When the world stopped due to the pandemic, so, too, did plans to explore outer space. In 2019, NASA had five missions scheduled for the next three years, which were halted due to COVID. With NASA behind schedule, Israeli-American scientist Eliad Peretz helped put the organization back on track.

Peretz, 40, is the mission and instrument scientist for NASA’s Heliophysics Science Division at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center In Greenbelt. After the onset of COVID, Peretz assisted in a mission called GTOSat for a small spacecraft team to map radiation belts around earth. Peretz helped develop a mission to explore solar flaring on the surface of the sun. The missions have since come to fruition.

While the Silver Spring resident and Tikvat Israel Congregation member likely isn’t going to be the man on the moon anytime soon, his work has been instrumental to space exploration.

On May 1, NASA honored Peretz with the Exceptional Achievement Medal for his mission design work.

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