Dr. F. Landis Markley has been one of the pillars of spacecraft attitude estimation as well as one of our most important mission engineers. Joining the Computer Sciences Corporation in 1974, he established himself quickly as an expert on all aspects of spacecraft attitude mission support. He moved to the United States Naval Research Laboratory in 1978 and to his current location at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in 1985. Over more than three decades, he has supported more than twenty space missions, most notably the Hubble Space Telescope, the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission, and the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe. His influence on spacecraft attitude estimation is observable throughout the practices of our profession. He has been particularly prominent in the development of analytical tools and operational software for spacecraft attitude covariance analysis and for his numerous and fundamental studies of Kalman filtering and batch techniques for spacecraft attitude estimation. He is the author of many classic papers in spacecraft attitude estimation, dynamics, and control; and was one of the principal contributors to the book Spacecraft Attitude Determination and Control (1978), which has been essential to the education of many astronautical engineers. He was elected Fellow of the AIAA in 1998 and of the AAS in 2007 and has been a Goddard Senior Fellow since 2000. He is a recipient of the NASA Exceptional Service Medal (1994 and 2005), the AIAA Mechanics and Control of Flight Award (1998), and the AAS Dirk Brouwer Award (2005).
The American Astronautical Society will host a special symposium on June 29-July 2, 2008 to celebrate Dr. Markley’s contributions. More information on the symposium can be found here.