- Thomas Zurbuchen is Planning to Depart from NASA After Serving Since 2016
- The NASA Science Chief Says It Is Time for a New Beginning
- Thomas Zurbuchen’s Involvement in the Perseverance Rover
- Bobby Braun Gives His Statements Regarding Zurbuchen’s Departure from NASA
One of the top heads of NASA, Thomas Zurbuchen, the science chief of the agency, after being in the position for six years and shepherding roughly around 100 missions, will be stepping down from his position. Zurbuchen reportedly oversaw a number of ambitious endeavors by the US space agency.
Thomas Zurbuchen is Planning to Depart from NASA After Serving Since 2016
According to the story by Reuters, Zurbuchen was reportedly overseeing endeavors including the James Webb Space Telescope as well as the Perseverance Mars rover’s successful deployment. NASA’s science chief is expected to step down “at the end of the year.”
Zurbuchen is a Swiss-American astrophysicist who has “served as head of NASA’s science mission doctorate” ever since 2016. He was reportedly also responsible for shepherding about 100 missions of the agency and holds the title of NASA’s Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate as seen on NASA’s official website.
The NASA Science Chief Says It Is Time for a New Beginning
NASA’s science chief just recently announced his planned departure through a memo that was reportedly sent to an employee at NASA. As noted by Zurbuchen, “this is a difficult decision for me, but I believe it is time for a new beginning – for the directorate and for me.”
His planned departure is coming at a time that the space agency is heavily focusing on a program that started in 2019. The program focuses heavily on sending astronauts back to the moon and later on to Mars through its multibillion-dollar Artemis program.
Thomas Zurbuchen’s Involvement in the Perseverance Rover
Thomas Zurbuchen reportedly led the science directorate as the Perseverance rover was sent to the Martian surface. The rover then collected rock samples which were used in studies that aimed to determine whether there might have been “conditions conducive to life.”
The mission of the Perseverance rover also included the flight of a helicopter on another planet for the first time over. Another mission Zurbuchen participated in was the launch of the Webb telescope to be able to capture images of the cosmos.
Bobby Braun Gives His Statements Regarding Zurbuchen’s Departure from NASA
The Webb telescope was reportedly launched in December and was able to provide the images in July. The unit of Zurbuchen played an important early role when it came to Artemis with the Commercial Lunar Payload Service program.
The Commercial Lunar Payload Service program was an effort to be able to deploy privately built lunar landers in order for the moon’s surface to be studied making way for people to land there in the next few years.
The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab’s space exploration sector’s head, Bobby Braun, gave a statement regarding Zurbuchen. As per Braun, “Thomas has been a force for positive change across NASA” sharing the different ways that the NASA science chief was able to make a difference.
Written by Urian B.
Keyword: Thomas Zurbuchen to Resign as NASA's Science Chief After 6 Years and Shepherding Roughly About 100 Missions>