More on the "cheery little item"

Michael O'Dell mo at
Sat Mar 28 08:53:06 CDT 2009

andre kesteloot wrote:
>> Michael O'Dell wrote:
>>> _______________________________________________
> an interesting site by VE3EN
> _
> 73
> André N4ICK

a good friend of mine, Phil Scherrer at the Stanford
Solar Observatory, is Principal Investigator on
what is now the primary instrument on the SOHO satellite.

It didn't start that way - his group at Stanford was
considered "significantly less equal" than the "big names"
doing the "important instruments" on SOHO. however,
after the "big name" instruments arrived on station DOA,
his instrument became the one that saved the entire mission.
and it's worked flawlessly for many, many years longer
than it was supposed to. it's produced gobs of completely
unique data validating all their previous work on the
infrasonic oscillations of the Sun. turns out it rings
continuously like a *very* large bell, expanding and

his instrument was also the only instrument payload NASA has ever
flown that was delivered on time and within all *original* budgets:
dollars, dimensions, mass, power consumption, and heat output. in fact,
his instrument was warehoused for a couple of years while the other
instruments took their own sweet time getting finished and (ahem) 

The PMO office at NASA pleaded with Phil to come be a program
manager since he clearly knew something nobody else
knew how to do.

He's still a solar astronomer and not a bureaucrat. (grin)


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