A new chapter is being written at the US space agency NASA. The agency has named a woman who will oversee its transition under the new Joe Biden administration. She is Bhavya Lal. An Indian-American, Lal will serve as NASA’s acting chief of staff. Lal made many valuable contributions to the space sector. NASA said that Lal also served as a member of Biden’s presidential transition agency review team for the agency. She joins NASA with a wealth of experience in engineering and space technology. Between 2005 and 2020, Lal was a member of the research staff at the Institute for Defence Analyses and Science and Technology Policy Institute.
Lal also worked with a research and consulting firm working in the science and technology policy. She co-founded the policy track of the conference of the American Nuclear Society. She is also the co-chair of the annual conference. She is also known for organizing a seminar series on space history and policy. She was selected as a member of the International Academy of Astronautics. Lal obtained B.Sc and M.Sc degrees in nuclear engineering. She earned a second Master’s degree in technology and policy. She also has a doctorate in public administration and public policy. NASA said that Lal will have her office at the agency’s headquarters. She will be looking after the daily operations here. She will work towards shaping the space’s strategic direction.
Lal is a strong supporter of space tourism. She has contributed to the field with her writing. She has written on the growth of private companies like SpaceX, Blue Origin, and Virgin Galactic. Back in 2016, she said that the US government may not be the principal hub of the space community by 2030. She believes that innovation and geographic diversity have helped small countries to make significant progress in developing space technology. She feels that the US government always cannot be the owner of the most innovative technology. Space ambitious private companies and nations are showing expertise in technology and space exploration.