Science Projects

The dedicated team at the Science Projects Branch provides oversight and support to numerous, cutting-edge, research projects and science teams across the Division. In addition to the  projects listed below, they also manage the Chandra X-ray Observatory Program.

Earth Science



  • Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE)
  • Lynx X-ray Observatory

Optical Telescopes

  • Predictive Thermal Control (PTC)
  • Segmented Mirror Technology Program (SMPT)


  • Full sun Ultraviolet Rocket Spectrometer (FURST),
  • Marshall Grazing Incidence X-ray Spectrometer, (MaGIXS)
  • Hinode
  • Scintillation Prediction Observations Research Task (SPORT)
  • Chromospheric Lyman-Alpha Spectro-Polarimeter (CLASP)
  • Chromospheric Lyman-Alpha Spectro-Polarimeter (CLASP 2)

Congratulations to Chandra on its 21st Anniversary

​On July 23, 2020, the Chandra X-Ray Observatory celebrated a full 21 years in orbit! The same day in 1999, the space shuttle Columbia mission STS-93 launched from NASA's Kennedy Space Center and began a four-day mission to deliver Chandra to low-Earth orbit.  Chandra achieved orbital insertion via an attached 2-stage Inertial Upper Stage rocket motor and was placed in its final orbit using Chandra's Integral Propulsion System within days of launch. Marshall Space Flight Center has managed all phases of the Chandra program over the years and continues to manage the mission in its operating phase. For details, see:

Alabama A&M University 2021 Youth Motivation Task Force Outreach Program

Shelia Nash-Stevenson (ST14) and Alphonse Sterling (ST13) participated in the 2021 Youth Motivation Task Force Outreach Program (YMTF) at Alabama A&M University (AAMU) virtually as a Consultant Team Lead.  The YMTF program provides an opportunity for professionals from various backgrounds to interact with students, informing them about diverse career options within the private and public sectors. Teams of two to four professionals visit classrooms across campus, sharing career advice, words of wisdom and encouragement, and motivating students to stay focused on earning their college degrees. Nash-Stevenson led Team 6 who visited eight classrooms and spoke to approximately 120 students. Sterling was also a part of Team 6 and won the Michael Nobles Newcomers Award for his enthusiasm and connection with the students. Nash-Stevenson won the Earlie Rich Award for dedication, motivation and outstanding service.

Female Space Science Heroes Featured in New Interactive Application

Now anyone can virtually "meet" women who have blazed trails in space and related science fields in a new app released on 4/29/20 through a collaboration between the Smithsonian and NASA. The new project, "Reach Across the Stars: A Universe of Explorers," is a free augmented reality (AR) app that can be used on most AR-compatible tablets and smart phones. This app will allow users to explore the universe and unlock the often-overlooked stories of women and their contributions to space exploration and science.

Women are featured in short "stories" (one to two minutes) and longer "journeys" (five to eight minutes). Some of the women in the stories of this new app include computer scientist Grace Hopper, astronomer Nancy Roman, mathematician Katherine Johnson, physicist and chemist Marie Curie and astronauts Mae Jemison and Sally Ride. This project is not only about women, it is created exclusively by women. In addition to Arcand, the team includes creative technologist Sasha Samochina, deputy manager of the Ops Lab at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory; filmmaker and technologist Mandy Mandelstein; and designer Kristin DiVona and videographer April Jubett, both of the Chandra X-ray Center (CXC).

The app is available for free and can be downloaded in major app stores and from .

For more information see:

Women in space illustration

Karen Gelmis Selected as Science Projects Branch Chief (ST14)

We are pleased to announce the selection of Ms. Karen Gelmis as the new Science Projects Branch Chief/ST14. Ms. Gelmis (Karen) has over 16 years of experience in NASA project management, program integration and independent program assessment. Her project management experience covers the full lifecycle spectrum of programs and projects. Karen was the project manager for the ISS Waste and Hygiene Compartment, integrating Russian hardware into a United States Operating Segment (USOS) rack which launched on Space Shuttle flight STS-112 in November, 2008. As a Program Integration engineer for the NASA Space Launch System (SLS) Program, she was a planning team lead for the SLS PDR and KDP-C and led the development of the SLS Program Plan. Karen has extensive previous experience with systems integration- specifically in the ISS vehicle office with responsibility for ECLSS system technical and programmatic baseline oversight, and hardware development projects. She’s served as a Review Manager for several science projects including SMAP, LandSat9, ICESat and GRACE. Currently Karen serves as the Review Manager for JWST and is also the Study Manager for the 2020 Astrophysics Decadal Survey Lynx Mission Concept Study.

Chandra High Resolution Camera at XRCF
Chandra High Resolution Camera at XRCF

Chandra is celebrating its 20th anniversary!

Listen to a Public Radio Hour special on Chandra featuring Marshall scientists, Dr. Martin Weisskopf and Dr. Jessica Gaskin, as they join historian Brian Odom to talk about Chandra's discoveries.

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