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Space & Planetary Science

Zurbuchen +5

By Keith Cowing
December 21, 2021
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Zurbuchen +5

Thomas Zurbuchen: Reflecting On Five Years At NASA
“I recently celebrated my five-year anniversary at NASA. Over these past 5 years, we have seen great success with NASA’s Science missions.
From landing on Mars to learning more about our home planet than ever before, teams across the agency are making the impossible possible. Without the incredible individuals that make up the excellent teams at NASA and its partners, none of this would be possible. So, thank you to all the people and teams that have worked with us over these 5 years to make new discoveries and push the boundaries of exploration.
With this 5-year milestone, I have been reflecting on a few of my biggest mistakes. I also hope this motivates others because it models a key truth of leadership that took me a long time to learn: “excellence is not the absence of mistakes, but a focus on constant improvement and learning”.
One thing that comes to the top of my mind is my failure early on to broaden my message regarding diversity and inclusion at NASA. This resulted in inadvertently putting up walls that kept some valuable communities out in ways I never intended. Let me explain.”

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NASA Watch founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.