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

Contact: Michelle Viotti (818) 354-8774

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 28, 2000

FELLOWSHIPS AWARDED FOR CAREER OF THE FUTURE: PLANET HUNTING

       Jobs in the 21st century are only getting better and better, as the call for students with planet-finding talent grows louder. Through the Michelson Fellowship Program, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, Calif., recently awarded three post- doctoral and four graduate fellowships to students with innovative proposals for enhancing NASA's search for planets around other stars.

       "Support of students -- our future astronomers and space scientists -- is a high priority for NASA and JPL," said Dr. Rudolf Danner, director of the fellowship program. "Not only will we benefit from the high caliber of their research, the recipients will have a unique opportunity to participate in current mission work, as well as to prepare for new career opportunities in astronomy."

       Funded by NASA's Origins Program and JPL's Space Interferometry Mission, the fellowships are named for Dr. Albert Michelson, the first American to win a Nobel Prize in physics. Michelson is known as the father of interferometry, a technique that combines and processes light from multiple telescopes to obtain a clear image of distant objects. Interferometry is a key technology for the Origins program in its effort to detect faint, Earth-size planets around stars light years away.

       The annually awarded fellowship sponsors three years of graduate research at the student's host institution and covers tuition, a student stipend, and a small budget for travel and other research expenses. The graduate student award is about $30,000 per year, while the post-doctoral awards range from $60,000 to $80,000 per year, depending on the nature of the research.

This year's graduate fellowships were awarded to: Post-doctoral fellowships were awarded to:        The application deadline for fellowships for 2001 is December 2000. Information is available at the following website:

       http://sim.jpl.nasa.gov/michelson

       The Origins Program seeks to understand the emergence and development of galaxies, stars, and planets, as well as the possibility for life elsewhere in the universe. JPL, a division of Caltech, manages the Origins Program on behalf of NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, DC.

#####
4/28/00 MV
#2000-041