July 8, 2015: WUPPE! Yes, it was as fun as it sounds! and I cannot believe that 20 years has passed since its last flight.
In May 1995, the space shuttle Endeavor blasted off from Kennedy Space Center on STS-67 carrying a suite of ultraviolet telescopes on board: one from Goddard Spaceflight Center, one from Johns Hopkins University, and one (my favorite!) from the University of Wisconsin (also my favorite). The UIT, HUT, and WUPPE telescopes were launched “to view the universe”, as one commentator put it, and were dedicated to observing objects in the ultraviolet wavelength range.
As a fresh graduate of the University of Wisconsin, getting hired to take part in the mission was a highlight of my career (and still is). I worked on the “Targets” side of things, analyzing the data and making it available for the scientists to present during press conferences. The experiences I had and the people I met and continue to stay friends with will always be cherished!