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A view at night of the Earth from the International Space Station. Photo: NASA

NASA's head of human spaceflight, Doug Loverro, has resigned from his position at the space agency.

Why it matters: Loverro's resignation comes only a week before SpaceX is expected to launch a pair of NASA astronauts to the International Space Station, marking the first crewed launch from the U.S. since 2011.

Details: In an interview with Axios, Loverro said his sudden departure had nothing to do with the upcoming rocket launch.

  • "I have 100% faith in the success of that mission," Loverro told Axios.
  • While Loverro wouldn't comment on the specifics of his resignation, some reports suggest he stepped down because he broke a rule involving the awarding of contracts to companies that hope to build lunar landers for NASA.
  • "I have no bitter feelings at all about what has happened," Loverro added. "I took a risk and I knew the potential consequences at the time."

Background: Loverro was put in charge of human spaceflight at NASA in October after Bill Gerstenmaier, a much-loved figure at the agency, was reassigned.

  • According to a message sent out to NASA staff, deputy associate administrator for human spaceflight Ken Bowersox will take over as acting chief.

Between the lines: The chief of human spaceflight is a powerful position within NASA. The person in that role effectively sets the tone for NASA's most prominent job — as an agency that explores.

  • During Loverro's short tenure, he promoted NASA's plans to return people to the Moon by 2024.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with comment from Loverro.

Go deeper

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
Aug 1, 2020 - Science

NASA astronauts head home after historic spaceflight

The Crew Dragon spacecraft as it leaves the International Space Station. Photo: NASA TV

NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley are heading back to Earth from the International Space Station aboard their SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft.

Why it matters: Behnken and Hurley's return will mark the end of SpaceX's first crewed mission to the station and the first mission in which American astronauts launched from U.S. soil in nine years.

1 hour ago - Health

Treasury begins dispersing $350 billion in COVID relief funding to states and localities

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/UPI/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The U.S. Treasury on Monday began giving state and local governments access to $350 billion in emergency funding from the American Rescue Plan, the department announced Monday.

Why it matters: Though the money is aimed at helping state, local, territorial and tribal governments recover from the pandemic's economic fallout, the administration will generally give them wide latitude on how they can use the funds.

Game developers break silence around salaries

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Developers are sharing their salaries on Twitter under the hashtag #GameDevPaidMe to encourage pay transparency in their industry.

The big picture: The hashtag started circulating last year, but has returned periodically as developers fight for better working conditions. Salary sharing is a way to equalize the field. By removing the secrecy, as well as the stigma, around discussing pay, workers have more power to advocate for themselves when negotiating salaries and raises.