One Astronomer's Journey Through Space and Time
Linda Morabito Meyer is the Astronomer who discovered the volcanic activity on Jupiter's moon Io at Jet Propulsion Laboratory on 9 March, 1979. She made her discovery working as a Navigation engineer on NASA's Voyager mission to Jupiter and Saturn. Her discovery has been described as the largest discovery of NASA's planetary exploration program. Morabito Meyer grew up loving the original Star Trek television series when she was in high school. She considered the pursuit of the exploration of space to be the most exciting adventure for mankind. Throughout her life, Morabito Meyer placed her goal of participation in exploration first in her academic studies. The dedication required to become a scientist or engineer, the world of science that you enter participating with fellows in investigation and science discovery, the adventure, the discovery of the unexpected, and the acceptance of the risks as portrayed in that television series all appealed to Morabito Meyer. Through hard work, Morabito Meyer entered that world by the summer of 1973. Her discovery and participation in many NASA missions fulfilled her expectations of her dreams in exploration. However, Morabito Meyer's life held a second story of exploration and a journey through time which might make any investigator think twice about the associated risks of exploration. Morabito Meyer's presentation will concentrate on the theme that resulting knowledge and discovery are worth the risks of exploration, as she recounts one Astronomer's journey through space and time.
Linda Morabito Meyer
Linda Morabito Meyer did her undergraduate work in Astronomy at the University of Southern California, where she went on to graduate work in Computer Science. She first joined Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the summer of 1973 while still an undergraduate student, and eventually as a Senior Engineer. While at JPL, Linda participated in NASA's Viking mission to Mars and Voyager mission to Jupiter and Saturn. Linda was also selected as a Guest Science Investigator during Viking's Extended Mission. In 1979, Linda discovered active volcanism on Jupiter's moon Io, while lead engineer of Voyager's Optical Navigation Image Processing System. In 1997, Linda went to work for The Planetary Society in Pasadena, CA, eventually becoming Manager of Education and Program Development. She was instrumental in the implementation of worldwide participation of students in NASA's Mar Exploration Rover mission, and laying the program's foundation with student use of the Mars Global Surveyor MOC camera in orbit around Mars. Students participating in her training mission made a significant find on Mars. Linda has worked as part of NASA's LCROSS mission to the Moon, Juno mission to Jupiter, and the Spitzer Space Telescope while Global Curriculum Developer for the Lewis Center for Educational Research in Apple Valley, CA. Linda is currently Associate Professor Astronomy at Victor Valley College in Victorville, CA. She released her memoir about her discoveries in science and in her own life, "Parallel Universes, A Memoir from the Edges of Space and Time" in November of 2010.
"What's Up?" in this month will be presented by Chris Butler