Published: Nov. 5, 2008

University of Colorado Boulder Professor Jack Burns of the astrophysical and planetary sciences department has been named chair of the NASA Advisory Council's Science Committee.

The NAC's Science Committee is the top advisory body for science within the space agency, representing all the science disciplines within NASA including heliophysics, planetary science, Earth science and astrophysics. Burns, vice president emeritus for academic affairs and research for the CU system, was named a member of the prestigious NASA Advisory Council in February 2008.

The NAC Science Committee addresses issues like science missions to Mars and the other planets, scientific exploration of the moon, the effects of solar radiation on Earth, global climate change and the origin and evolution of the universe, galaxies, stars and planets. The NAC consists of 31 members sitting on six committees, including science, aeronautics, exploration, finance and audit, human capital and space operations.

The NAC reports directly to the NASA administrator and is the senior advisory body for helping the agency address program and policy matters relating to all aspects of the U.S. space program. The NAC advises the NASA administrator on the space shuttle, the International Space Station and space exploration plans like the return to the moon initiative and eventual manned missions to Mars, as well as advising on aeronautics, financial controls and space science.

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