E r i c  C h r i s t i a n
Deputy Project Scientist
ACE NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Questions and Answer:

Q: What is the most important technological advance of your lifetime?

A: The most important technological advance that has occurred in my lifetime is definitely the advance of computers. My four-year-old son uses a computer that is better than the multi-million dollar mainframes of my youth. And I treat as junk computers that were state-of-the-art, whiz-bang, great stuff just eight years ago. And it looks like the advances will continue for the near future at least.

Q: If time travel were possible, where and when would you travel to, and why?

A: If time travel were possible, I would definitely travel to the future, not the past (although my first quick answer was "Wall Street before Intel and Microsoft went public!") It's not that I think the past is unimportant or uninteresting, it's just that the future is completely unknown.

Q: What do you like to do on your time off from work?

A: When I'm not at work, my two great interests are my family and nature. My job takes a sizable portion of my waking hours, and I do a lot of travel, so when I'm home, spending time with my wife and son is extremely important. I like working with my hands, and my son "helps" me with household repairs and construction. I've built him several toys out of wood, a train set and a model Delta II rocket. I've always had an interest in nature, and love hiking and canoeing. I'm a birdwatcher (still learning, not an expert), and am sometimes a volunteer naturalist at a wildlife refuge (Merkle WR) near here. The traveling I've done for my job has let me see many interesting regions of the world: Australia and Tasmania, South Africa, Ireland, Germany, northern Canada, etc. I love traveling, although it's harder to take the family with me then it was before Stephen was born. I enjoy participating in several sports, mostly tennis-basketball and softball at times, but don't watch sports very often on TV.

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