Linda J. Spilker

From AstronomyOutreach network

Jump to: navigation, search
Dr. Linda Spilker with Scott W. Roberts at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Linda J. Spilker Ph.D. is the Project Scientist for the Cassini Mission to Saturn, and is a leading expert on planetary ring dynamics.


AstronomyOutreach network Interview

Scott Roberts interviews Linda Spilker in the Mission Control Center at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory on YouTube.


A native of Minnesota, Linda Joyce Bies was born in Minneapolis. Married to Thomas R. Spilker, both Linda and Tom are planetary scientists having both worked on the Voyager Mission. Spilker was a Research Assistant in 1975 in the Geology Department at Cal Tech, joining the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (where she has spent her entire professional career) in 1977 as a scientist on the Voyager I and II Missions. From 1993-98 Linda was the Hermes Discovery Mission Proposal Deputy Principal Investigator, and eventually joined the Cassini Mission in 1990. In 2010, she took on her current role in which she directs the entire Cassini Project team's scientific investigations.

Her Projects Include:

  • Cassini Project Scientist (2010 - Present)
  • Cassini Deputy Project Scientist (1997 - 2010)
  • Cassini Mission Scientist (1990 - 1997)
  • Cassini CIRS Investigation Scientist (1990 - 1992)
  • Cassini Assistant Study Scientist (1988 - 1990)
  • Hermes Discovery Mission Proposal Deputy Principal Investigator (1993 - 1998)
  • Voyager IRIS Experiment Representative (1979 - 1990)
  • Voyager IRIS Assistant Experiment Representative (1977 - 1979)

Science Work by Linda Spilker:

  • Cassini Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS) Co-Investigator (1990 - present)
  • Visiting Scientist at University of Paris 7 (2001, 2010)
  • Principal Investigator, Cassini Data Analysis Program (CDAP) (2009 - 2012 )
  • Principal Investigator for Ring Structure and Dynamics, OPR (2004 - 2006)
  • Principal Investigator for Planetary Ring Studies in PG&G (1993 - 1997, 1999 - 2002)
  • Co-Investigator on Coherent backscatter opposition effect in PG&G (1990 - 1997)
  • Co-Investigator on compositional mapping of Io using mutual satellite occultations (1990 - 1991)
  • Voyager Photopolarimeter (PPS) Science Associate (1984 - 1990)
  • Voyager Infrared Radiometer & Spectrometer (IRIS) Science Associate (1988 - 1990)


Linda Spilker is a prolific author, presenter, and lecturer having appeared on numerous documentaries, television interviews, and on many other venues where she interprets cutting-edge planetary science. She is scheduled to be a keynote speaker at the 2018 Starlight Festival at Yerkes Observatory.


  • NASA Exceptional Service Medal (2013)
  • NASA Group Achievement Award Cassini Solstice Pre-Integration Team (2011)
  • NASA Group Achievement Awards for Cassini CIRS Team, Cassini Outreach, Cassini Ring Working Group, Cassini Saturn Working Group, Cassini Magnetospheres Working Group, Cassini Project Management (2009)
  • Distinguished Alumna Award from California State University, Fullerton (2005)
  • NASA Group Achievement Award for Cassini Jupiter Flyby (2000)
  • Hall of Fame Award, Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District (1999)
  • Two NASA Group Achievement Awards, Cassini CIRS and Cassini Public Outreach (1998)
  • ESA Award for contribution to Huygens Probe (1997)
  • Distinguished Alumna Award for Natural & Social Sciences from California State University at Los Angeles (1996)
  • NASA Exceptional Service Medal, Voyager IRIS Neptune Encounter (1990)
  • NASA Scientific Achievement Award (1982)
  • Seven (7) NASA Group Achievement Awards for Voyager Mission (1982 - 1989)
  • California State University Fullerton Dept. of Physics Faculty Prize for Scholarship (1977)

External links

Personal tools
Registered Users