Dr. John McNamee, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, has been appointed project manager for Outer Planets/Solar Probe, which encompasses three planned missions-- Europa Orbiter, Pluto-Kuiper Express and Solar Probe.
McNamee will continue in his present role as project manager of the 1998 Mars Surveyor mission, with Outer Planets/Solar Probe as an additional role. After the launches of the Mars '98 Climate Orbiter on December 10, 1998, and the Mars '98 Polar Lander on January 3, 1999, McNamee will assume management of Outer Planets/Solar Probe on a full-time basis. Robert Staehle, former manager for the Ice and Fire Preprojects, has been named deputy project manager for Outer Planets/Solar Probe.
"We'll travel to three completely different destinations from the beginning to the end of the solar system," McNamee said, "from the Sun to Jupiter's moon Europa to Pluto and the Kuiper Disk." Europa Orbiter will look for evidence of liquid oceans on the icy moon Europa, while Solar Probe will swoop closer to the Sun than any previous spacecraft, and Pluto-Kuiper Express will fly past Pluto, its moon Charon and into the distant Kuiper Disk.
McNamee has served as the 1998 Mars Surveyor project manager since May 1995. Before that, he was manager of the Mars Exploration Preprojects and mission design manager for the Mars Pathfinder project. His nine-year career at JPL has also included positions as engineering office deputy manager and navigation team chief for the Magellan mission to Venus. His work on Magellan earned him NASA's Exceptional Service Award.
McNamee was born in Fort Sill, OK, but spent most of his youth in Hollywood, FL. He earned his bachelor of science degree in economics from the University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, in 1975, and went on to receive a master's degree and doctorate from the University of Texas, Austin.
JPL manages the 1998 Mars Climate Orbiter and 1998 Mars Polar Lander mission and the Outer Planets/Solar Probe projects for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, DC. JPL is a division of California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA.
News Media Contact818-354-5011