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Rivers Lamb - Gets Down and Dirty With Launch Ops
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Deputy Operations Director and Virginia Tech fan Rivers Lamb gets his hands dirty while contributing to knowledge, science, and to our planet.

Name: Rivers Lamb
Title: Deputy Operations Director
Organization He Works For: Flight Dynamics Facility/Code 595

What is most interesting about your role here at Goddard?

Flight Dynamics supports launch vehicle operations. It’s very “real” work in that it is actually dealing with spacecraft that are on orbit. It’s not theoretical problem solving. It’s doing whatever it takes to support those missions by actually doing, getting your hands dirty.

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

The coolest thing for me was working on LRO (Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter), on the trajectory on a mission to the moon. I’m most proud, though, to work on ST-5. It was kind of like a science fair project. It was a very small team that had to start from scratch after getting a new launch vehicle. It was particularly rewarding when it launched in 2006.
Photo of Rivers Lamb› Larger image
Rivers Lamb in front of the Flight Dynamics Facility at Goddard. Credit: NASA

In your opinion what makes Goddard a great place to work?

Fundamentally, a mission is about contributing to knowledge, science, and to our planet. It’s a noble profession, a kind of public service. It’s that sort of contribution. Also, you can do what you really want to do. There’s a lot of passion for the work we are doing.

How important is teamwork and collaboration in your line of work?

Teamwork is absolutely critical. Flight Dynamics constantly works with the Space Network, other space agencies, all the missions, Code 700, space science operations, Earth science operations, other NASA centers and people with different expertise.

Who is the most interesting, inspiring, or amazing person you have met or worked with at Goddard?

John Mather is amazing. He has this great accomplishment, and all the work he’s done. He’s also so human, down-to-earth and such a great person.

Is there something surprising about you, your hobbies, interests, activities outside of work that people do not generally know?

I’m a runner. I’ve done six half-marathons (13.1 miles). I’m also a big Virginia Tech fan. I’ve always worn orange and maroon. I also just became a deacon at my church.

Is there some place in the world that you want to visit, or someplace you have been and want to go back?

Australia and New Zealand. I’m not sure what calls to me about that place. The people are so laid back and friendly. Definitely on my must-visit list. Nebraska is also on my list. I went for a (Nebraska) Cornhusker-(Virginia Tech) Hokie game once. Everyone was so nice, it was ridiculous. I almost felt bad rooting for Virginia Tech. It was awesome.

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NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD