Bio


Professor Hubbard's research interests include the study of both human and robotic exploration of space with a particular focus on technology and missions for planetary exploration, especially Mars. Prof. Hubbard is also an expert on the emerging entrepreneurial space industry and serves as the Director of the Stanford Center of Excellence for Commercial Space Transportation (COE CST). As part of his ongoing engagement with robotic Mars missions, Prof. Hubbard serves as a member of National Academy of Science review groups and as a frequent consultant to NASA projects. Current research topics include novel hybrid propulsion for applications such as a Mars Ascent Vehicle and drilling techniques for a future Mars sample return mission. Within the COE CST, Prof. Hubbard is leading research to enable, facilitate and promote commercial space. As the former Director of NASA's Ames Research Center, he maintains an active connection to the space exploration community.

Brief Biography: Professor Hubbard has been engaged in space-related research as well as program, project, and executive management for more than 35 years including 20 years with NASA, culminating as Director of NASA’s Ames Research Center. He currently Chairs the SpaceX Commercial Crew Safety Advisory Panel. Hubbard served as NASA’s first Mars program director and successfully restructured the entire Mars program in the wake of mission failures. His book entitled, “Exploring Mars: Chronicles from a Decade of Discovery”, describes his work on NASA’s Mars Program. Professor Hubbard previously served as the sole NASA representative on the Columbia Accident Investigation Board and directed the impact testing that established the definitive physical cause of the accident. Hubbard was the founder of NASA’s Astrobiology Institute; conceived the Mars Pathfinder mission with its airbag landing and was the manager for NASA’s highly successful Lunar Prospector Mission. Prior to joining NASA, Professor Hubbard was a staff scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and directed a high-tech start-up company. He has received many honors including NASA’s highest award, the Distinguished Service Medal.

Academic Appointments


  • Consulting Professor, Aeronautics and Astronautics

Administrative Appointments


  • NASA Advisory Council – at large member, NASA (2014 - 2017)
  • University of Colorado, Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) Advisory Committee, University of Colorado (2011 - Present)

2013-14 Courses


Journal Articles