Dr. Elizabeth Frank leads a group of commercial sector stakeholders who will help inform NASA’s decisions on science, technology, and priorities for lunar exploration
SEATTLE (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — First Mode, a design, engineering, and technology development firm, today announced that Elizabeth Frank, Ph.D., First Mode applied planetary scientist, has been named chair of the Commercial Advisory Board (CAB) for the Lunar Exploration Analysis Group (LEAG) for a term of three years.
The LEAG CAB provides commercial sector input to NASA regarding Moon-related policy and programs. LEAG is an important means for NASA to interact with all stakeholders who are interested in lunar exploration.
“Any plan for a sustainable human presence on the Moon is built upon the decades of extraordinary investigation and discovery by the scientific community,” said Chris Voorhees, First Mode president and co-founder. “New exploration always benefits from a close alignment of commercial, scientific, and national interests, and we are excited that Dr. Frank is helping to shape this coordination as we reach a critical point in our next steps back to the lunar surface.”
“With over 60 members from more than 40 capable companies, the Commercial Advisory Board is the largest it’s ever been,” said Frank. “Helping NASA understand how best to channel the commercial space sector’s energy and capabilities into proactive, long-term exploration programs is one of our most important advisory goals.” Finding ways to better integrate two very different communities — planetary science and the commercial space sector — is another key objective for Frank as CAB chair.
Prior to joining First Mode, Dr. Frank was Director of Data Products at Planetary Resources working on the company’s asteroid prospecting mission. She holds a Ph.D. in Planetary Geochemistry from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Founded in 2018, First Mode is supporting several NASA missions, including Mars 2020 and its Perseverance rover, as well as focusing collective brainpower on significant problems here on Earth, notably the challenging issues of sustainability for the natural resources sector.