Visiting SOHO EOF at GSFC

To visit the SOHO Experimenters' Operations Facility (EOF) at Goddard Space Flight Center, you need to apply for a temporary badge.

US Citizens

If you are a US citizen, send an email with: your full name, work address, work phone number, purpose of the visit, who you will be working with/visiting, and the dates you will be visiting, to the SOHO Experimenters' Analysis Facility Administrator, Joan Rurka. The bare minimum time limit for US citizens is 48 hours between the signature of a form with that information by the correct person and the beginning of the visit, although leaving a much larger margin is highly recommended.

Foreign Nationals

If you are a foreign national (including green card holders), you need to follow the instructions in this document (Word format).

The information on the form will be entered into the system by Joan Rurka. The time requirements for processing after that is 20 working days for foreign nationals from non-designated countries, 60 calendar days for foreign nationals from designated countries*, and 90 calendar days for foreign nationals under the NASA Exchange Visitor Program (J-1 Visa).

Foreign National Badge Types

There are two types of badges issued to foreign nationals: FN and FN-LA. The FN-LA badges give you limited access, i.e. only access between 6am and 6pm on working days (no weekends or holidays).

In order to get a non-limited (FN) badge, you must either have a completed, valid "NAC" (National Agency Check) on file with NASA (they are valid for 3 years), or be on the SOHO Accredited List. (If your name appears on the current Accredited list, you should already have a completed NAC or have been asked to submit the paperwork for one.) If you cannot remember whether you have a current NAC, please contact Joan Rurka.

In order to get a NAC done, you must submit a form referred to as the "NAC form". This form should be filled in electronically or with a typewriter and sent (electronically, printed or scanned) to Joan Rurka at the SOHO EAF. The form will have to be signed in person in front of a GSFC Security official upon entry. Unfortunately, NAC form processing may take anywhere up to 3 months or even a year to be completed, depending on circumstances.

While you're waiting for a NAC to be completed

If your name is not already on the Accredited list, and the NAC process is still ongoing, you will nominally be limited to an FN-LA badge. If an emergency develops and you need evening, weekend, or US holiday access to the EOF, please contact Joan Rurka as far in advance as possible. (We realize emergencies rarely materialize with much warning.) If Joan Rurka is not available, contact Joe Gurman, the US Project Scientist. If neither Joe Gurman nor Joan Rurka can be reached, contact Terry Kucera, the US Deputy Project Scientist.

What to do if you arrive at Goddard and there's no badge waiting for you

One of the most frsutrating things that can happen to a visitor is arriving at the Goddard guardhouse, passport in hand, and finding the guards have no record of the badge you were promised. The guards are supposed to know how to access the system that lists each day's visitors and whom to contact in such cases, but there is a constant turnover in the guard force, and some newer guards will miss important details.

Please remain calm and polite with the guards; they're doing the best job they can, and without further information, they can't issue you a badge no matter how excited you get. Contact Joan Rurka using the phone at the guardhouse; if she's unavailable, contact Joe Gurman or Terry Kucera. You can also ask the guard to check with the International Office, which is now part of the Security division. The two people who handle foreign national badge requests there, Elaine Pearl and Lois Otterson, should also be able to help guards unfamiliar with the system to find information about your visit.

For any questions regarding forms or access, please contact Joan Rurka.

Practical Issues

Badges can only be picked up on workdays between 7 am and 3 pm.

The guards can look up phone numbers or lend you a copy of the Goddard phone directory. SOHO phone numbers can be found on this page

(*) Designated countries: Afghanistan, Angola, Bahrain, Belarus, Bhutan, Burma (Myanmar), China, Congo, Cuba, Cyprus, Egypt, Haiti, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, North Korea, Kuwait, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Macau, Oman, Pakistan, Quatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, Republic of Yemen, Zimbabwe, or the latest list provided by the US State Department.
Last modification: November 21, 2005
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