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Jerusalem Post: BGU VP Dan Blumberg Chairs Israel Space Agency

Jerusalem Post: BGU VP Dan Blumberg Chairs Israel Space Agency

July 19, 2022

Israel Studies, Culture & Jewish Thought, Leadership, Awards & Events

The Jerusalem Post —When BGU’s Vice-President for Regional and Industrial Development, Prof. Dan Blumberg, was appointed the new chairman of the Israel Space Agency (ISA), he found himself blessed with an incredible honor but also saddled with a heavy burden.

Prof. Dan G. Blumberg
Vice President
Regional and Industrial Development

As chairman, Blumberg is not necessarily in charge of the day-to-day operations of the ISA. That role went to Director Uri Oron, who was appointed to the position, in 2021. Rather, the chairman is someone who is an established scientist, with experience in the space sector.

This is certainly something Blumberg brings to the table, having a wealth of experience in the field of planetary sciences and planetary geography. His work has seen him analyze and observe Mars and Venus, study the evolution of the solar system, make use of sophisticated radar and imaging technology and on using them on spacecraft. He also led the collaboration between Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) to launch the BGUSAT, a CubeSat (a type of miniature, lightweight satellite) that was successfully launched in 2017.

Blumberg also serves as a professor at BGU, is the university’s vice president for Regional and Industrial Development and is the head of BGU’s NASA-affiliated Earth and Planetary Image Facility. Further, according to Google Scholar data, Blumberg’s work has received thousands of citations over the years. This breadth of experience is important, as the new chairman has big shoes to fill. “The shoes I have to fill are those of Gen. Prof. Isaac Ben-Israel, huge shoes,” Blumberg explained. “It’s not a simple task to get into those shoes, but I hope I can bring a new perspective given that I come from a background of space sciences. I’ve been studying these issues for quite a while, and I hope I can bring a new perspective and push things forward.”

As chairman, Blumberg will be able to continue his scientific work. However, he will also look over the actions of the ISA and review strategy and missions. Though the role is often seen by some to be that of an advisory committee, he likens it to being the chairman of a board of directors in a company. “I’m chairing the board that oversees the Israel Space Agency,” he said. “The advisory committee is the same as a board in a private enterprise, but the shareholders are the nation.”

Read more in The Jerusalem Post >>