NASA chooses new chief technologist

Tuesday - 11/8/2011, 3:16pm EST

By Ruben Gomez
Reporter

Federal News Radio

NASA has chosen a Cornell University professor to coordinate its technology investments and to serve as the agency's principal advisor on technology policy.

The agency has named Mason Peck to be its chief technologist, a job that makes him NASA's main technology advocate.

"Peck will help communicate how NASA technologies benefit space missions and the day-to-day lives of Americans," the agency said in a news release. "[Peck's office] also documents, demonstrates and communicates the societal impact of NASA's technology investments."

Peck will replace Bobby Braun, who left NASA in September.

He comes to the agency, through an intergovernmental personnel agreement with Cornell University, NASA said. Peck serves as an associate professor in the university's School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.

"Peck has a broad background in aerospace technology, which comes from nearly 20 years in industry and academia," according to NASA. "He has worked with NASA as an engineer on a variety of technology programs, including the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System and Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites. The NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts sponsored his academic research in modular spacecraft architectures and propellant-less propulsion, and the International Space Station currently hosts his research group's flight experiment in microchip-size spacecraft."