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

College was a very exciting time of my life. I went to the University of Massachusetts and got a degree in Astronomy, finishing in only 3 years. The space race was in full swing, we were headed toward the moon, satellites were making all kinds of new discoveries throughout science, computers were developing rapidly, and there seemed to be no limit to what man could accomplish during my lifetime. As a little child I had remembered hearing some pundits on the radio (before television) discussing why man would never be able to get to the moon, but now WE WERE GOING TO THE MOON! There was a real feeling of excitement and limitlessness and I was going to be part of it.

I went to graduate school at Indiana University in Bloomington where I got a PhD in Astrophysics in 1969. I studied the atmospheres of particularly hot stars. The interactions with my professors and fellow graduate students were something that has been enjoyable and valuable to me throughout my life. I still work with some of my fellow graduate students.

My first job after graduate school was a post-doctoral research position at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder Colorado. My first two years involved theoretical research on the Sun's atmosphere. After that I joined the team of researchers there working on a telescope that would fly on Skylab. This was my first hands on experience with space flight instruments and data. The work was really exciting in that we were not only preparing to study the Sun, but we were also working with the worlds first space station and with the astronauts. The success of the Skylab mission was fantastic, but at the time it really just felt like hard work.

In 1980 I joined the Solar group at Goddard Space Flight Center to work on space solar data from the Solar Maximum Mission. During this time I also took on the position of US Project Scientist for the SOHO mission.

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