Dr. Fuk Li has been named program manager of the New Millennium Program, JPL Director for Space and Earth Science Programs Dr. Charles Elachi announced. Dr. Li, who has served as acting program manager in recent weeks, replaces former program manager Kane Casani, who has retired.
Dr. Li will oversee a flagship NASA venture whose goal is the development and testing of revolutionary technologies in space flight so that they may be confidently used in science missions of the future. Through a series of deep space and Earth- orbiting missions, the New Millennium Program will validate the essential technologies and capabilities required for challenging, new types of missions to be flown in the next century. A key element of the program is the teaming of government with industry and academia to improve America's technological infrastructure. The New Millennium Program is managed for NASA's Office of Space Science.
Among the many New Millennium Program missions is Deep Space 1, set to launch on July 1, validating a dozen technologies and gathering scientific observations while flying by an asteroid, Mars and a comet. Deep Space 2, launching in 1999, will send two probes into the Martian soil to test for water vapor. In following years, other missions will include Deep Space 3, flying multiple, telescope-equipped spacecraft in formation to create a huge space interferometer, designed to increase our telescope viewing capability of objects in the universe. Deep Space 4, launching in 2003, will deliver a lander to the surface of a comet nucleus, returning a nucleus sample to Earth in 2010. Earth-orbiting missions include Earth Orbiter 1, launching in 1999, testing new technologies for advanced land imaging.
Li most recently served as manager of JPL's Earth Science Program office. Born in Hong Kong, he earned his bachelor's and doctorate in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before joining the JPL staff in 1979, where he has been involved in various radar remote sensing activities ever since. Li is a recipient of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers' Aerospace and Electronic System Society 1990 Radar Systems Panel Award for his contribution to the development of active microwave remote sensing systems. Dr. Li, a resident of Arcadia, is leading a number of Earth remote sensing experiments in such areas as cloud-profiling radar and rainfall measurement.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California.
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