Indian-American space expert named NASA's new chief technologist | Tech News

Indian-American space expert named NASA's new chief technologist

Indian-American space expert named NASA's new chief technologist

| Updated on: Jan 11 2023, 09:58 IST
NASA reveals 5 asteroids, including 260-foot rock, dashing towards Earth
NASA A.C. Charania
1/5 Asteroid 2022 YZ2 - NASA has red-flagged an asteroid named Asteroid 2022 YZ2 due to its extremely close approach to the planet. The asteroid has a width of 260 feet, making it nearly as big as a building, and will make its closest approach to Earth on January 12 at a distance of 6.4 million kilometers per hour and is already on its way travelling at a speed of nearly 23714 kilometers per hour.  (Wikimedia Commons)
NASA A.C. Charania
2/5 Asteroid 2022 YD5 - An asteroid, named Asteroid 2022 YD5 will make a close approach on January 12. This asteroid is nearly the size of an aircraft with a width of 150 feet. The Asteroid 2022 YD5 is expected to make its closest approach to the planet at a distance of 3.1 million kilometers at a speed of 38184 kilometers per hour.  (Wikimedia Commons)
NASA A.C. Charania
3/5 Asteroid 2022 YS5 – This asteroid, with a of 130 feet, will make its close trip to Earth on January 13 at a distance of nearly 5.9 million kilometers. The asteroid, known as Asteroid 2022 YS5, is rushing towards Earth slower than other asteroids at a speed of 21517 kilometers per hour.  (Pixabay)
NASA A.C. Charania
4/5 Asteroid 2014 LJ – Another asteroid named Asteroid 2014 LJ is heading for Earth and will make a close approach on January 14 at a distance of 1.8 million kilometers. This asteroid is nearly the size of a bus with a width of 22 feet. NASA has revealed it is heading for Earth at a blistering speed of 21517 kilometers per hour. It will miss Earth at a distance of 1.8 million kilometers.  (Pixabay)
NASA A.C. Charania
5/5 Asteroid 2022 YH3 – The fifth and largest asteroid, with a size of 280 feet, is named Asteroid 2022 YH3 and will be making its closest Earth approach on January 14. It will come as close as 7.2 million kilometers, according to NASA JPL. The asteroid is moving at a blistering speed of 58573 kilometer per hour (Pixabay)
NASA A.C. Charania
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Prior to joining NASA, A.C. Charania served as vice president of product strategy at Reliable Robotics. (PTI)

An Indian-American aerospace industry expert has been appointed as NASA's new chief technologist to serve as principal advisor to Administrator Bill Nelson on technology policy and programmes at the space agency's headquarters here.

A.C. Charania joined the space agency in his new role on January 3. He replaces another Indian-American scientist Bhavya Lal, who served as acting chief technologist prior to the former's appointment.

In his position, Charania will align NASA's agencywide technology investments with mission needs across six mission directorates and oversee technology collaboration with other federal agencies, the private sector, and external stakeholders, NASA said in a statement on Monday.

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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,” Bhavya Lal, NASA associate administrator for technology, policy, and strategy, was quoted as saying in the statement.

"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," Lal said.

"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.

"With this in mind, there are incredible opportunities in partnerships within and outside of NASA. I now look forward to the opportunity to work with the entire community to increase the rate of space and aviation progress," he added.

Prior to joining NASA, he served as vice president of product strategy at Reliable Robotics, a firm that works to bring certified autonomous vehicles to commercial aviation.

His previous experience also includes working at Blue Origin to mature its lunar permanence strategy, Blue Moon lunar lander program, and multiple technology initiatives with NASA.

Charania has also worked in strategy and business development for the Virgin Galactic (now Virgin Orbit) LauncherOne small satellite launch vehicle programme.

He also served in multiple management and technology roles at SpaceWorks Enterprises, including helping to incubate two startups, Generation Orbit and Terminal Velocity Aerospace.

Charania led the formation of the FastForward industry group focused on high-speed point-to-point transportation, was a NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts fellow, and served on the Lunar Exploration Analysis Group Commercial Advisory Board, according to the release.

He received a bachelor's and a master's degree in aerospace engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a bachelor's in economics from Emory University.

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First Published Date: 11 Jan, 09:28 IST