In April 1996 Dr. William (Bill) Taylor assumed new duties as project manager for NSSDC's support services contractor, Hughes STX. In this position Bill directs the activities of about 100 physical scientists, computer scientists, data operations personnel, and others supporting NSSDC and other elements of the Space Science Data Operations Office. The success of NSSDC in meeting its users' expectations is highly dependent on the effectiveness of Bill's team.
Bill Taylor is Hughes STX's new NSSDC project manager.
Bill has been in the NASA environment for 20 years, since working, along with this author, in the Magnetospheric Physics Branch at NASA Headquarters for Dr. Erwin Schmerling. After 13 years at TRW, he became the chief scientist for the Space Station Program and later worked for another Washington-area technical company.
During these years he interacted with NSSDC in various ways. He was the creative force behind the electronic CANOPUS Newsletter, which for a number of years was accessible through NSSDC's On-Line Data and Information Services (NODIS) account. Electronic newsletters are old hat now but more than ten years ago were truly on the cutting edge. He also founded and is the president of the Interactive NASA Space Physics Ionosphere Radio Experiments (INSPIRE) program, which involves large numbers of school children in attempts to observe radio signals from certain space shuttle flights and from the MIR space station, thereby increasing understanding of signal propagation through the ionosphere. NSSDC supports the INSPIRE program through its Satellite Situation Center and through its computers, which host the INSPIRE Web and FTP sites.
Most recently, he has participated in Dr. James Burch's team preparing the successful MIDEX/IMAGE (Medium-Class Explorer/Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration) proposal. Bill says that the week that he started as project manager was also the week that IMAGE was selected and that it was "the most exciting week of my life!" His co-investigator role includes scientific activities with the Radio Plasma Imager and directorship of the education and public outreach portion of the project. The MIDEX program and the IMAGE mission are described in more detail in two articles elsewhere in this issue.
Bill's connection to the space physics segment of the NSSDC user community and his long history in education and public outreach activities lead to the expectation of significant benefit to NSSDC and its users.
Author:Miranda Beall (firstname.lastname@example.org)