Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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An Indian-American aerospace industry expert, AC Charania, has been appointed as NASA’s new chief technologist. The position is intended to serve as principal advisor to Administrator Bill Nelson on technology policy and programs at the space agency’s headquarters.

As chief technologist, Charania will align NASA’s technology investments with mission needs across six mission directorates and oversee technology collaboration with other federal agencies, the private sector, and external stakeholders. The position works within NASA’s Office for Technology, Policy, and Strategy.

“Technology plays a vital role in every NASA mission. Making sure that we’re pursuing the best policy objectives allows this agency to continue to serve as a global leader in innovation,” said Bhavya Lal, NASA associate administrator for technology, policy, and strategy. “Charania is an experienced leader in managing large, rapidly shifting technology portfolios. I am eager for him to apply his knowledge and enthusiasm at NASA.”

Charania began working at NASA headquarters on January 3rd, and is excited to be given the opportunity to work with the entire community to increase the rate of space and aviation progress. He comes to NASA from the industry, having served as vice president of product strategy at Reliable Robotics, a firm that works to bring certified autonomous vehicles to commercial aviation. He also worked at Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic (now Virgin Orbit) prior joining NASA.

“The rate of advancement we seek in the 21st century is dependent upon selecting and maturing a portfolio of technologies into systems to execute our missions,” Charania said in a statement. “With this in mind, there are incredible opportunities in partnerships within and outside of NASA.”

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