Before beginning, I should mention that Jon Gardner will be joining our staff as John Mather's Deputy Project Scientist. He replaces Eric Smith, who now is at Headquarters in the role of the Program Scientist for NGST. Welcome aboard, Jon.
Regarding other key positions on the project scientific staff,the deadline to apply for the NGST Project Observatory Scientist position has been extended to July 8. Please see http://jsearch.usajobs.opm.gov/summary.asp?OPMControl=TP2232 . The Observatory Scientist will work with the Senior Project Scientist and the ISIM Scientist to provide scientific leadership to the entire effort.
As a related aside, applications for the position of Chief
of the Lab for Astronomy and Solar Physics at GSFC are being
solicited. Please see
On other fronts, things are progressing relatively smoothly of late, with both Phase 2 Prime Contractor and Science and Ops Center procurements on schedule. The government team is additionally busy with the business of preparing for "Day One" activities, or the proc3ess of engagement of our new mission partners (the prime contractor and the SWG/IDTs). John and I presented to the National Academy's Space Studies Board (SSB) last Thursday, and it seemed to go very well. Many thoughtful and insightful questions were asked, and it seemed as though the answers were for the most part satisfactory. There were a couple of issues that we couldn't speak to because they involved either procurement sensitive information or fiscal info that was embargoed. But anyway we felt it went fine.
That's it for now...
PS: based on the frequency with which I have written to you lately, the next missive will very likely be the announcement of the new prime contractor!