10 of the Most Influential People in Space

10 of Time's Most Influential People in Space

Time Books

People around the world are pushing the boundaries of space exploration and science every day.

A new book called "New Frontiers of Space: From Mars to the Edge of the Universe" released by Time Books names 25 of the most influential people involved in all aspects of spaceflight and space science today.

Here are 10 of their picks, in no particular order:

Elon Musk, SpaceX


The founder of the private spaceflight firm SpaceX made Time's list. The company's robotic Dragon capsule made its second contracted cargo run to the International Space Station earlier this year.

Sara Seager, Planetary Scientist


Seager wants to find Earth's twin. She combs through exoplanet data in search of Earth-like alien planets that could possibly host life.

K. Radhakrishnan, Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization

Pallava Bagla/ Corbis

In 2008, Radhakrishnan was integral to the mission that made India the fourth country to put its flag on the moon. The Indian space agency plans to send an orbiter to Mars during a launch in late October this year.

Carolyn Porco, Saturn Imager

Porco leads the imaging science team for NASA's Cassini spacecraft in orbit around Saturn. Recently, she asked people around the world to smile at Saturn as Cassini took a photo of Earth from its position around the ringed wonder.

Jill Tarter, SETI Scientist


Until 212, Tarter served as the director of the Center for SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Research at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, Calif., but today she is focusing on fund raising for the Allen Telescope Array — a set of 42 radio dishes that search for signs of extraterrestrial intelligence.

Neil deGrasse Tyson, Director of the Hayden Planetarium

Gabrielle Revere/Contour by Getty Images

From searching for Superman's home planet to writing irreverent Twitter posts about astrophysics, Tyson tries to bring space science to the masses from his post at the American Museum of Natural History.

Liu Yang, Chinese Astronaut

China Ministry of National Defense

Liu became the first Chinese woman to fly to space in 2012 when she launched aboard the Shenzhou 9 spacecraft.

Steve Squyres, Spirit and Opportunity Rovers


Squyres serves as the principal investigator for NASA's Mars Exploration Rover mission, which has been active on the Red Planet since 2004. He helps to command the Opportunity rover, which is still roaming nearly 10 years after touching down. (Opportunity's twin, Spirit, was pronounced dead in 2011.)

Louis Allamandola, Space Chemist


The founder of NASA's Ames Astrochemistry Laboratory in Mountain View, Calif., Allamandola is searching for the chemical origins of life.

David Spergel, Astrophysicist


Spergel, an astrophysicist at Princeton University, uses data from NASA's Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe to understand the nature of dark matter and dark energy.

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Miriam Kramer
Staff Writer

Miriam Kramer joined Space.com as a Staff Writer in December 2012. Since then, she has floated in weightlessness on a zero-gravity flight, felt the pull of 4-Gs in a trainer aircraft and watched rockets soar into space from Florida and Virginia. She also served as Space.com's lead space entertainment reporter, and enjoys all aspects of space news, astronomy and commercial spaceflight.  Miriam has also presented space stories during live interviews with Fox News and other TV and radio outlets. She originally hails from Knoxville, Tennessee where she and her family would take trips to dark spots on the outskirts of town to watch meteor showers every year. She loves to travel and one day hopes to see the northern lights in person. Miriam is currently a space reporter with Axios, writing the Axios Space newsletter. You can follow Miriam on Twitter.