NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden has appointed Robert D. Braun the agency’s Chief Technologist. Braun serves as the principal advisor and advocate on matters concerning agency-wide technology policy and programs.
The appointment comes on the heels of NASA’s 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,” said Bolden. “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 look to create a broadly focused advanced concepts and technology development program leading to new approaches to future NASA missions and solutions to significant national needs.
Over the next 10 years, 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 brings over 20 years experience to the table, 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 centered on systems aspects of planetary exploration, where he has supported the design, development, test, and operation of several robotic space flight systems.