Sciences and Exploration Directorate

Craig B Markwardt



Org Code: 662

Mail Code: 662
Greenbelt, MD 20771

Employer: NASA

Brief Bio

Dr. Craig Markwardt has been a research scientist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center since 1997. He first worked with Jean Swank of the RXTE PCA project, on the studies of X-ray binaries. He has studied millisecond X-ray pulsars, accreting black hole microquasars, and has performed long term monitoring of the galactic center with the PCA instrument. Since 2001, he as also worked on the development and flight of the BAT instrument aboard the Swift gamma-ray burst mission. In addition to developing ground software for burst work, Markwardt has been using BAT survey data, both to continue X-ray binary work, and to search for faint active galactic nuclei.  In 2009, Markwardt joined the GEMS project team and is excited to open a new frontier in the systematic study of X-ray polarimetry.  Markwardt will manage the science operations effort including science software, data processing and observational planning.

Current Projects

GEMS Science Operations Center

Technology & Missions

  • Design and implementation of science operations effort for GEMS X-ray polarimetry mission
  • Science data processing pipeline
  • Science target planning
  • Science software development

Pioneer 10 spacecraft "anomaly."

RXTE PCA Project Science

X-ray Binaries & CVs

  • RXTE PCA studies of millisecond X-ray pulsars
  • RXTE PCA monitoring of the galactic bulge (please see the PCA Bulge Monitoring page).
  • Follow-up of transient X-ray sources

Swift BAT Project Science

Gamma-ray Bursts

  • Gamma-Ray Burst data processing and analysis

RXTE PCA Programmatic Work

Technology & Missions

  • Production of RXTE PCA background models for the community. Please see the PCA Team Page for more information.
  • RXTE PCA software
  • RXTE Timing calibration

Swift BAT Programmatic Work

Technology & Missions

  • Swift BAT ground software.
  • Swift data processing scripts and documentation.
  • Swift BAT survey analysis.

Swift BAT All-Sky Survey

Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN)

  • Swift BAT survey of the hard X-ray sky (14-200 keV).
  • Detection and characterization of hundreds of extragalactic AGN; comparison of obscured and unobscured systems.
  • Characterization of galactic hard X-ray sources.


Research Astrophysicist

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center - Greenbelt, MD

August 2010 - Present

  • GEMS SOC Manager
  • Swift BAT Team Member
  • RXTE PCA Team Member

Assistant Research Scientist

University of Maryland - NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD

October 1999 - August 2010

  • GEMS SOC Manager
  • Swift BAT Team Member
  • RXTE PCA Team Member

Resident Research Associate

National Research Council - NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD

September 1997 - October 1999

  • RXTE PCA Team Member


  • Ph.D. Physics, August 1997,University of Wisconsin --- Madison
    Professor Hakki Ogelman, advisor.
    Thesis: "The Wind Interaction Regions of the Vela Pulsar: a Pulsar Jet and Bow Shock Nebula"
  • B.S. Physics, June 1992, Stanford University


NASA Robert H. Goddard Award for Exceptional Achievement in Engineering, September, 2008, Greenbelt, MD

NASA Space Science Achievement Award, July 2003, Greenbelt, MD