Program Scientist, NASA Headquarters
What's the coolest thing about EPOXI?
One of the coolest aspects of the EPOXI mission is that it is reusing the Deep Impact spacecraft, which already completed a very successful scientific mission. On top of that, EPOXI is actually 2 missions in one - it is doing extra-solar planet observations and a comet flyby!
Why do you like working at NASA Headquarters?
Who said I liked it!? Seriously, though, working at NASA Headquarters is very interesting and rewarding - I get to participate in exciting spacecraft missions, and facilitate the funding for hundreds of scientists. It is a dynamic and challenging work environment.
What is your job on the EPOXI mission?
I serve as the Program Scientist for the mission.
How did you end up in Space Science?
I grew up with the space program, and I've always been interested in Geology. Becoming a planetary scientist working on the geology of solar system objects was a way to combine both interests.
What do you do in your spare time?
There is no such thing as spare time. It's a myth.
Who in your life inspired you?
I've been inspired by many people. A few of the more important people are my parents and grandparents, my wife, and my graduate advisor.
Scientists gather around Pete Schultz and his student Brendan to see their analysis.
L-R: Lindley Johnson, Sebastien Besse, Tony Farnham, Jessica Sunshine, Mike A'Hearn, Mike 'HQ' Kelley, Dennon Clardy, Joe Veverka, Brian Key
Credit: Elizabeth Warner/UMD
What is one yet-to-be achieved life goal?
Just one? To complete a thru-hike on the AT.
Were you science-oriented as a young person?
What was your favorite book as a young person?
I was pretty fond of the shop manual for my 1974 Saab Combi Coupe. It got me through some tough times.
What did you want to become when you were young?
An astronaut, of course.
If you weren't working in space exploration now, what might you be doing?
I'm not really sure. I like to think it would be something that frequently allowed me to be outdoors away from cities. Did you ever drive by a construction site and see the person holding the sign with "Stop" on one side and "Slow" on the other? I think I might like that job.