TNCC Faculty Colloquium to Feature Retired NASA Researcher

Published: September 13, 2010

Thomas Nelson Community College’s (TNCC) Department of Communications, Humanities and Social Sciences presents a faculty colloquium Tuesday, October 5 featuring retired NASA Researcher Ed Prior. Entitled “Scientific Investigation of the Shroud of Turin,” the one-hour presentation will begin at 2 p.m. in the Dr. Mary T. Christian Auditorium in Templin Hall on the Hampton campus and is free and open to the public.

The Shroud of Turin is an ancient linen cloth believed to reflect the image of the crucified Jesus Christ. Many who have studied and seen the shroud say the image is a miracle. Others insist it is a medieval painting fraud. NASA personnel made several personal contributions to studies of the cloth in 1978 and to its carbon dating in 1988. Prior was among millions of people who saw the famous cloth on display in Turin earlier this year.

During Prior’s 40-year career with NASA, he worked on several notable research projects, including global greenhouse warming and ozone variations in the atmosphere. He was the principal investigator for PAGEOS, the second largest satellite by volume to be injected into earth’s orbit. There are six references to his research in three different annual editions of “Significant Achievements in Space Science.” During his time with NASA, Prior also helped administer programs to recruit university professors and students to work with NASA in internship and other capacities.

Prior has a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Illinois. He also holds a Master’s degree in Astronomy from the University of Virginia, and another in Information Systems from George Washington University. Prior retired from NASA in 2005 and lives with his wife, Margaret, in Poquoson.

For more information about the faculty colloquium, please contact Dr. Clarence Hundley at 825-2777,


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