Thomas Zurbuchen Now? – “Cosmic Time Machine,” an entertaining Netflix documentary, shows us how the James Webb Telescope promises to transform our understanding of space. The documentary delves deep into NASA’s telescope development before shifting focus onto assembly and data collection once it reaches orbit. Witnessing its buildup and subsequent launch is truly thrilling; the celebration at launch fills one with warmth and gratitude – it truly feels like being present for an educational experience similar to attending classes! Personally, I find documentaries like this provide an immersive learning experience akin to a classroom setting.
Throughout the documentary, we hear insightful interviews with NASA employees that give us a look into their inner workings and what sparked their fascination with space exploration. It’s truly captivating to witness their amazing work at the space agency while learning what initially drew each interviewee towards outer space exploration.
One of the key players at NASA, integral to many successful programs such as the James Webb Space Telescope, is Thomas Zurbuchen. His contributions and expertise have played an invaluable role in expanding human knowledge of space science and exploring our cosmos.
Who was Thomas Zurbuchen?
Thomas Zurbuchen was an astrophysicist who was the Associate Administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD). This division oversees all science-related missions and research efforts at NASA.
Thomas Zurbuchen earned a Ph.D. in Astrophysics from the University of Bern in Switzerland. With extensive knowledge of space science and its applications to numerous research projects and missions, he was previously a professor of space science and aerospace engineering at the University of Michigan before joining NASA.
As the Associate Administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Zurbuchen was responsible for setting the strategic direction and overseeing the successful execution of NASA’s science missions. He played an essential role in planning and implementing various missions related to exploring Earth, the solar system, and universe studies.
Thomas Zurbuchen has long been an outspoken proponent of space exploration and scientific research, inspiring future scientists and engineers by spreading awareness of its value. His contributions to space science and his leadership at NASA earned him respect within the scientific community.
What Happened to NASA Executive Thomas Zurbuchen?
Thomas “Dr. Z” Zurbuchen quickly established himself as an outstanding leader upon arriving at NASA headquarters in October 2016. His passion for exploration, creativity, and business acumen quickly made him one of the longest continually serving Heads of Science until he announced his retirement on December 31, 2022. Over this period, he oversaw 37 launches and initiated 55 missions; among these, his crowning achievement stands out – the James Webb Space Telescope project.
In his mid-50s and living in Park City, Utah, Thomas is currently exploring new opportunities while continuing his extensive research and innovative pursuits. Alongside his scientific work, Thomas has also become a captivating public speaker who addresses topics ranging from leadership and research to space exploration and the possibilities for the future. His Instagram post stated his eagerness “to continue figuring out what is next and to spend more time outdoors!” Thomas has found a balance in life that allows him to give equal consideration to both his personal and professional journey.
You can stream “Unknown: Cosmic Time Machine” on Netflix.