Ex-NASA Administrator O’Keefe in Critical Condition

Media reports indicated that former NASA administrator and current EADS North America CEO Sean O’Keefe is in critical condition with a broken pelvis and other injuries after surviving a plane crash in Alaska on Monday. His son Kevin is listed in serious condition. Both are expected to recover.

The crash killed five people, including former U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens. Two other people survived the accident. All the injured were airlifted to an Anchorage hospital.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden issued the following statement:

“We at NASA are deeply saddened by today’s news that former U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens and others were killed in a plane crash in Alaska that also injured former NASA Administrator Sean O’Keefe and his son, Kevin. As a long-time supporter of NASA, Sen. Stevens made lasting contributions to our agency and our country. We at NASA mourn his loss and send our deepest condolences to his family, as well as the families and friends of all who perished in the accident. We also send our best wishes for a speedy recovery to Sean, Kevin, and other survivors of the crash. Our thoughts and prayers are with them and their families.”

O’Keefe, 54, served as NASA Administrator from 2001-2005, overseeing the agency’s response to the 2003 loss of the space shuttle Columbia and the launch of President George W. Bush’s Vision for Space Exploration plan to send humans back to the moon.

After leaving NASA, O’Keefe served for three years as chancellor of Louisiana State University. Although he had the support of the state’s business leaders, O’Keefe left after locking horns with members of the university’s administration.

EADS named him CEO of their North American operations in October 2009.

Stevens served in the Senate for 40 years, leaving in January 2009. He was 86 years old.