Lori Garver is a leading figure in the U.S. space program. She was the principal civil and commercial advisor on aerospace issues to three presidential candidates and led the NASA transition team for President-elect Obama. Nominated by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Garver served as the Deputy Administrator of the space agency from 2009 – 2013. Known as an architect of the new era of commercial partnerships that are allowing SpaceX to carry astronauts to and from the International Space Station, Garver pioneered innovations that are transforming NASA.
About Escaping Gravity: My Quest to Transform NASA and Launch a New Space Age
Escaping Gravity is former NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver’s firsthand account of how a handful of revolutionaries overcame the political patronage and bureaucracy that threatened the space agency. The success of Elon Musk’s SpaceX, Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, and countless other commercial space efforts were preceded by decades of work by a group of people Garver calls “space pirates.” Their quest to transform NASA put Garver in the crosshairs of Congress, the aerospace industry, and hero-astronauts trying to protect their own profits and mythology within a system that had held power since the 1950s.
As the head of the NASA transition team for President-elect Barack Obama and second-in-command of the agency, Garver drove policies and funding that enabled commercial competition just as the capabilities and resources of the private sector began to mature. She was determined to deliver more valuable programs, which required breaking the self-interested space-industrial cycle that, like the military, preferred to spend billions of taxpayer dollars on programs aimed to sustain jobs and contracts in key congressional districts. The result: more efficiency and greater progress.
Including insider NASA conversations and insights on how the US space industry has been transformed to become the envy of the world and is ushering in a new space age, Escaping Gravity offers a blueprint for how to drive productive and meaningful change.