National Aeronautics and Space Administration Administrator James Fletcher does not plan to stay much longer at the space agency's helm but has not set a date for what would be his second retirement from NASA, an adviser says.

Fletcher, a former University of Utah president, answered a question at a National Press Club meeting by saying he probably would leave NASA with the election of a new president."He only meant it as a light remark," said Bill Sheehan, Fletcher's adviser.

Sheehan said this week that it is usual for new presidents to appoint new people to positions such as Fletcher's.

However, he said Fletcher has no specific timetable for departure.

"He has not announced, `I'm leaving at such and such a date,"' Sheehan said. "There's nothing imminent."

Sheehan said Fletcher does not intend to remain administrator long but has not ruled out staying another year if asked by the new president.

Fletcher was NASA administrator from 1971-77 under presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.