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Oct. 29, 2002

RELEASE: 02-113AR                                                                                

Condon Named Associate Director for Astrobiology and Space Programs: NASA Ames Research Center has appointed Estelle Condon as associate director for astrobiology and space programs. Condon has served as acting director of the Astrobiology and Space Research Directorate since March 2002. She began her NASA Ames career in 1980 as a research scientist in the Space Science Division, where she worked on a variety of stratospheric and tropospheric airborne experiments. She was the first woman to fly an experiment on a NASA platform aircraft. In 1986, she became deputy project manager for the Stratospheric Tropospheric Exchange Project, which studied the tropical tropopause from Darwin, Australia. In 1987, Condon became project manager for the Airborne Antarctic Ozone Experiment, the first airborne experiment to study the chemistry and dynamics of the Antarctic ozone hole. This experiment determined unequivocally that human-made chemicals were involved in the destruction of ozone over the Antarctic and provided the scientific basis for the amendments to the Montreal Protocol, which banned the manufacture of chlorofluorocarbons. In 1989, Condon became deputy chief of the Earth Science Division and in 1994 she assumed the duties of chief of the division. For more information: Ann Hutchison, 650/604-3039 or by e-mail at: ahutchison@mail.arc.nasa.gov
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Nobel Laureate To Deliver Astronomy Lecture:
Dr. Arno Penzias, recipient of the 1978 Nobel Prize in physics, will give a non-technical illustrated talk on "A Personal View of the Big Bang," on Wednesday, Nov. 13, at 7 p.m. PST. The free public lecture, the second in the Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series 2003, will take place in the Smithwick Theater at Foothill College, El Monte Road and Highway 280, in Los Altos Hills, Calif. The series is cosponsored by NASA Ames Research Center, the Foothill College Astronomy Program, the SETI Institute and the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Penzias will describe how he and Dr. Robert Wilson used a sensitive radio telescope at Bell Laboratories in the 1960s to detect the ‘radiation echo’ of the Big Bang, showing that the universe began in a hot, dense, explosive state. Penzias retired in 1998 from Bell Labs, where he served as research leader for 37 years. He currently is senior technical advisor for Lucent Technologies. Photographs and information about Penzias' life and work are available at: http://www.bell-labs.com/user/feature/archives/penzias. Further information about the lecture series is available on the series hotline at 650/949-7888. For more information: Kathleen Burton, 650/604-1731 or by e-mail at: kburton@mail.arc.nasa.gov

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