A r t  P o l a n d
Ex-Project Scientist for the SOlar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO)
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Who I Am

For the past 12 years I have been the US Project scientist for SOHO, a joint mission between the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA, designed to study the Sun. I have recently turned the job of project scientist over to one of my colleagues so that I can devote more time to research and education.

As project scientist I was responsible for co-ordinating the science objectives of the various instruments on SOHO and helping the managers make decisions on tradeoffs between engineering capability, money available, and science requirements of the mission. To be effective at this job I needed to understand the science objectives of the mission as a whole and the objectives of each instrument. I also needed to understand what could really be built given the time and money constraints of the mission. In reality I couldn't know all of this in detail, so a large part of my job was finding out who knew what and making sure that they were talking to the right people. One of the exciting aspects of this job was having the opportunity to work with some of the best scientists and engineers throughout the world in producing a very successful space mission.

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