Dr. Lisa Mazzuca, Mission Manager
Dr. Lisa Mazzuca is the NASA Search and Rescue Deputy Mission Manager. She began her career at GSFC in 1991 as a Flight Dynamics software engineer, where she developed and coded mathematical specifications related to spacecraft orbit trajectories. She received a master’s degree in Astrophysics from John’s Hopkins University in 1997 and soon after joined the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Project to become the HST Operations Instruments Manager. Dr. Mazzuca led multiple large-scale instrument anomaly boards, one of which was instrumental to the first ever on-orbit instrument repair by astronauts. During her tenure with HST, Dr. Mazzuca was also an on-call Mission Operations Manager, and handled the identification and resolution of multiple spacecraft anomalies. Dr. Mazzuca accepted the position of Operations Integration and Test Manager for the Servicing Mission 4 Program in 2005, guiding the operations ground test program for the new and repaired instruments as well as the communications to HST via the Space Shuttle Atlantis. She led the successful completion of the large-scale Servicing Mission Ground Testing (SMGT) program, and the HST communications and interface testing with the Orbiter. In 2006, she received a doctorate in Astronomy from the University of Maryland. Her scientific focus is in optical spectroscopy and imaging of the nuclear regions of galaxies, including circumnuclear rings and starburst regions. Outside of NASA, Lisa is a Captain in the Baltimore County Police Auxiliary Unit, and has been a member of the Aviation and Marine units since 1994. Part of her mission in both units is Search and Rescue, and she is a certified aviation hoist operator and thermographer.
Deputy Mission Manager
James W. Christo, Ground System Manager
Mr. Christo rejoined the search and rescue program in the fall of 1998 as the ground systems manager. He manages the System Evaluation and Development Laboratory (SEDL) and provides support to the Polar Operational Environmental Satellite (POES) and Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) projects. In the mid 1970's, he participated in the ATS-5/6 Position Location and Aircraft Communication Experiments (PLACE) experiments and the first field experiments that showed the feasibility of a satellite based search and rescue system. After that, he worked for the Navy in the Naval Air Systems Command and Office of Naval Research. In 1980 he joined GSFC's Network Compatibility Testing activity, an area he worked for 18 years of which 10 years as the manager. His function was to conduct system level tests to show radio frequency compatibility between spacecraft being built and NASA's tracking stations, including TDRSS. Most notable was his work on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), where he was the leader of a government/contractor team that provided support to the project. Accomplishments included: building of a special van for support of the project, performing project RF testing, conducting network compatibility testing, providing launch support and managing the development of the programmable data formatter, a precursor to the modern day programmable telemetry processor. Mr. Christo holds a BS degree in electrical engineering and a MS degree in applied physics.
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