nasa science mission directorate  associate administrator thomas zurbuchen will retire later this year
(Photo : NASA/Bill Ingalls/Wikimedia Commons) Thomas Zurbuchen during James Webb Telescope Prelaunch

NASA’s Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate, Thomas Zuburchen, is set to retire at the end of the year. The Swiss-American physicist oversaw some of the space agency’s most ambitious projects, including the James Webb Space Telescope launch and the Mars rover Perseverance. In a memo sent to NASA employees on Tuesday, he announced his planned departure.

Thomas Zurbuchen Leaves NASA

Zurbuchen has served since 2016 as head of NASA’s science mission directorate. He oversaw nearly 100 missions for the agency. “This is a difficult decision for me,” he wrote, “but I believe it is time for a fresh start – for the directorate and for me.”

When the Perseverance rover was sent to Mars, he was the team leader for the science directorate. During this time, the rover collected rock samples to study in order to determine whether the planet is habitable. The rover’s mission included the first-ever flight of a helicopter on another planet.

In addition, he has worked on several NASA science missions, including Ulysses, the MESSENGER spacecraft to Mercury, and the Advanced Composition Explorer, according to The Planetary Society.

Thomas Zurbuchen Roles in NASA

With its Commercial Lunar Payload Services program, his unit was an early participant in Artemis. This program intends to send privately built lunar landers to study the moon’s surface before sending humans there in the coming years.

He also spearheaded civilian participation in the Pentagon’s program to track and detect mysterious objects in the sky. This project aims to investigate unidentified aerial phenomena.

According to Reuters, Bobby Braun, the head of the space exploration sector at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab, attested that Zurbuchen was responsible for assembling a diverse team and delivering countless successful space science missions. He also mentioned how the science chief had been a catalyst for improvement at NASA by making investments in fresh approaches to advancing the field and expanding its community.

nasa science mission directorate  associate administrator thomas zurbuchen will retire later this year

(Photo : NASA/Bill Ingalls/Wikimedia Commons)
Thomas Zurbuchen during James Webb Telescope Prelaunch

Thomas Zurbuchen’s Career and Achievements

Zurbuchen was raised in Switzerland. He was an early observer of the natural world, which led him to pursue degrees in physics. He received his doctorate and Master of Science degrees in physics from the Switzerland’s University of Bern.

NASA’s website stated that he was a space science and aerospace engineering professor at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He was also the founding director of the University of Michigan’s Center for Entrepreneurship in the College of Engineering. He created and led a number of campus-wide innovation initiatives. One of these campuses produced the nation’s top-ranked undergraduate entrepreneurship program.

His daily work focuses on ensuring that NASA’s science missions foster collaboration across disciplines and with industry and other nations. This mission seeks to generate new questions and contribute to the advancement of knowledge and exploration.

He is well-known for bringing a wealth of scientific research, engineering experience, and hands-on knowledge to NASA’s world-class team of scientists and engineers. He was also responsible for NASA’s science strategy. However, the highlight of his work is that he was able to motivate the teams to carry it out.

Zurbuchen has written or co-written over 200 peer-reviewed journal articles on topics such as solar and heliospheric phenomena.

Keyword: NASA Science Mission Directorate  Associate Administrator Thomas Zurbuchen Will Retire Later This Year

TECH'S NEWS RELATED

Scientists Uncover Remarkable Atomic Behavior in Thermoelectric Materials

Neutron probes of the atomic structure and dynamics of tin-based thermoelectric materials unraveled the microscopic mechanism for their low thermal conductivity. Credit: Oak Ridge National Laboratory Revealing the atomic mechanism behind thermoelectric heat transport. The Science Thermoelectric devices turn thermal energy into electricity by creating a voltage from the ...

View more: Scientists Uncover Remarkable Atomic Behavior in Thermoelectric Materials

Omega-3’s Linked to Improved Brain Structure and Cognition at Midlife

Summary: Boosting omega-3 fatty acid intake helps to preserve brain health and improve cognition in middle age, a new study reports. For those with the Alzheimer’s associated APOE4 gene, omega-3 fatty acid intake was associated with greater hippocampal volume and less small vessel disease. Source: UT San Antonio Eating cold-water ...

View more: Omega-3’s Linked to Improved Brain Structure and Cognition at Midlife

New research identifies lack of appropriate control tools for many major infectious diseases of animals

Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain New research published in The Lancet Planetary Health has identified a lack of appropriate control tools for many infectious diseases of animals that can have a significant impact upon the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). International efforts should focus on developing control tools for a ...

View more: New research identifies lack of appropriate control tools for many major infectious diseases of animals

SpaceX Brings Russian Cosmonaut, Other NASA Astronauts to International Space Station

SpaceX Falcon 9 Brings Astronauts to Space What Makes This Flight Special For the first time in 20 years, a Russian cosmonaut joined two NASA crewmates and a Japanese space veteran in a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule on Wednesday in a mission to the International Space Station. A Falcon ...

View more: SpaceX Brings Russian Cosmonaut, Other NASA Astronauts to International Space Station

After successful first launch, Firefly sets sight on national security market

Firefly and Northrop Grumman will develop a new medium-lift launch vehicle that will compete for national security missions WASHINGTON — Firefly Aerospace’s Alpha launch vehicle reached orbit for the first time Oct. 1, just hours after the U.S. Space Force announced it awarded the company a $17.6 million contract for ...

View more: After successful first launch, Firefly sets sight on national security market

Do I need to refrigerate pumpkin pie? Food safety info for pumpkin season

Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain October is inarguably pumpkin season, which raises questions about food safety for everything from pumpkin pie to pumpkin seeds. To learn more about food safety and pumpkin products, we reached out to NC State food safety expert Ellen Shumaker. Here are her top tips. Storing ...

View more: Do I need to refrigerate pumpkin pie? Food safety info for pumpkin season

Did an NYU professor get fired because students hate organic chem?

There's a lot to the recent firing, most of it centered on how to best serve students.

View more: Did an NYU professor get fired because students hate organic chem?

Logging down the value chain raises future forest sustainability concerns

Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain Over a 50-year period, logging on British Columbia’s Central Coast preferentially targeted the highest value locations on the landscape, according to new research from Simon Fraser University. The systematic depletion of high-value components of the environment raises concerns about future sustainability and intergenerational access to ...

View more: Logging down the value chain raises future forest sustainability concerns

Atlas V rocket launches two communications satellites

Amid Ukraine war, US flies Russian cosmonaut to ISS

Watch NASA send a payload hurting into space with a giant slingshot

SpaceX's Crew 5 mission blasts off to International Space Station

NASA study finds climate extremes affect landslides in surprising ways

Fixed-duration strikes can revitalize labor

Nord Stream leaked less methane than feared: atmospheric monitor

Juno gets highest-resolution close-up of Jupiter's moon Europa

Shocking Study Finds Decreased Proteins – Not Amyloid Plaques – Cause Alzheimer’s Disease

Utilizing chemo-mechanical oscillations to mimic protocell behavior in manufactured microcapsules

Climate change made summer drought 20 times more likely

Study: Removing GRE requirement does not undermine student success

OTHER TECH NEWS

;