Joe Novello was born in Montazzoli, Provincia di Chieti, in Abruzzo on August 23,1941, the youngest of six children . With his parents and the younger of his two sisters, he emigrated to the U.S. ( Scotch Plains, N.J.) in May, 1955 to reunite with his paternal grandmother, four uncles, many cousins and many paesani . By 1966 his three brothers and his older sister and their families reunited in the US. Most of the family still resides in and around Scotch Plains, N.J. where they often reunite for social events. When Joe arrived in the U.S., he was enrolled in the sixth grade of the local Catholic school, but quickly advanced in his studies and graduated from high school in 1960 and from Rutgers University in 1964 with a BS degree in Electrical Engineering. He received a MS in E.E. in June 1966 from N.J. Institute of Technology. In June 1965, he accepted a job with NASA at the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in Greenbelt, MD, and continued his graduate education at Catholic University of America in Space Science and Applied Physics (1966 to 1969). At GSFC, Joe started working as a computer programmer. Two years later he joined a group of electronic engineers developing a small, lightweight low power general purpose central computer for satellites that became the NASA standard central computer (NSCC-1) baseline on many NASA LANDSAT missions and a few DOD missions. He worked as a digital design engineer responsible for many special electronics, data processors and as a commands and telemetry systems engineer on many missions. Joe served as section head, acting branch head, and project coordinator for instruments development, retiring in January, 2006 after 40 ½ years service inorder to pursue personal interests. In 1976, Joe married Joann Bagliere Novello. They have four children: Katherine, Stephanie, Laura, and Peter and six grandchildren (three boys and three girls). His hobbies include financial investments , real estate, gardening, photography, and travel.