Matt Nelson

Matt Nelson grew up in Casper, Wyoming and while in the army in the 1960s was trained in satellite tracking and communications. He worked at Edwards Air Force Base in California in the mid 1970s as an electronics technician and was involved with tracking aircraft for the Air Force Flight Test Program. In 1978 he went to Houston to work at the NASA Johnson Space Center as an electronic technician on the space shuttle program for Lockheed Martin. The Space Shuttle and Space Station Communications Systems were tested in the Electronics System Test Lab using either space flight qualified or actual space hardware.

Once he finished his Bachelor degree in 1982 he was assigned as the engineer in charge of the shuttle's Ku-Band antenna that was located at the Electronics System Test Lab.  Eventually he also worked on the Space Station antennas also located in the Electronics System Test Lab.

In 1986 he started going to McMurdo, Antartica and the actual South Pole to perform maintenance on two NASA satellite tracking systems located at both places. Between 1986 and 1996 he made several trips to Antartica each lasting about a month. During the times he was deployed he went to both places. From January until November in 1996 Matt wintered-over at McMurdo as the Satellite Communications Engineer, tracking satellites and performing equipment maintenance and then did it again in 2012 from January until the end of August. He went to the South Pole last November (2016) again as the Satellite Communications Engineer and returned home in February of this year (2017).

In 1997 he returned to the Electronics System Testing Lab in Houston and stayed there until he retired in 2009 at which time he and his wife Karoline move to Townsend.