AC Charania: 5 Points On NASA’s New Chief Technologist

AC Charania is NASA’s new chief technologist

The aerospace specialist will be Bill Nelson’s primary tech policy and programme advisor in the Office of Technology, Policy, and Strategy (OTPS), which has its headquarters in Washington.

Here are five facts about AC Charania:

  1. AC 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.

  2. According to a release from NASA, Mr. Charania will oversee technological engagement with other government agencies, the private sector, and external stakeholders in addition to coordinating NASA’s agency-wide technology investments with mission priorities across six mission directorates.

  3. Before joining NASA, Charania served as vice president of product strategy at Reliable Robotics, a firm that is working to bring certified autonomous vehicles to commercial aviation.

  4. He previously worked in strategy and business development for the Virgin Galactic (now Virgin Orbit) LauncherOne small satellite launch vehicle program. He also served in multiple management and technology roles at SpaceWorks Enterprises, including helping to incubate two startups, Generation Orbit and Terminal Velocity Aerospace.

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

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