Dava Newman and Moriba Jah named to Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC)


L–R: Headshot of Dava Newman copyright Andy Ryan; Headshot of Moriba Jah credit Moriba Jah, CC-BY-SA 4.0

L–R: Headshot of Dava Newman copyright Andy Ryan; Headshot of Moriba Jah credit Moriba Jah, CC-BY-SA 4.0 

Media Lab Director Dava Newman and Professor Moriba Jah, MIT MLK Visiting Professor and Affiliated Researcher with the Space Enabled group, are among 21 new members appointed to the Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC) and approved by US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. Seven existing members were also re-appointed. 

Committee members provide information, advice and recommendations to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Department of Transportation (DOT) about technology, business, and policy issues regarding oversight of the US commercial space transportation sector.

COMSTAC membership consists of senior executives from the commercial space transportation industry; manufacturers and customers from the satellite industry; state and local government officials; representatives from firms providing insurance, financial investment and legal services for commercial space activities; and representatives from academia, space advocacy organizations and industry associations. 

In addition to her role as director of the Media Lab, Dava Newman is the Apollo Program Professor of Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a Harvard–MIT Health, Sciences, and Technology faculty member. She also served as NASA Deputy Administrator from 2015–2017.  She is a leader in advanced space suit design, astronaut performance, leadership development, innovation, and space policy. In addition, she is currently working on artificial intelligence and machine learning for climate research.

 Moriba Jah is an associate professor at the University of Texas at Austin and a MIT Martin Luther King Jr. Visiting Scholar, hosted by Professor Danielle Wood in the Space Enabled group and Richard Linares in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He is a leader in the fields of orbital determination of Anthropogenic (human-generated) Space Objects, astrodynamics and space traffic management, and a key member of the design team for the Space Sustainability Rating in collaboration with Space Enabled, the European Space Agency, Bryce Tech, and the World Economic Forum

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