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.
In a Nature News story, Jack Connerney of Code 695 discusses the continuing mystery of the puzzling magnetic stripes found by the Mars Global Surveyor.
Carey Noll Wins Information Science & Technology Award
This years Excellence in Information Science and Technology award goes to Carey Noll in Solar System Exploration Services Office (690.1). Carey is being recognized for her numerous contributions to Earth Data Systems at GSFC, in particular in the fields of geodesy, solid Earth Studies and sea level monitoring. Congratulations to Carey on this recognition by the center of her contributions!
Chopa Ma of Code 698 conducted a radio interview on April 20 with "The Naked Scientists" in the UK. The interview, which will become a podcast, was about the celestial reference frame and GPS positioning.
European Space Agency writes a web feature on the ground based observations of the Martian atmosphere by a team code 693 scientists.
Drake Deming awarded the Beatrice Tinsley Prize
Drake Deming has been awarded the Beatrice Tinsley Prize, announced at the AAS meeting today. The Tinsley Prize recognizes an outstanding research contribution to astronomy or astrophysics, of an exceptionally creative or innovative character. This prize is for Drake's innovative and pioneering work detecting thermal infrared emission from transiting extrasolar planets using the Spitzer Space Telescope.
NASA selected three proposals as candidates under the New Frontiers program, and Goddard has a role in two of them.
One of the proposals selected for study was the Origins Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security Regolith Explorer mission (OSIRIS-REx). The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft would rendezvous and orbit a primitive asteroid. After extensive measurements, instruments would collect a pristine sample from the asteroid's surface for return to Earth.
The other proposal selected with a Goddard component was the Surface and Atmosphere Geochemical Explorer, or SAGE, mission to Venus. SAGE would release a probe to descend through the planet's atmosphere and obtain meteorological data. The probe then would land on the surface of Venus to measure its composition and mineralogy. Goddard's Dr. Paul Mahaffy and Dr. William Brinckerhoff (Code 699) are co-investigators for a Goddard-led instrument on this mission.
LRO Mission Wins a 'Best of What's New' Award from Popular Science
The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is cited as one of the best innovations of 2009 in the December issue of Popular Science.