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Always Adventurous Oren Sheinman Shines on Land, Sea, and in Space
May 2011
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By day, Oren Sheinman engineers the hardware that will sniff the soil of another planet. At home, he loves Australian Shepherds and activities that take him out of doors to experience this planet.

What is most interesting about your role here at Goddard?

My work is associated with the design life cycle of a spacecraft or instrument which averages to be around a four year endeavor. The first year we develop the concept and do preliminary design work. The second and third years we finalize and fabricate the design. The last year we perform integration and test (I&T) prior to delivery.

My work environment is usually in an office, various conference rooms, clean rooms, and test facilities including the vibration lab and the thermal vacuum test chamber.
In designing and fabricating spacecraft I work with computer aided design (CAD) packages which are software that assist in
Photo of Oren SheinmanOren Sheinman is the Mechanical Systems Lead for the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument. He is pictured here in front of a mural depicting America's fervor to explore space, just like Oren. Credit: Rebecca Roth
spacecraft and instrument design, analysis, and fabrication. Because of the nature of my job, I work almost exclusively in collaboration with other people.

Who is the most interesting or inspiring person you have met here and why?

There have been many, but one of my coworkers and friends stands out because he always finds elegant, simplistic solutions to difficult engineering challenges. He is one of the most creative individuals I have even known.

What was your best day or the best thing that ever happened to you at Goddard and why?

Almost every day at Goddard is a good day. After I see one of our projects successfully launched, I feel a strong sense of accomplishment which is shared by the entire team.

What is the most interesting thing you have worked on here and why?

There are two. The first project I ever worked on which was COBE and my current project which is SAM. COBE was interesting because of the questions the program was seeking to answer, which was verifying the “Big Bang Theory” about the origin of the universe – which it did. SAM is interesting because almost every day that I physically work with and actually touch the instrument, it is inspiring to know that this same piece of hardware will eventually roam around another planet.

What is the coolest thing you’ve ever done as part of your job at Goddard?

The coolest thing I do here has to be actually touching SAM, which will eventually land on another planet, Mars. On a larger scale, I am amazed by the fact that a talented group of people, from both Goddard and JPL, will make something that that will actually land on another world and collect data. The engineering and calculations involved to accomplish this feat are extremely cool and I especially enjoy the camaraderie.

What other things do you find interesting?

Oren Sheinman with his dog, Maggie I love doing pretty much anything that involves being on, in, or under water. My hobbies include boating, kayaking, scuba diving, and jet skiing to name a few. I also really enjoy doing long-distance bicycle rides. I have done several thousand miles plus bike rides. I also love dogs, especially Australian Shepherds, and have been volunteering at my local shelter, the Anne Arundel County SPCA, for over 18 years.

Do you have a favorite book, magazine, movie, or TV show?

One of my favorite TV shows is “Seinfeld.” You can always relate an episode to situations that happen in life. Mentioning some of the show’s more famous catchwords and phrases can help diffuse a touchy situation in a tense meeting. The writing is great.
Oren Sheinman pictured with his dog, Maggie, at the seashore in Maryland. Sheinman is with both of his favorite things, the water and his dog. Credit: Oren Sheinman

Lastly, where would you most like to visit and why?

I’d really like to go up North; it could be Canada or Alaska. Someday I want to combine my love for dogs and the outdoors and go on a week-long dog-sled adventure.

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Elizabeth M. Jarrell
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.