Contact: Gabrielle Birchak-Birkman

Michael Devirian, former manager of Space Science and
Microgravity Flight Experiments, has been appointed as manager of
the Origins and Fundamental Physics program at NASA’s Jet
Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

As manager, he will oversee the projects and technology
activities that will seek to answer questions about the formation
of the universe, galaxies, stars, planets and life. Devirian will
oversee two fundamental physics programs — the Space Science
program, including the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA)
and the Microgravity Fundamental Physics Experiment. In addition,
he will operate in a supporting role for the Origins theme
director at NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.

“We will be working on premiere programs for the next
decade,” said Devirian. “In our quest, we will be pushing the
edge of technology. It is my hope that we will find blue planets
around other stars, planets with oceans and possibly life.”

Devirian received his bachelor’s degree in physics from the
University of California, Riverside. He joined JPL in 1966 and
was a member of the Lunar Surveyor team, Mariner Mars 1969 and
Mariner Mars Orbiter 1971 projects. He served as director of
flight operations during the development and flight phases the
Voyager Project and through the encounter with Jupiter in 1979.
After working for nine years in Washington, D.C. as detailee to
NASA Headquarters, he returned to JPL, where he worked on the
Wide Field/Planetary Camera-II project for the Hubble Space

Devirian received the NASA Medal for Outstanding Leadership
for work on Voyager and the Medal for Exceptional Service for
work on the Wide Field/Planetary Camera-II.

JPL is managed for NASA by the California Institute of
Technology in Pasadena.