Who We Are
James L. Green, Director
Planetary Science Division, NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.
||Dr. Green received his Ph.D. in Space Physics from the University of Iowa in 1979 and began working in the Magnetospheric Physics Branch at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in 1980. At Marshall, Dr. Green developed and managed the Space Physics Analysis Network, which provided scientists, all over the world, with rapid access to data, other scientists, and specific NASA computer and information resources. In addition, Dr. Green was a safety diver in the Neutral Buoyancy tank making over 250 dives until he left MSFC in 1985. From 1985 to 1992 he was the Head of the National Space Science Data Center (NSSDC) at Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). The NSSDC is NASA’s largest space science data archive.
In 1992 he became the Chief of the Space Science Data Operations Office until 2005 when he became the Chief of the Science Proposal Support Office. While at GSFC, Dr. Green was a co-investigator and the Deputy Project Scientist on the Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration (IMAGE) mission. From 1992 to 2000 he was also the Deputy Project Scientist for Mission Operations and Data Analysis for the Global Geospace Science Missions WIND and POLAR. He has written over 110 scientific articles in referred journals involving various aspects of the Earth’s and Jupiter’s magnetospheres and over 50 technical articles on various aspects of data systems and computer networks. In August 2006, Dr. Green became the director of the Planetary Science Division at NASA Headquarters. Over his career, Dr. Green has received a number of awards. In 1988 he received the Arthur S. Flemming award given for outstanding individual performance in the federal government and was awarded Japan’s Kotani Prize in 1996 in recognition of his international science data management activities.
Sean C. Solomon, MESSENGER Principal Investigator
Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington, D.C.
||As Principal Investigator for the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) mission, Sean Solomon heads a multi-institutional consortium of scientists and engineers who operate the small, efficient spacecraft, which launched in 2004 and has been orbiting Mercury since March 2011.
Prior to MESSENGER, the only craft sent to Mercury was Mariner 10 in the 1970s, and it imaged less than half of the planet. With a suite of seven miniaturized instruments, MESSENGER is addressing questions that are key to understanding terrestrial planet evolution. Solomon's particular interests are to learn more about Mercury's bulk composition and what that tells us about planet formation in general; to investigate Mercury's volcanic, tectonic, and internal evolution; and to understand how the planet's magnetic field originated and determine the characteristics of Mercury's liquid outer core. Mariner 10 discovered that Mercury has a weak magnetic field, which may arise from an Earth-like electromagnetic dynamo in the planet's outer core. MESSENGER is investigating this question as well as the nature of the planet's thin atmosphere and the composition of the permanently shadowed polar deposits.
Solomon has also been a team member on a variety of other projects, including the Magellan mission to Venus, the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) investigation on the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft, and the Plume-Lithosphere Undersea Melt Experiment (PLUME) on Earth. The Magellan mission produced global radar image and altimetric maps of the surface of Venus. Data from MOLA have been used to construct precise topographical maps to understand Martian geology, geophysics, and atmospheric circulation. PLUME was a combined land and ocean-bottom seismic experiment to image the mantle beneath the Hawaiian hotspot. Solomon led the land section of this project.
Solomon balances his position as director of Carnegie Institution of Washington's Department of Terrestrial Magnetism with research in planetary geology and geophysics, seismology, marine geophysics, and geodynamics. Prior to accepting his current position, he was a professor of geophysics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for more than 20 years. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a former president of the American Geophysical Union.
Maria T. Zuber, MESSENGER Co-Investigator
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass.
||Maria T. Zuber is the head of the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She studies the structure and tectonics of solid solar system objects and specializes in using gravity and laser altimetry measurements to determine interior structure and evolution. She is leading the analysis of the Mercury Laser Altimeter data from MESSENGER, and she is the chair of the mission’s Geophysics Group.
Zuber received her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and Sc.M. and Ph.D. from Brown University. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and American Philosophical Society, and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, and of the American Geophysical Union, where she served as president of the Planetary Sciences Section. Among her awards are the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal, the NASA Scientific Achievement Medal, the Brown University Horace Mann Medal, the Geological Society of America G.K. Gilbert Award, the American Astronautical Society Carl Sagan Memorial Award, and a Scientific Achievement Award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Professor Zuber served on the Presidential Commission on the Implementation of United Space Exploration Policy tasked with conceiving a plan to implement President Bush’s Vision for Space Exploration. In 2002 Discover magazine named her one of the 50 most important women in science.
Steven A. Hauck, II, MESSENGER Participating Scientist
Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio
||Steven A. Hauck, II is Associate Professor of Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences at Case Western Reserve University, where he has worked since 2003. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics from the University of Minnesota and master’s and Ph.D. degrees in Earth and Planetary Sciences from Washington University in St. Louis. The through-going theme of his research is a focus on understanding the processes that govern how planetary bodies evolve over time. His work emphasizes integrating spacecraft observations of the geological and geophysical characteristics of planets with models of fundamental processes such as lithospheric deformation, mantle convection, and core evolution. A MESSENGER Participating Scientist, Hauck utilizes observations made with the Mercury Laser Altimeter and Radio Science experiments to understand large-scale tectonic deformation of the surface and the structure and dynamics of Mercury’s interior.
Nancy Chabot, Instrument Scientist, MESSENGER's Mercury Dual Imaging System
The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Md.
||Nancy L. Chabot is a planetary scientist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL). Her research interests involve understanding the evolution of rocky planetary bodies in the Solar System. As the Instrument Scientist for MESSENGER's Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS), she is responsible for ensure that MDIS acquires the images required to meet the overall scientific goals of the mission. At APL, she also oversees an experimental petrology laboratory that is used to conduct experiments at elevated temperatures and pressures to investigate the geochemical differentiation and evolution of planetary bodies. She has been a member of five field teams with the Antarctic Search for Meteorites (ANSMET) program. She received an undergraduate degree in physics at Rice University and a PhD in planetary science at the University of Arizona.
Ralph L. McNutt, Jr. , MESSENGER Project Scientist
The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Md.
||Ralph L. McNutt, Jr., a Physicist and the Science and Analysis Branch Scientist for Space Science in the Space Department of The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, has been involved in a broad range of planetary space physics research. He is Project Scientist and a Co-Investigator on NASA’s MESSENGER mission to Mercury. He is also Co-Investigator on NASA’s Solar Probe Plus mission to the solar corona, Co-Investigator on the New Horizons mission to Pluto, Co-Investigator for the Voyager Interstellar Mission, and member of the Ion Neutral Mass Spectrometer Team on the Cassini Orbiter spacecraft. He is the recipient of 11 NASA Group Achievement Awards.
McNutt has served on a variety of National Research Council committees, including as Co-Chair of the Committee on Radioisotope Power Supplies (2008–2009), Member of the Steering Committee, Solar System Exploration Decadal Survey (2009–2011), and Member of the Innovations Working Group for the Heliophysics Decadal Survey (2011). He is a member of the International Academy of Astronautics and the American Geophysical Union and an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He received his B.S. in Physics (summa cum laude) at Texas A&M University in 1975 and his Ph.D. in Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1980, where he served on the faculty from 1982 to 1990. .
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