NASA picks two women to lead Johnson Space Center, Kennedy Space Center for the first time

HOUSTON – NASA announced this week new leadership taking over both Johnson Space Center here in Houston and at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Vanessa Wyche, a 31-year NASA veteran was named Director for Johnson Space Center after serving as the deputy director since 2018. She makes history as becoming the first-ever African-American woman to serve as director, according to NASA.

Wyche said she is “honored” to take on the role and excited to see what space holds in the future.

“I think in the next 20 years, we’re going to see humans on Mars.” she said. “We’re currently building hardware systems that will have the ability to take us further into the solar system than we’ve been before.”

As 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, among others, NASA said in a news release.

Janet Petro to lead Kennedy Space Center

During a Minority Student Education Forum in Summer 2010, Kennedy Space Center Deputy Director Janet Petro talks to hundreds of fifth- through 12th-grade students. (mage credit: NASA/Cory Huston) (NASA)

NASA administrator Bill Nelson announced Wednesday that Janet Petro will serve as the new director, making the first woman to lead Kennedy Space Center, WKMG reported.

Petro served as deputy director of Kennedy Space Center since 2007 before being named acting director earlier this year after previous director Bob Cabana was promoted to NASA’s associate administrator.

She will oversee the center’s spaceport, supporting both commercial customers and NASA’s science and human exploration missions, WKMG reported.

About the Author:

A graduate of the University of Houston-Downtown, Ana moved to H-Town from sunny southern California in 2015. In 2020, she joined the KPRC 2 digital team as an intern. Ana is a self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur, a catmom of 2, and an aquarium enthusiast. In her spare time, she's an avid video gamer and loves to travel.