Watching the Detectives

A long-term project documenting the UV Rocket program at CU Boulder. Initially a part of CASA, the staff and students have come under the umbrella of LASP. With their cooperation, I followed them around at work in the lab, and during travel excursions to NASA Wallops in Virginia and Las Cruces, New Mexico. The university program works with cooperation from several organizations including NASA, White Sands Missile Range, and private aerospace companies such as Ball. Using a smaller amount of money than most NASA research ventures, these organizations perform and fund student astronomical research, software and instrumentation development.

The story of how this work is produced fascinates me, and strikes me as a uniquely American program. The success of these programs demonstrates how much can be achieved when organizations across the country work together, while the reality of the various time and financial constraints contrasts sharply with the popular American image of limitless resources and power.

As I continue to follow the participants around, the images themselves begin to define the story, aside from any of my own preconceived notions for how the work should be presented. I do hope the work functions as a call to action for those who see it: the United States has a unique legacy for funding research that elevates our knowledge of the universe, and I feel that legacy is precious and should be continued as best as possible.

ClientSelf-Directed ProjectServicesPhotographyYear2012-Present