United States Vice President Kamala Harris, chair of the National Space Council (NSPC), has nominated MIT Professor Daniel Hastings to serve on the NSPC User Advisory Group (UAG). Hastings, who is the associate dean of Engineering for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Head of the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics; and cecil and ida […]
United States Vice President Kamala Harris, chair of the National Space Council (NSPC), has nominated MIT Professor Daniel Hastings to serve on the NSPC User Advisory Group (UAG). Hastings, who is the associate dean of Engineering for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Head of the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics; and the Cecil and Ida Green Education Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT, will join a panel of experts from academia, industry, government and the non-profit sector to provide advice and guidance to the White House on matters related to the space venture.
“I have a keen interest in all the exciting things going on in the space enterprise because it is a rapidly evolving field with a tangible impact on US security and the economy. Space enterprise is disrupted by new technologies, new architectures, new business models and new horizons. It’s happening. All of these will be important to consider as we move forward,” Hastings says. “I am thrilled and honored to be asked to sit across the table with this incredible group of experts and stakeholders to lend my perspective on these important topics.”
The purpose of the NSpC is to assist the White House in strategy and policy development related to space activity. According to a White House news release, the UAG “will provide advice and recommendations to the National Space Council on matters relating to space policy and strategy, including but not limited to government policies, laws, regulations, treaties, international instruments, programs and including but not limited to.Practices in the civil, commercial, international and national security space sectors.
Hastings earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oxford, joining the MIT community in 1976 as a graduate student. He received his MS (1978) and PhD (1980) degrees in aeronautical and space science from MIT and joined the MIT faculty in 1985. His research interests include laser-material interactions, fusion plasma physics, spacecraft plasma environment interactions, space plasma thrusters, and space systems analysis and design.
Hastings has had a dedicated career of service within and outside MIT. He served as MIT’s dean of graduate education from 2006 to 2013. In 2014, he was appointed as the director of SMART, the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology, for a period of five years. He was appointed as the head of the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics in 2019. In 2021, Hastings was appointed co-chair of MIT’s Value Statement Committee.
Outside of MIT, Hastings served as the US Air Force’s Chief Scientist from 1997 to 1999. In this role, he was the chief of staff and chief scientific advisor to the secretary and provided assessments on a wide range of scientific and technical issues that affected the United States. Air Force Mission. He is a Fellow of the International Astronautical Federation and the International Council in Systems Engineering and an Honorary Fellow of the AIAA. He is also a member of the National Academy of Engineering.
Gen. (USAF, Ret.) Lester Lyles will serve as the UAG chairman, overseeing the UAG’s 30 members. Hastings joins fellow MIT colleagues Charles Bolden (a member of the MIT Aeroastro Visiting Committee), Karina Dries MBA ’07, Gwen Shotwell (former member of the Aeroastro Visiting Committee), Robert Smith MBA ’98, and Mandy Vaughn ’00, SM ’02 . ,