Esther Dyson, an XCOR investor, advisor and longtime commercial space advocate was named recently by NASA Administrator Charles Bolden to chair one of four new NASA Advisory Council (NAC) committees. Dyson now heads the Technology and Innovation Committee that will advise and make recommendations to Bolden and NASA senior management on agency programs, policies and operations. Her appointment came after NASA announced restructuring of the NAC.
Bolden said in a NASA press release that the new committees encompass key areas of importance to the agency’s future. The other three new committees and their chairmen are: Commercial Space, Brett Alexander, president Commercial Spaceflight Federation; Education and Public Outreach, Miles O’Brien, former CNN science and tech reporter; and Information Technology and Infrastructure, Al Edmonds, President of Edmonds Enterprise Services, Inc.
“Esther is an avid proponent of effective innovation in a general sense, and in the commercial space sector in particular. She is also an astute investor and evaluator of corporate leadership teams”, said Andrew Nelson, XCOR’s Chief Operating Officer. “Administrator Bolden could not have chosen more wisely.”
Dyson is chairman of New York-based EDventure Holdings and is best known outside the commercial space arena for her insightful analysis and investments in emerging technologies, companies and markets, particularly in the fields of IT, healthcare and Internet start-ups. In addition to her interest in XCOR, Dyson has commercial space holdings in Airship Ventures, Icon Aircraft, Space Adventures (including Zero-G Corporation) and Constellation Services International. She trained for a visit to the International Space Station as back-up to Charles Simonyi, Microsoft’s former chief architect. Dyson completed five months of astronaut training in Russia but Simonyi ultimately made the trip. Esther is now looking forward to flying on the Lynx!