NASA Administrator Names Braun NASA Chief Technologist

WASHINGTON -- NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden named Robert D.
Braun the agency's Chief Technologist, effective Wednesday, Feb. 3.
Braun serves as the principal advisor and advocate on matters
concerning agency-wide technology policy and programs.

The appointment comes as NASA launches a bold new initiative that
targets technologies that could be transformational in their ability
to improve the capability, reduce the cost, and expand the reach of
future human and robotic missions.

"Bobby brings expert knowledge of spacecraft, robotic and planetary
exploration technology development to this new position," Bolden
said. "His experience working at NASA Langley and in the academic
community brings an excellent skill mix to this exciting and
challenging new job."

Braun will help develop a broadly focused advanced concepts and
technology development program leading to new approaches to future
NASA missions and solutions to significant national needs.

During the coming decade, NASA will increase its support for research
in advanced concepts and critical enabling technologies, including
test programs for multiple technology flight demonstrations. New
technologies include advanced lightweight structures and materials,
advanced propulsion, power generation, energy storage and high
bandwidth communications. This program also will generate spin-off
technologies and potentially entire new industries.

Braun has more than 20 years experience performing design and analysis
of planetary exploration systems as a member of the technical staff
at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., and the Georgia
Institute of Technology. His research has focused on systems aspects
of planetary exploration, where he has contributed to the design,
development, test, and operation of several robotic space flight

Braun was a member of the Mars Pathfinder design and landing
operations team from 1992 to 1997 and has been part of development
teams for the Mars Microprobe, Mars Sample Return and Mars Surveyor
2001 projects.

Braun also provided independent assessment and served on NASA review
boards for the Mars Polar Lander, Mars Odyssey, Mars Exploration
Rover, Phoenix Mars Scout, Genesis, and Mars Science Laboratory
flight projects.

Braun received a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from Penn State in
1987, M.S. in Astronautics from the George Washington University in
1989, and Ph.D. in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford
University in 1996. He has received the 1999 AIAA Lawrence Sperry
Award, two NASA Exceptional Achievement Medals, two NASA Inventions
and Contributions Team Awards, and seven NASA Group Achievement
Awards. He is an AIAA Fellow and the principle author or co-author of
over 175 technical publications.

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Source: NASA

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