Dr. Susan (Mahan) Niebur is a former Discovery Program Scientist at NASA Headquarters.
She now runs Niebur Consulting, a thriving practice with two active NASA grants. The fast-paced, flexible practice gives her the time to think deeply about space science policy and conduct independent research on the history of space science missions, the success of women in planetary science, and the factors that contribute to successful development and launch of space science missions. This research, supported by the NASA History of Scientific Exploration of Earth and Space program, is complemented by her outreach efforts, which include a series of interviews and community-building at Women in Planetary Science, a site that she created to build community and facilitate discussion about removing barriers to success. In addition, Niebur reviews proposals for NASA and other organizations, consults for for major aerospace companies and research institutions on proposal strategy and planning, puts together science teams for future mission proposals, and is immersed in social media both personally and professionally.
Niebur is completing work on her first nonfiction book, called Meeting the Challenge: A History of NASA’s Discovery Program. Three supporting papers have been published in Space Policy since 2009; transcripts of key interviews will be posted here as they are approved and excerpted, and as the book approaches publication.
Susan has a wonderful husband and two small children who bring light to her life, and joy beyond measure.