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Meet: Mark Lupisella

photo of Mark Lupisela
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Hi. My name is Mark Lupisella. I'm an engineer and researcher working at the Goddard Space Flight Center.

I have always been interested in science, technology, and space exploration. As a young boy, I used to launch homemade model rockets. During my early years in high school, I knew I wanted to work for NASA.

While I was in college, I worked at the Glenn L. Martin Wind Tunnel as a Cooperative Education student (Co-op.). The Co-op program is great program that allows students who are in college to work full-time at a job in their field. It takes a little longer to graduate, but it's definitely worth it! I was also a Co-op student at NASA for two years.

As a freshman in college, I learned about the Hubble Space Telescope and thought, "Wow, that's one project I want to work on." I worked on the Hubble Space Telescope systems for 7 years, as engineer and software development manager. My primary responsibility on HST was Ground System Software Development. I was also responsible for the local operational network, which is part of the larger network that carries commands to the spacecraft from the control center and telemetry from the spacecraft to the control center.

I have also been involved in other engineering efforts like wearable computers and in areas of astrobiology I've worked with contamination research regarding a human mission to Mars, artificial life, the search for extraterrestrial life using cooperative robotics and broader societal issues such as ethics and worldviews.

After I got my bachelor's of science degree in physics, I got a masters degree in philosophy of science. Studying the philosophy of science helped me understand how science works, how scientists "do science," and what science and technology mean to society. I am now working on a Ph.D. in biology. My dissertation will be on modeling microbial contamination of Mars from a human mission. My degrees are all from the University of Maryland, College Park.

I love working for NASA. The work is exciting and the people are terrific. NASA has taught us much about the universe and our place in it. I can't think of anything more exciting than that.



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