MEDIA RELATIONS OFFICE
JET PROPULSION LABORATORY
CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA 91109. TELEPHONE (818) 354-5011
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov

Contact: Gabrielle Birchak-Birkman

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 28, 2000

DEVIRIAN APPOINTED AS MANAGER OF ORIGINS AND FUNDAMENTAL PHYSICS

       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 Telescope.

       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.

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6-27-2000 GBB
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