Bobby Braun, a former chief technologist of NASA, has been named leader of planetary exploration programs at the space agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory effective Jan. 15, Space News reported Wednesday.
JPL Director Michael Watkins said NASA will study the feasibility of consolidating parts of the laboratory's Mars and solar system exploration directorates. The study's outcome will determine Braun's responsibilities.
The merge would reflect the integrated approach of the space agency's planetary exploration efforts, Watkins noted.
“When I get there, the study will be complete and there will be recommendations, and my job will be to implement them,” said Braun who serves as dean of the University of Colorado's College of Engineering and Applied Science.
Braun supported missions with JPL and other NASA components such as Langley Research Center during his previous tenure at the space agency.