John Noonan is an analyst for the ESA Rosetta Alice ultraviolet spectrograph and a flight controller for the upcoming NASA CYGNSS mission. He graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder earlier this year and spent 3 years there giving talks and shows at the Fiske Planetarium on campus. His current research focuses on comets and their implications for planetary formation.
What is it like behind the scenes before, during, and after the launch of a spacecraft?
Just over a month ago the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft finished its mission by spectacularly diving into the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. How did it observations influence and alter our ideas about the typical formation and lifetime of a comet?