Press Release

BoldlyGo Institute Unveils Plans to Advance the Frontiers of Science & Exploration

By SpaceRef Editor
June 3, 2014
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A New Era in Privately Funded, World-Class Space Missions to Further Scientific Discovery

Institute Led by Former Senior NASA Leadership & Space Science Experts With Deep Experience in Research, Space Flight & Scientific Discovery

New York, NY (June 3) — The BoldlyGo Institute (BGI) – a new, privately funded, not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of space science and exploration – today unveils plans to build and launch world-class scientific missions, including an historic robotic round-trip sample return mission to Mars called SCIM and a novel space telescope for the post-Hubble era called ASTRO-1. The announcement marks the beginning of a new era for space science, one based on the idea that a private organization funded by small and large dollar donors can increase the number and variety of space science missions conducted, leading to more data, more discoveries and increased knowledge about the universe and our place in it. Dr. Jon Morse, chief executive officer of BGI and former Director of Astrophysics at NASA Headquarters, will detail the plans this evening at a session during the American Astronomical Society’s 224th meeting in Boston.

“The future of space science is at a critical juncture in the United States and around the globe. We know how important and exciting this kind of research is, but the unfortunate reality is that government funding for space science is falling, even while public interest in space remains high,” said Morse. “BoldlyGo Institute will play a leading role in advancing this NewSpace Science movement, aimed at nothing less than incredible discoveries.”

“This is a challenging yet exciting time in the planetary and space sciences, with limited government funding for space missions but also some new opportunities through private and commercial avenues. The current model leaves a tremendous amount of frontier science on the cutting room floor,” added Dr. Meenakshi Wadhwa, BGI Board member and Director of the Center for Meteorite Studies at Arizona State University. “We are compelled to explore new ways to advance our scientific goals, and I believe that the model we have created with BoldlyGo Institute will do just that.”

As part of their NewSpace Science movement, the BoldlyGo Institute adheres to five core goals to guide the organization’s activities:

*Accelerate world-class scientific discovery using the space environment;

*Transform the funding model for space science and exploration;

*Redefine the management model for advanced spacecraft development;

*Engage faculty and students at universities in experiential science & engineering activities, and;

*Create tangible impacts in public engagement through citizen science and participatory exploration.

“Like my colleagues at BGI, I’m incredibly proud of the work I have done with NASA over the course of my career. I have dedicated my professional career to the advancement of exploration and research,” said Dr. Scott Parazynski, BGI Board member, former NASA astronaut and Director and Chief Medical Officer of UTMB’s Center for Polar Medical Operations. “The BoldlyGo Institute paradigm pairs scientific discovery from space with public engagement and education in order to share our discoveries and knowledge with as many people as possible.”

“If the United States intends to continue to be the global leader in advancing space science discoveries and research, we must embrace new models for funding and spacecraft development,” said Mr. Steven Battel, BGI board member and President of Battel Engineering. “Our long track record working in the university and aerospace communities on cutting-edge research programs allows us to construct and operate space missions using streamlined development processes while also eliminating non-value-added overhead activities. We can also incorporate unique opportunities for student involvement in our missions that government sponsored missions do not provide. That’s the possibility that BGI offers, and I’m excited to be a part of it as an engineer, manager, teacher and mentor.”

BoldlyGo Institute is based in New York and is led by a highly qualified and reputable Board of Directors, comprising space scientists, engineers and explorers. The Board has decades of combined space involvement, including more than a decade of recent senior leadership experience across NASA developing space hardware and flying in space.

Board Members include:

*Dr. Jon Morse, Chief Executive Officer, has over a decade of leadership in space organizations, including as Director of Astrophysics at NASA Headquarters, as Senior Policy Analyst in the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy, and as Project Scientist for the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph aboard the Hubble Space Telescope.

*Dr. Laurie Leshin is the President of Worcester Polytechnic Institute (MA), and is on the science team for NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover. She was Deputy Center Director for Science & Technology at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, and Deputy Associate Administrator of Exploration Systems at NASA Headquarters.

*Dr. Scott Parazynski is a former astronaut who flew on five Space Shuttle flights during a 17 year NASA career. He is Director and Chief Medical Officer of UTMB’s Center for Polar Medical Operations, oversees the on-ice medical care of the NSF’s US Antarctic Program, and was Chair of the Challenger Center for Space Science Education.

*Dr. Meenakshi Wadhwa is Director of the Arizona State University’s Center for Meteorite Studies and Professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration. She is a science team member of NASA’s Genesis mission and the upcoming asteroid sample return mission OSIRIS-Rex. She serves on the National Academies Space Studies Board.

*Mr. Steven Battel is President of Battel Engineering, and internationally recognized for his expertise in program management and space systems engineering for Earth observing, space physics, astronomy and planetary missions and applications. He is a Fellow of the AIAA, a Senior Member of IEEE and a member of the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board for The National Academies.

In the coming months, BGI will unveil additional details about the SCIM and ASTRO-1 missions. For more information and to join the effort, please go to

SpaceRef staff editor.