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August 7, 2008 Vol. 1, Issue 7


The Academy held its first knowledge sharing forum for Principal Investigators in Annapolis, Maryland, on August 4-7, 2008.

The event, which built on the format of the Academy’s semiannual Masters Forums, featured first-person accounts from past Principal Investigators (PI), Project Scientists, Project Managers, and other veterans of PI-led missions. Nobel Prize-winning physicist John Mather of Goddard Space Flight Center recounted lessons from his experience as the PI for the Far IR Absolute Spectrophotometer (FIRAS) on the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) mission. Nearly two dozen highly respected practitioners offered their perspectives on PI-led missions, including Scott Hubbard (former Director of Ames Research Center, now at Stanford University), Orlando Figueroa (Director of Applied Engineering and Technology at Goddard Space Flight Center), and Dennis Matson, (former Project Scientist for Cassini-Huygens).

The forum’s primary audience was the six PI-led teams whose proposals were selected by NASA in May 2008 for further evaluation as part of the agency’s Small Explorer (SMEX) Program. Several members of each team attended the forum.

Read more about the candidate missions for the Small Explorer Program.

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