Artist's concept of Ulysses

Ed B. Massey, who has been acting manager and head of mission operations systems engineering on the Ulysses mission to study the Sun's poles, has been named manager of the spaceflight project.

Massey, whose appointment is effective immediately, was chosen after a six-month search to fill the position vacated by Willis Meeks, who retired January 29, 1996 after 30 years at JPL. As manager, Massey will oversee all aspects of operations, ground communications and scientific data collection for the highly productive Ulysses mission, a joint mission of NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) launched in 1990. The spacecraft completed its first solar orbit in late 1995 and will return to the Sun for its second solar orbit in 2000.

"We are pleased to have Ed's continuing guidance and expertise on the Ulysses mission," said JPL Deputy Director Larry Dumas. "His experience with this international team will ensure the mission's success during Ulysses' second orbit around the Sun."

"We are expecting a very exciting journey over the north and south poles of the Sun when Ulysses begins its next solar orbit," Massey added. "The Sun will be in its most active phase of the 11-year solar cycle and scientists are hoping to gain a great deal more information about its inner workings the second time around."

Before becoming mission operations systems engineering manager of the mission in November 1995, Massey had served as Ulysses project control administrator and science instruments manager. Prior to that, he had served as Ulysses project control administrator since joining JPL in 1987.

A retired Air Force officer, Massey had served from May 1983 to July 1986 as director of Space Test Operations in the U.S. Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center, assigned to the Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif. Before that, he had been deputy director from July 1982 to May 1983 of Systems Engineering and Integration in the Space Defense Systems Air Force Space Division, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif.

In his earlier Air Force career, Massey held a variety of positions in satellite operations, systems requirements and data reduction and analysis for the U.S. Air Force.

A native of Birmingham, Ala., Massey earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering in 1966 from Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Ala., and a master's degree in systems management in 1976 from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

Among his professional affiliations, Massey is a member of the American Geophysical Union and the European Geophysical Society. He has been the recipient of the NASA Exceptional Service Medal for outstanding performance and, in 1992, completed the NASA Management Education program.

Massey and his wife, Claudette, have two children and live in La Palma, Calif.

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