Jump to navigation
Lunar and Planetary Laboratory & Department of Planetary Sciences | The University of Arizona
LPL has long been a leader in researching the small bodies of the solar system. Active research includes:
Two world-renowned groundbased asteroid survey programs: SPACEWATCH®, directed by Dr. Melissa Brucker, claims a number of firsts in hunting for small bodies, many related to being the first to use CCD-scanning routinely; and Catalina Sky Survey, under the direction of Eric Christensen, has led the world in asteroid discoveries each year since 2005.
NEO Surveyor, optimized for the task of finding and characterizing the impact risks posed by potentially hazardous objects.
The first American asteroid sample-return mission. OSIRIS-REx, with Professor Dante Lauretta as the Principal Investigator, was launched in 2016, arrived at asteroid Bennu in 2018, began its return to Earth in 2021, and is on track for Fall 2023 delivery.
The OSIRIS-APEX mission, led by Assistant Professor Dani DellaGiustina, will reprise the discoveries of the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft at a second asteroid, Apophis.
Several groups active in meteorite research, led by professors Jessica Barnes, Pierre Haenecour, Dante Lauretta, and Tom Zega.
Research into the orbital evolution of the main asteroid belt and the Kuiper Belt, led by Regents Professor Renu Malhotra.
LPL also has a long history of comet research, which continues with new and ongoing studies by Professor Walter Harris and Professor Emeritus Uwe Fink.
Assistant ProfessorDeputy Principal Investigator, OSIRIS-RExPrincipal Investigator, OSIRIS-APEX
Regents ProfessorPrincipal Investigator, OSIRIS-REx
ProfessorPrincipal Investigator, NEOWISE and NEO Surveyor
Regents ProfessorLouise Foucar Marshall Science Research Professor
Research Professor (Retired)
Research ProfessorDeputy Principal Investigator, OSIRIS-APEX
University of Arizona Space Institute DirectorProfessor Emeritus
PTYS Graduate Student
Research ScientistPrincipal Investigator, Spacewatch
Associate Research, DCC
Research Scientist/Senior Staff Scientist
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Research Scientist/Observer, Spacewatch
Postdoctoral Research Associate, DCC
Research Specialist, Senior
R&D Engineer/Scientist, NEO Surveyor