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Rocket Scientist Kouveliotou Elected To NAS

435875main_chryssa_bio_226Greek astrophysicist Chryssa Kouveliotou has been elected in a group of 83 scientists to the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in recognition of distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.

At the start of the year she was named senior scientist for high energy astrophysics within the Science and Technology Office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center.

Kouveliotou, a NASA astrophysicist since 2004 and longtime collaborator with NASA’s science mission, has been the principal investigator on numerous research projects in the United States and Europe.

Throughout her career, she has worked on multiple missions, including the International Sun Earth Explorer-3, the Solar Maximum Mission and the Burst and Transient Source Experiment (BATSE), which flew on NASA’s Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory.

She has received many awards for her work, including the Rossi Prize in 2003. In 2002, she received the Descartes Prize, which recognizes scientific breakthroughs from European collaborative research in any scientific field. She has published 382 papers in refereed journals and has been among the top 10 most-cited space science researchers in published journals worldwide.

A native of Athens, Greece, Kouveliotou received her doctorate in 1981 from the Technical University of Munich, Germany. She earned her master’s degree in science from the University of Sussex, England, in 1977, and her bachelor’s degree in physics from the National University of Athens, Greece, in 1975.

As Kouveliotou has revealed, “When I was still in Greece, I was watching Neil Armstrong making the famous first step on the moon. I was so fascinated that I decided immediately that I wanted to become an astronaut. But there weren’t any Greek astronauts so I chose another path: astronomy”.

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