Mark Lupisella

Hi. My name is Mark Lupisella. I'm an engineer working at the Goddard Space Flight Center on the Hubble Space Telescope Project.

I have always been interested in science, technology, and space exploration. As a young boy, I used to launch homemade model rockets. During my early years in high school, I knew I wanted to work for NASA. As a Freshman in college, I learned about the Hubble Space Telescope and thought, "Wow, that's one project I want to work on." I have been doing so for the past six years.

Prior to that, while I was in college, I worked at the Glenn L. Martin Wind Tunnel as a Cooperative Education student (Co-op.) The Co-op program is great program that allows students in college to work full-time at a job in their field. It takes a little longer to graduate, but it's definitely worth it! I was also a Co-op student at NASA for two years.

I have a Bachelor's of Science degree in Physics from the University of Maryland, College Park, and I am presently pursing a graduate degree there in the Philosophy of Science. Studying the Philosophy of Science helps me understand how science works, how scientists "do science," and what science and technology mean to society.

My primary responsibility on HST is Ground System Software Development. I am also responsible for the local operational network which is part of the larger network that carries commands to the spacecraft from the control center and telemetry from the spacecraft to the control center.

The three major pieces of software I am responsible for are:

  1. The "Real-Time" System (PRS): PRS stands for PORTS Refurbishment System, where PORTS is POCC Operational Real-Time System. PRS is responsible for telemetry (telemetry is data from the spacecraft) processing and real-time commanding. "Real-time" means that events are executed immediately.
  2. The "Off-Line" System (PASS): PASS stands POCC Applications Support System, where POCC is Payload Operations Control Center. PASS takes the science schedule and creates a weekly schedule for the spacecraft and generates all the planned (hence the term "off-line") commands.
  3. Spacecraft data analysis software (ESS): ESS stands for Engineering Support System. ESS provides plots of data to assist in spacecraft analysis.
I love working for NASA and the Hubble Space Telescope Project. The work is exciting and the people are terrific. NASA and HST have taught us much about the universe and our place in it. I can't think of anything more exciting than that.
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