Thomas Zurbuchen, Associate Administrator, Science Mission Directorate, NASA

Thomas Zurbuchen

Associate Administrator, Science Mission Directorate, NASA 

Thomas Hansueli Zurbuchen was born in 1968 in Bern, Switzerland. He studied physics at the University of Bern, with a minor in mathematics, where he earned a Ph.D. 

He was awarded the U.S. Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers by President George W. Bush. He joined the University of Michigan as a research associate and was made professor in 2008. He was the founding director of the university’s Center for Entrepreneurship at the College of Engineering. 

He served as team leader for the development of one of the scientific instruments aboard NASA’S Messenger spacecraft to Mercury. He chaired the National Academy of Science committee that produced a report on a miniaturized satellite based on a construction of cubes. 

Dr. Zurbuchen is the Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA. 

In the News…

A new study has been launched by NASA into “unidentified aerial phenomena,” UAPs (more commonly known as UFOs), following a renewed public interest by the government in investigating the objects. 

NASA said this weekend that 16 science experts would participate in the independent study into “observations of events in the sky that cannot be identified as aircraft or as known natural phenomena.” The study began Monday and will last nine months with the goal of laying the groundwork for future UFO study. NASA said the team “will identify how data gathered by civilian government entities, commercial data, and data from other sources can potentially be analyzed to shed light” on the unexplained phenomena. NASA’s study “will focus solely on unclassified data” with the team’s findings expected by mid-2023. 

“Exploring the unknown in space and the atmosphere is at the heart of who we are at NASA,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in the nation’s capital. “Understanding the data we have surrounding unidentified aerial phenomena is critical to helping us draw scientific conclusions about what is happening in our skies. Data is the language of scientists and makes the unexplainable, explainable.” 

Contact this Leader…

Did you pray for Dr. Zurbuchen today? You can let him know at:

Dr. Thomas Zurbuchen, Associate Administrator 
Science Mission Directorate 
National Aeronautics and Space Administration 
300 E St SW 
Washington, DC 20546 


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