The Nation

Shuttle commander John W. Young, who has been highly critical of NASA safety policies, stepped down as chief astronaut at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida for a management post at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, officials said. Young, 56, America's most experienced astronaut with a record six flights, will serve as special assistant for engineering, operations and safety. Officials said Young's new assignment is a promotion and is not related to his frequent criticism of shuttle program safety issues.

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