Solar System Exploration Division (690) Local News Archive
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Paul Mahaffy Named Director of the Solar System Exploration Division
Paul Mahaffy has been named the new Director of Goddard’s Solar System Exploration Division. Paul served for nearly 10 years as Chief of the Planetary Environments Laboratory, leading this group’s study of planetary atmospheres and surface environments with emphases on the modeling of atmospheres and surface environments, advanced instrument development, the study of terrestrial planetary analogs, and the development of space-qualified instruments. Paul is currently Principal Investigator of the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) investigation on the Curiosity rover and of the Neutral Gas and Ion Mass Spectrometer (NGIMS) on the MAVEN Mars orbiter. He previously participated in a wide range of planetary missions, including those to Jupiter, Saturn, comets, and the moon.
Jason Dworkin, chief of Goddard's Astrochemistry Laboratory, is receiving the 2015 Maryland Chemist Award on Dec. 9. The award is given each year by the Maryland Section of the American Chemical Society for outstanding achievement in pure or applied chemistry, chemical engineering or chemical education.
The Dec. 8, 2015, talk will be given by Dennis Reuter, the instrument scientist for Ralph -- the New Horizons color imager and infrared spectrometer. Reuter will discuss the New Horizons mission and the first close-up images of Pluto.
Goddard researcher Lucy McFadden will speak in the Madison Building of the Library of Congress on Thursday, Nov. 19, at 11:30 a.m. The title of her talk is “Dawn: A Journey to the Beginning of the Solar System.”
Congratulations to Geronimo Villanueva for winning the 2015 Urey Prize from the American Astronomical Society Division of Planetary Sciences! This award recognizes Geronimo's exceptional contributions as a young planetary scientist to research on comets and the Mars atmosphere. This is a very prestigious award, and has never before been won by a Goddard scientist. Way to go Geronimo! Read the citation.
Jacob Bleacher Wins Susan Neibur Early Career Award
The Susan Mahan Niebur Early Career Award is an annual award given to an early career scientist who has made significant contributions to the science or exploration communities. Recipients of the Susan M. Niebur Early Career Award are researchers who are 10 years out or less from their Ph.D., who have shown excellence in their field and demonstrated meaningful contributions to the science or exploration communities. This year the prize was presented to Jacob E. Bleacher of SSERVI’s RIS4E and DREAM2 teams at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.
Emily Wilson and team receive Honorable Mention in Invention of the Year (IOY) Awards for 2014
The Office of the General Counsel announced the winners of the Invention of the Year (IOY) Awards for 2014. Among the Honorable Mentions is the “Miniaturized Laser Heterodyne Radiometer for Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Methane (CH4), and Carbon Monoxide (CO) Measurements in the Atmospheric Column” from Goddard Space Flight Center. Please congratulate Emily Wilson Steel and her team.
Goddard scientists will host a free public lecture on Apr. 8, 2014, to celebrate the science and exploration Saturn's moon Titan, including the milestone of the Cassini mission's 101st flyby.
Anne Kinney wins a Presidential Rank Award
Anne Kinney received a 2012 Presidential Rank Award (Meritorious Executive). These awards are given to high-performing senior career employees for "sustained extraordinary accomplishment." Executives from across Government are nominated by their agency heads, evaluated by citizen panels, and designated by the President. Winners of these awards are deemed to be strong leaders, professionals, or scientists who achieve results and consistently demonstrate strength, integrity, industry, and a relentless commitment to excellence in public service.
Dr. Bertram "Bert" Donn, the first head of NASA Goddard's astrochemistry group, passed away on Friday December 28, 2012 at age 93. Bert helped put Goddard science on the map in the early days, both within and beyond NASA. He also was influential in starting two lab efforts at Goddard and in hiring some of our better-known scientists.
International Workshop on "Instrumentation for Planetary Missions" - IPM 2012- will be coming to Goddard October 10-12, 2012. Plan on registering and attending. There will oral and poster presentations concerning instrumentation and technology for planetary missions.
Keynote Speakers are Dr. John Mather, Dr. Chris Weber, Dr. Amy Simon-Miller.
Danny Glavin appeared on "Cosmic Front" discussing Stardust and meteorite organics on NHK Japan Broadcasting Corporation
Dr F. Michael Flasar wins Lindsay Award
Dr F. Michael Flasar of the Planetary Systems Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, was awarded the John C. Lindsay Memorial Award for Space Science, in recognition of his very substantial and fundamental contributions to planetary and atmospheric science as Principal Investigator of the Cassini Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS) instrument. Dr. Flasar is an active, hands-on leader involved in every aspect of the instrument operations and analysis, and the scientific output of this instrument would be greatly diminished without his capable direction and leadership. Mike is perhaps best known for his insightful work on Saturn¹s giant moon Titan using Voyager and Cassini data, and he is rightly regarded as one of the foremost experts on the meteorology of Titan.
Today we heard that the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security - Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission was selected as the next New Frontiers class mission. OSIRIS-Rex is a sample return mission to an asteroid that will launch in 2016, and spend over a year exploring 1999 RQ36, acquire samples while providing geologic context, and return to Earth in 2023. GSFC will manage the mission and provide the OSIRIS-REx Visible and Infrared Spectrometer (OVIRS) instrument.
When astronaut Stuart Rossa orbited the moon on the Apollo 14 mission, he brought along hundreds of seeds from different kinds of trees. Nobody kept track of where the "moon trees" were planted until Dave Williams began tracking them down, dead or alive.