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Meet the Mission Team

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Nicholas G. Chrissotimos, STEREO Project Manager
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Photo of Nicholas G. ChrissotimosMr. Chrissotimos has 24 years of project/program management experience at the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). He is currently the Deputy Program Manager for the Sun Earth Connection (SEC) Programs. In addition, he is currently the Project Manager for the STEREO mission.

Mr. Chrissotimos joined GSFC full-time in 1974 after receiving a BSEE form Pratt Institute. He also has a MSEE from the University of Maryland. He first developed Ground Systems hardware for the NASA STDN tracking stations. Then designed and developed spaceflight hardware while supporting flight projects including, LANDSAT, SARSAT, SEASAT and COBE.

He served on the TDRS Project for eight years as Payload Manager, Spacecraft Manager, and Assistant Project Manager leading to the successful development and launches of TDRS 3 – 7. He later served as the TDRS H,I,J SEB Chairman, while he was the Deputy Project Manager on the EOS Chemistry and Special Flights Project.

As the Earth Systems Science Pathfinder (ESSP) Project Manager he led the definition and development of the program. As the Earth Explorers Program Manager he managed the development, launch and operations of ESSP and explorer missions; QuickScat, GRACE, SORCE, QuikTOMS, CALIPSO and CloudSat.

Mr. Chrissotimos is a recipient of the NASA Medal for Outstanding Leadership and Goddard’s Exceptional Achievement Award.

Michael Kaiser, STEREO Project Scientist
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Photo of Michael KaiserMr. Michael L. Kaiser is a research scientist with the Solar System Exploration Division at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. He is the Project Scientist for the STEREO Mission and is also the Deputy Principal Investigator of the STEREO WAVES investigation. In addition, he is the Principal Investigator of the WAVES experiment on the NASA Wind spacecraft and on the Voyager Planetary Radio Astronomy (PRA) experiment performed during Voyager's interstellar mission (1989-present). He is a co-investigator on the Ulysses Unified Radio And Plasma Wave experiment (UARP) and the Cassini Radio and Plasma Wave Science (RPWS) team.

Kaiser received his M.S. degree in Astronomy from the University of Maryland in 1971. His research interests include low frequency radio astronomy with particular emphasis on planetary and solar emissions. He is an author on approximately 225 scientific publications and has received the NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement medal and numerous group achievement awards. He is a member of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), International Union of Radio Science (URSI), European Geophysical Union (EGU), American Astronomical Society/Solar Physics Division and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.

Dr. Madhulika Guhathakurta, STEREO Program Scientist
NASA Headquarters

Photo of Dr. Madhulika GuhathakurtaAs a NASA astrophysicist, Dr. Madhulika Guhathakurta (also known as Lika) has had the opportunity to work as a scientist, mission designer, instrument builder, directing and managing science programs and teacher and spokesperson for NASA's mission and vision in the Heliophysics Division. Occasionally, she performs all of these roles in a single day.

Before joining NASA Headquarters in December of 1998, her career has focused on studying the importance of the scientific exploration of space in particular understanding the Sun as a star and its influence on the planet Earth, with research focus on understanding the magneto hydrodynamics of the Sun’s outermost layer, the solar corona. She has been a Co-Investigator on five Spartan 201 missions on aboard space shuttles to study the solar corona in white-light and UV radiation and has authored over 70 publications.

Dr. Guhathakurta is the Lead Program Scientist for NASA's initiative called "Living With a Star" (LWS) which focuses on understanding and ultimately predicting solar variability and its diverse effects on Earth, human technology and astronauts in space. The systems science behind this new kind of weather outside of Earth’s terrestrial atmosphere is known as "Space Weather”. She is also the Program Scientist for “Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory” (STEREO), scheduled to launch in July 2006. STEREO is a two-year mission which will employ two nearly identical space-based observatories - one ahead of Earth in its orbit, the other trailing behind - to provide the first-ever stereoscopic measurements to study the Sun and the nature of its coronal mass ejections, or CMEs and their impact on space-weather.

She is presently leading two science definition teams for future missions in the LWS Program, “Solar Probe” and “Solar Sentinels” and involved in a mission in formulation “Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP)”. Solar Probe will be a historic mission, flying into one of the last unexplored regions of the solar system, the Sun’s atmosphere or corona, for the first time. Approaching as close as 3 RS above the Sun’s surface, Solar Probe will employ a combination of in-situ measurements and imaging to achieve the mission’s primary scientific goal: to understand how the Sun’s corona is heated and how the solar wind is accelerated. Solar Sentinels, an important mission for NASA’s Vision for exploration will help in the understanding and prediction of Solar Energetic Particle (SEPs) and solar eruptive events, and their effects on the interplanetary environments, planets, and other solar system bodies. RBSP’s science objectives are to provide understanding of how populations of relativistic electrons and ions in space are formed or changed in response to solar variations. In addition to leading science missions for the LWS program, Dr Guhathakurta also manages a theory, modeling and data analysis program to integrate scientific output, data, and models to generate a comprehensive, systems understanding of Sun-Heliosphere-Planets coupling.

Dr. Guhathakurta is leading an effort in an international initiative known as the “International Living With a Star” (ILWS) consisting of all the space agencies of the world to contribute towards the scientific goal for Space Weather understanding.

A native of India, Dr. Guhathakurta received her Masters in Astrophysics from University of Delhi and Ph.D. in Physics from University of Denver and University of Colorado at Boulder.

Edward Reynolds, STEREO Project Manager
The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL)

Photo of Edward ReynoldsAs APL’s project manager for the STEREO mission, Ed Reynolds oversees the project’s overall development and operation.

Mr. Reynolds has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Virginia Tech. He has an extensive background in spacecraft system engineering, which stems from his experience in spacecraft integration and test.

Prior to the STEREO mission, Mr. Reynolds played key engineering roles in several projects, including the Comet Nucleus Tour (CONTOUR) and the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR), the first mission in NASA’s Discovery Program, that orbited and eventually landed on the asteroid Eros.

Additionally, he has worked on a number of assignments involving satellites, and sounding rockets with engineers from Russia.

Mr. Reynolds has received an Outstanding Achievement Quality Award at APL, and has authored or co-authored several technical papers. He is a member of the Project Management Institute.

Dr. Russell Howard, Stereo Principal Investigator
Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, D.C

Since 1971 Dr. Howard's research has centered on understanding the physics of the solar corona and the coronal mass ejection phenomenon - its initiation, propagation, and eventual interplanetary effects. He is currently the Principal Investigator for the SOHO/ LASCO and the STEREO/SECCHI experiments. He developed the CCDs and CCD cameras for LASCO and EIT for which he received an NRL Royalty Award. He was the Project Scientist for the development of the Solwind and LASCO coronagraphs, led the development of the LASCO/EIT flight software and ground system. He has been a co-investigator on numerous NASA projects including an XUV CCD detector development program. In 2002 he received the E.O. Hulburt Science Award, which is the highest award that NRL gives to a scientist.

Dr. Janet G. Luhmann, Stereo Principal Investigator
University of California, Berkeley

Dr. Janet Luhmann obtained her education in Physics and Astronomy first at Carnegie Mellon University, and then at the University of Maryland. She has held positions as a Research Scientist in space physics at The Aerospace Corporation and the UCLA Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics. She is currently involved in a number of NASA-supported research projects at the Space Sciences Laboratory (SSL) at the University of California, Berkeley where she is a Senior Fellow. A major focus of her work has been the comparison of spacecraft observations with models of the solar wind interaction with the planets. Her bibliography includes over 200 refereed publications in the field and she has served as a member of NASA, NSF, and National Research Council scientific advisory committees and panels.

Dr. Luhmann spent over a decade working with Pioneer Venus Orbiter observations of the solar wind interaction with Venus before coming to SSL. She is currently a member of the Cassini Saturn Orbiter Ion-Neutral Mass Spectrometer Team, Co-director of an NSF Science and Technology Center for Space Weather Modeling, and Principal Investigator of an in-situ experiment consortium providing plasma and field instrumentation for the STEREO mission to study the Sun and interplanetary space weather.