Scientists remain in an ongoing quest to validate the Big Bang theory tracing the early history of the universe. The NASA Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) satellite was designed to study radiation patterns from the first few moments after the universe was formed, in an effort to unravel the mystery of the Big Bang.

Dr. John Mather, recently named to head up the Office of the Chief Scientist for NASA'S Science Mission Directorate, initiated the COBE project. The COBE satellite helped prove that all of the universe's radiant energy was released within the first year after the Big Bang occurred, giving a clearer picture of the formation of the universe. Mather also chairs the science working group of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), which when launched in 2013, will study infrared radiation from the distant reaches of space.

Read the "Who's Who at NASA" interview with Dr. John Mather on page 10 of the January issue, or click here .