Interview with Flight Software Lead Engineer, David Gingerich
What is your role on the mission?
I am the flight software lead engineer.
What excites you most about the SD-NExT Mission?
Being given the chance to contribute something very new and unique to our knowledge of comets and their behavior and evolution. In other words, an opportunity to re-write portions of science textbooks for a second time with the same spacecraft.
Who inspired you growing up?
Several instructors and professors: Dr George Fontenot, mathematics, Dr Kate Bracher, astronomy, and Dr George Ball, religion, who all displayed remarkable enthusiasm and interest in their subjects and dedication to their students.
Is this the only mission you've worked on?
Not by any means. I’ve worked on Mars Global Surveyor, the Gamma Ray Spectrometer for Mars Observer, the Descent Imager and Spectral Radiometer on the Huygens Probe to Titan, Genesis, Mars Odyssey and Stardust.
What is your biggest fear concerning the SD-NExT mission?
That some part of my subsystem will fail to operate as expected or that I will overlook a potential problem anywhere in any system on the spacecraft that will lead to less than 100% mission success.