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Paul Mahaffy Named Director of the Solar System Exploration Division

Paul Mahaffy has been named the new Director of Goddard’s Solar System Exploration Division. Paul served for nearly 10 years as Chief of the Planetary Environments Laboratory, leading this group’s study of planetary atmospheres and surface environments with emphases on the modeling of atmospheres and surface environments, advanced instrument development, the study of terrestrial planetary analogs, and the development of space-qualified instruments. Paul is currently Principal Investigator of the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) investigation on the Curiosity rover and of the Neutral Gas and Ion Mass Spectrometer (NGIMS) on the MAVEN Mars orbiter. He previously participated in a wide range of planetary missions, including those to Jupiter, Saturn, comets, and the moon.
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The Space Geodesy Project Office manages the operations and development of NASA’s Space Geodetic Network that is comprised of the four major space geodetic observing systems: Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI), Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR), Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), and the Doppler Orbitography and Radio-positioning by Integrated Satellite (DORIS) system. The Space Geodesy Project (SGP) is a collaborative effort between Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and other U.S. and international partners. The primary goals of the SGP are to deliver and maintain a high precision Terrestrial Reference Frame and provide the data and analysis essential for fully realizing the measurement potential of the current and coming generation of Earth Observing spacecraft.

SGP recently completed a prototype core site with all four geodetic techniques at NASA's Geophysical and Astronomical Observatory. This site is now the basis for the ongoing deployment of NASA’s next generation Space Geodetic Network that is part of NASA's contribution to the Global Geodetic Observing System (GGOS). This upgraded global network will significantly improve the International Terrestrial Reference Frame (ITRF) as well as all other network products (e.g. precision orbit determination, local & regional deformation, astrometry, etc.), with concomitant benefits to the supported and tracked missions, science projects, and engineering applications.

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Dr. Stephen M Merkowitz
Project Manager [690.2]
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