) - The Marshall Space Flight Center finds itself under new leadership again.

New Director Patrick Scheuermann faced the media and the microphones, giving him a chance to speak about himself.

Scheuermann says, "I am a native of New Orleans, Louisiana.  I've been a Marshall Space Flight Center employee before as a Chief Operating Officer running the Michoud Assembly Facility."

In fact, Marshall made it through turbulent times with Scheuermann's help.

He explains, "I started as a Marshall employee the Monday before Hurricane Katrina hit, and so that Monday was an interesting meeting. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Hurricane Katrina was coming, so I said let me see the emergency plan.  The next two years was a blur."

But Scheuerman worked his way up in the rocket business the hard way, and now he's here at the top of Marshall Space Flight Center.

Scheuermann remembers, "When I started in 1986 as a test conductor for testing space shuttle main engines, sort of like my predecessor Robert Lightfoot, he got his same start testing space shuttle engines too.  For me now to go from that position to every opportunity that I've had in the past has been just tremendous opportunity for me."

Right next to the elevators at Marshall, you find the stated goals.  Even though the center has new leadership, the mission stays the same.

Scheuermann describes, "The Marshall mission is strong.  We look forward to having a great future here at Marshall Space Flight Center.  The Space Launch System, we're well on our way of design and looking forward to a first flight soon for it.  Experimental flight test number one [is] coming up here in December."

But it's not all about past and present, according to Scheuermann, "I'm looking forward to engaging in the community, the schools, because that is really the replacement for all of us here, as we inspire the students, junior high, high schools, and college to hopefully fill our shoes one day."

And Marshall's new head emphasizes their commitment to the Arsenal's broader mission.

He says, "Anytime at Marshall Space Flight Center that we can help the warfighter who goes to other places in the world on our behalf with different technology types or anything else that they may have, we're going to look for those opportunities every time, and we're going to proudly do that every time."

The spotlight stays on the new leader of Marshall as he defines the center going forward.

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