Amit Kshatriya named first head of NASA’s Moon to Mars Program


Amit Kshatriya, a decorated Indian American software and robotics engineer was appointed as the first head of NASA’s newly-established “Moon to Mars Program” which will help the agency to carry out our bold missions to the Moon and land the first humans on Mars.  

Kshatriya will serve as NASA’s first head of the office, with immediate effect, the agency announced on Thursday. The new office aims to carry out the agency’s human exploration activities on the Moon and Mars for the benefit of humanity, a NASA press release said.  

“The Moon to Mars Program Office will help prepare NASA to carry out our bold missions to the Moon and land the first humans on Mars,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson.  

“The golden age of exploration is happening right now, and this new office will help ensure that NASA successfully establishes a long-term lunar presence needed to prepare for humanity’s next giant leap to the Red Planet,” he said.  

Kshatriya directed and provided leadership and integration for the Space Launch System, Orion, and Exploration Ground Systems programs, as well as associated Artemis Campaign Development Division initiatives linking the agency’s Moon to Mars objectives, it said.  

Previously, Kshatriya served as the acting deputy associate administrator for the Common Exploration Systems Development Division.  

Kshatriya began his career in the space program in 2003, working as a software engineer, robotics engineer, and spacecraft operator primarily focused on the robotic assembly of the International Space Station.  

From 2014 to 2017, he served as a space station flight director, where he led global teams in the operations and execution of the space station during all phases of flight.  

In 2021, he was assigned to NASA Headquarters in the Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate as an assistant deputy associate administrator, where he was an integral part of the team that returned a spacecraft designed to carry humans to the Moon during the Artemis I mission.  

Son of first-generation Indian immigrants to the US, Kshatriya holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California, and a Master of Arts in Mathematics from The University of Texas at Austin.  

Kshatriya was born in Brookfield, Wisconsin, but considers Katy, Texas, to be his hometown.