Amit Kshatriya, an Indian-origin engineer, has been appointed as the first head of NASA’s newly established Moon to Mars Program Office, based in Washington D.C. This office, which reports to the Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate’s Associate Administrator, Jim Free, is tasked with overseeing NASA’s human exploration activities on the Moon and Mars for the benefit of humanity.
In his new role, Kshatriya will be responsible for preparing NASA for its ambitious missions to the Moon and Mars. NASA Administrator, Bill Nelson, expressed his confidence in Kshatriya, stating that his experience and leadership will be instrumental in landing the first humans on Mars.
Kshatriya’s extensive experience in the space program spans back to 2003, when he began his career as a software engineer, robotics engineer, and spacecraft operator focused primarily on the robotic assembly of the International Space Station. He later served as a space station flight director from 2014 to 2017, where he led global teams in the operations and execution of the space station during all phases of flight. From 2017 to 2021, he served as the deputy, and then acting manager, of the ISS Vehicle Office, where he was responsible for sustaining engineering, logistics, and hardware program management.
In 2021, Kshatriya was assigned to NASA Headquarters in the Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate as an assistant deputy associate administrator. He played a critical role in the team that returned a spacecraft designed to carry humans to the Moon during the Artemis I mission. Currently, he is responsible for directing and leading programs that ensure Artemis and Mars planning, development, and operations are consistent with ESDMD requirements, and serves as the single point of focus for risk management.
Previously, Kshatriya served as the acting deputy associate administrator for the Common Exploration Systems Development Division. In this role, he 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.
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. He was born in Brookfield, Wisconsin, but considers Katy, Texas, to be his hometown. He and his wife are the proud parents of three children, and he is also the proud son of first-generation Indian immigrants to the United States.