Hubble Vet Tapped for Weather Satellite Job

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NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center has assembled a team to take over a troubled weather satellite program, assigning former Hubble Space Telescope program manager Preston Burch to lead the new effort.

Burch was tapped by Goddard Director Rob Strain to lead the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS), according to a March 9 internal NASA announcement. Elizabeth Citrin, who most recently served as project manager for the Solar Dynamics Observatory, will be Burch’s deputy.

The JPSS program was created in the aftermath of the White House’s February decision to cancel the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS). NPOESS was intended to combine the military and civilian weather forecasting missions that have traditionally been served by separate constellations, but encountered years of cost growth and delays.

Jim Gleason was named JPSS senior project scientist, and Art Whipple was named chief engineer.