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Marty Huisjen
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Mission - Biographies

Marty Huisjen
Instrument Technical Manager, Deep Impact
Marty Huisjen

What is the coolest thing about Deep Impact?
Most of what we're going to learn about comets is going to take place in about 18 minutes - the time between impact by the impactor spacecraft and closest approach by the flyby spacecraft. It's an opportunity to pick up a lot of solar system knowledge in a very short time.

Why do you like working at Ball Aerospace?
I get to work with a lot of smart and dedicated people, solving very interesting problems, with potentially exciting outcomes that could expand our science knowledge. (I also like the lunchtime exercise opportunities and the proximity to the mountains.)

How did you end up in the aerospace industry?
Hughes Aircraft was willing to hire Ph.D. physicists when the academic pipeline for physicists got filled up.

What do you do in your spare time?
Volunteer work; teach Sunday school in inner city Denver; bicycle (mountain & road); golf; softball; ski.

What is one yet-to-be achieved life goal?
Break 80 on the golf course. I always thought about running a marathon, but my right knee tells me that will never be achieved.

What do you hope to learn from the Deep Impact mission?
What comets are made of, how they are held together, and how big a hole we can make.

Who inspired you?
I had an excellent high school math teacher who got me interested in math. Physicists in general inspired me when I realized they could describe physical phenomena in mathematical language.

Were you a science-oriented kid?
I liked sports, music, and academics, but I wasn't particularly science oriented. I started college with the idea of becoming an engineer, but physics grabbed me.

What was your favorite book as a kid?
Robinson Crusoe.

What did you want to be when you were a kid?
A baseball player.

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Last Updated: 28 Jun 2010