Personnel News: October 2016 Archives

NASA Ames workers worry over Superfund site's toxins, Mountain View Voice

"More recently, a 2013 U.S. Department of Defense report found toxic vapor levels exceeding EPA limits inside several occupied buildings at Moffett Federal Airfield, including the NASA Ames convention center and the flight systems research lab. ... Based on the mounting concerns, NASA administrators on Oct. 19 held a first-ever town hall meeting to address issues surrounding the Superfund site. The room was packed with a standing-room only crowd of about 120 people. A panel of officials from NASA, EPA and OSHA gave assurances that employees' health and safety was a paramount priority."

Pacific Southwest, Region 9: Superfund: Middlefield-Ellis-Whisman (MEW) Study Area, EPA

Contamination plume map

Space Biologists Thora Halstead and Ken Souza Honored Aboard International Space Station

"A small plant growth chamber orbiting in space was remotely dedicated in Cleveland Saturday evening. At the annual meeting of the American Society for Gravitational and Space Research (ASGSRC) it was announced that the Veggie unit aboard the International Space Station has been dedicated to Thora Halstead and Ken Souza. A special plaque has been affixed to the Veggie hardware by astronaut Kate Rubin. Copies of that plaque were flown in space and then returned to Earth were presented to Ken and Thora's families this evening."

More Problems For Arecibo

Arecibo Observatory hit with discrimination lawsuit, Nature

"Two former researchers at the troubled Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico have filed a lawsuit claiming that illegal discrimination and retaliation led to their dismissal. James Richardson and Elizabeth Sternke are suing the Universities Space Research Association (USRA), which oversees radio astronomy and planetary science at Arecibo, and the observatory's deputy director, Joan Schmelz -- a prominent advocate for women in astronomy. ... The EEOC ultimately found evidence of discrimination and that Sternke and Richardson were terminated in retaliation for their complaints, according to documents provided by the researchers' lawyer. In their lawsuit, filed on 4 October in the US District Court in Puerto Rico, Richardson and Sternke are seeking more than US$20 million in back pay and damages."

Taking In The View From Wharton Ridge, SpaceRef

"Today I learned that a feature on the surface of Mars has been named after a friend of mine. This was not unexpected since I knew that his name was in the queue waiting for just the right feature to be discovered by the Opportunity rover. "Wharton Ridge" is named after Robert A. Wharton (Bob). Bob was born a few years before me in 1951 and died unexpectedly in 2012. I worked with Bob at the old Life Sciences Division at NASA Headquarters in the late 1980s."

David Webb

Keith's note: I learned last night that David Webb has died. I first met David 30 years ago when I was just entering the space business. He was always willing to offer advice, a spare bedroom when I visited DC, and offer introductions to people in the business. I was not alone in receiving his mentorship. Indeed, over the years, I suspect that everyone in the space community benefited from his interests and activities. A look at his Wikipedia entry may seem voluminous but it is woefully incomplete. He was a gentle soul. Ad Astra.

David C. Webb, Wikipedia


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This page is an archive of entries in the Personnel News category from October 2016.

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