NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology

Michael Sander has been named director of JPL's Technology and Applications Program (TAP) Directorate, JPL director Edward C. Stone announced. Sander replaces acting TAP Director Dr. R. Rhoads Stephenson.

Sander will oversee two complementary programs within the TAP organization. The Technology Program encompasses advanced technology development activities that enable the successful execution of future space missions, performs research and development for NASA (and sponsors other than NASA) and transfers JPL-developed technology to U.S. industry. The Applications Program recognizes that JPL, as a major national laboratory, has an obligation to serve society by participating in solving problems in areas where JPL's special competencies can make a significant contribution.

Since February 1995, Sander has served as deputy director of JPL's Space and Earth Science Programs Directorate and as project manager for JPL's Develop New Products reengineering activities. Previously, he was manager of JPL's Spaceborne Imaging Radar-C/X-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SIR-C/X-SAR) project. With JPL since 1963, Sander has worked in various capacities in JPL management and project organizations, including management of JPL's Mission Control Center. His early career was spent processing science data from the first missions to Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and beyond.

In the early 1980's, Sander left JPL for five years to serve at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., first as the deputy director of the Life Sciences Division and then as the director of the Shuttle Payloads Engineering Division, where he was responsible for Spacelab and other scientific payloads on the Space Shuttle.

Born in Jerusalem, he earned a bachelor's degree in physics from Occidental College in Los Angeles. A three-time recipient of the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal for his work on the Voyager mission, Spacelab One and the SIR-C Project, Sander is an associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He and his wife, Jane, live in Thousand Oaks.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California.

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