|UND astrophysicist tapped to lead NASA Deep Space Network panel|
UND professor George Seielstad was recently tapped to chair a national panel that will recommend future design and mission priorities for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Deep Space Network (DSN).
DSN, through a global network of radio antennas, captures and manages the vast stream of data showered on Earth daily by thousands of U.S. and international satellites and other space probes. These data include some of the most celebrated space images, including stunning portraits of our own solar system neighbors and images of far-out stars and galaxies.
Seielstad, an astrophysicist who managed one of the country's top radio telescopes, has launched several academic initiatives at UND, including the Department of Earth System and Policy, the Center for People and the Environment, and the Upper Midwest Aerospace Consortium. He is well-known in NASA circles for his intense commitment and contributions to DSN and is regularly consulted for his expertise in this space exploration enterprise.
Besides being a singular professional honor for Seielstad, his work on the DSN panel -- whose members, a select group of top NASA and other scientists and engineers, picked him for the job -- will significantly enhance his teaching and advisory roles at UND, he says.
"Yes, this kind of stuff takes up lots of time and energy, but I learn an enormous amount when I participate in these activities," says the ever-enthusiastic Seielstad, whose principal career scientific interest is radio astronomy (the detection, gathering, and analysis of the radio energy emitted or reflected by celestial bodies such as planets and stars).