Keith's note: NASA Advisory Council Chair Steve Squyres has resigned his position telling people in an email "I've simply been finding it too difficult to balance my responsibilities and meet them all well, and something had to give." One would expect that NASA would begin looking for a new chair for the NAC.
Steve was unusual when it came to NAC chairs. Usually the chair is someone who is retired or semi-retired, often an engineer or a program manager who now sits on committees for a living. Well, Steve did the engineering and management stuff too but in the end he was - and always will be - a planetary astronomer and field geologist who has repeatedly gone to places on - and within - Earth that approximate what we might expect to find on other worlds. In so doing he often took considerable personal risk. Steve's exploits included arctic and antarctic expeditions and stints underwater in NEEMO where he participated in simulated asteroid exploration activities. Steve is a real explorer - not an armchair program manager who throws around jargon to sound as if they are. That expertise served well to inform his tenure as NAC chair.
While I was glad to see Steve take on the NAC task, I am happy (and somewhat relieved) that he has decided to get back to what really defines him - and where he makes a real contribution to whatever #JourneyToMars NASA ends up embarking upon.
- A Pre-Mission Conversation With NASA NEEMO Aquanaut Steve Squyres, earlier post
- A Post-Mission Conversation With NASA NEEMO Aquanaut Steve Squyres, earlier post