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NASA’s Science Associate Administrator Thomas Zurbuchen to Step Down

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Thomas Zurbuchen is stepping down as associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate at the end of 2022 after being in the position since 2016.

The space agency said Wednesday Zurbuchen is responsible for overseeing approximately 100 science missions including the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope and the landing of the Perseverance rover on Mars.

He also helped select 36 new missions such as the SPHEREx space-based telescope and Mars Sample Return and Dragonfly missions.

Throughout his career, Zurbuchen has authored or co-authored more than 200 articles in peer-reviewed journals on solar and heliospheric phenomena.

“Thomas has made an indelible mark at NASA – indeed, he has held this job continuously longer than any other person – and I am thankful for his dedication to our agency,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson.

NASA is conducting a nationwide search for Zurbuchen’s successor.

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