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Highest-Ranking NASA Woman Ever Prepares For Re-Entry To Private Life

Shana Dale, the highest-ranking woman in NASA history, is leaving the agency after three years as second-in-command.

NASA's press release on the subject said she announced the decision today, but readers of her blog were tipped off about it last week. (Clearly, we were not readers of her blog.)

Dale says she's leaving so the new administration can put their own person in.

"It has been an honor for me to work with those who support America's space program," Dale said in the official announcement. "It is a highly dedicated group, made up of individuals who share a deep passion for the missions of the agency. I will miss the cutting-edge missions, but most of all I will miss the incredibly talented people of NASA."

In her blog, though, she revealed -- as Tom Hanks put it in Apollo 13 -- "another first for America's space program."

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"I am moving on to this new phase of my life with a new look," Dale wrote. "On November 20, I had my long hair cut off and donated my 24-inch ponytail to Locks of Love."

The group helps low-income kids suffering from hair loss due to medical problems or treatments.

So, with 24 inches less of hair than she used to have, we'll just say Godspeed, Shana Dale.

-- Richard Connelly

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