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Goddard Research Scientist Receives Lindsay Award
Image of Dr. Gehrels Dr. Cornelis Gehrels is the Center’s most recent recipient of its highest accomplishment – the John C. Lindsay Memorial Award for Space Science – presented to civil servants who best exhibit the qualities of broad scientific accomplishments in this area.

Gehrels received the award May 27 for his contributions for the development of NASA’s Swift gamma-ray burst (GRB) mission, as well as for its early scientific results.

“I’m delighted to receive this prestigious award,” Gehrels said. “The Swift mission is going well, returning exciting new findings on gamma-ray bursts every week. Hundreds of people dedicated years to this mission and its success is a direct result of their skill and dedication. I thank them for this achievement and Goddard for its support of the mission.”

Swift is the first-of-its-kind multi-wavelength mission dedicated to the study of gamma-ray bursts. Its three instruments work in unison, observing GRBs and afterglows in the gamma-ray, X-ray, optical, and ultraviolet wavebands. Swift, which launched November 20, 2004, has observed 45 GRBs, and is expected to observe more than 200 bursts during its nominal 2-year mission, creating the most comprehensive study of GRB afterglows to date.

Gehrels currently works in the Laboratory for High Energy Astrophysics. He heads up the Gamma Ray, Cosmic Ray and Gravitational Wave Astrophysics Branch, where his main focus is gamma-ray astronomy, instrument development, and data analysis. His other responsibilities include serving as project scientist for the Compton Observatory, mission scientist for the INTEGRAL mission, deputy project scientist for the GLAST mission, study scientist for the EXIST mission, and co-investigator for the InFOCuS, TGRS and GLAST-LAT instruments.

Gehrels’ other accomplishments include the 2005 GSFC Award of Merit, the 2000 Randolph Lovelace Award for leadership of the Compton Observatory, NASA’s Outstanding Leadership Medal in 1993, and Discover Magazine’s Award for Technological Innovation in 1992.

The Lindsay Award commemorates the launch of the first of eight Orbiting Solar Observatories (OSO) that Dr. Lindsay and others contributed their efforts. Scientific results from the OSO Program include the first visible light and extreme ultraviolet photographs of the corona, the first full-disk photograph of the solar corona, and the first X-ray observations of a solar flare in the initial stage of eruption.

Susan Hendrix
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center