WashU Expert: Mission complete

Ray Arvidson, professor of Earth and planetary sciences and the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor, talks about the end of Opportunity’s longer-than-expected 15-year mission — he was the deputy principal investigator for the Mars exploration rover for NASA.
Jeffrey G. Catalano

Catalano, collaborators to explore emergence of life on Earth

NASA’s Astrobiology Program has awarded $9 million to a multi-institution team for the Earth First Origins project, led by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Jeffrey G. Catalano of Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis is a co-investigator.
Ray Arvidson

Arvidson to receive Weidenbaum Center Award for Excellence

Raymond E. Arvidson, the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, will receive the Weidenbaum Center Award for Excellence Medal. The award will be given at a ceremony held during the Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government, and Public Policy annual dinner April 2. This award honors individuals who have made major contributions to both scholarship and public service. 

Zhang receives NASA early-career faculty award

Fuzhong Zhang, PhD, assistant professor of energy, environmental and chemical engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, has received an early-career faculty award from NASA.

Coming soon: First encounter with a new class of worlds​

After an epic journey across the breadth of the solar system, the New Horizons spacecraft is finally nearing its destination: the Pluto system, a staggering three billion miles from Earth. William McKinnon, a planetary scientist at Washington University in St. Louis, explains that our understanding of Pluto has been transformed in the nearly 10 years the probe has been en route to its target. ​

Ray Arvidson offers updates on Mars rover missions

With all the fanfare about Mars rover Curiosity landing safely on the Red Planet on Aug. 6, it’s easy to forget that there’s already a rover on Mars — an older, smaller cousin set to accomplish a feat unprecedented in the history of Solar System exploration. WUSTL’s Raymond E. Arvidson is playing key roles in both Mars missions.

Vaporizing the Earth

A team of WUSTL scientists have vaporized the Earth — if only by simulation, that is, mathematically and inside a computer. They weren’t just practicing their evil overlord skills. By baking model Earths, they are trying to figure out what astronomers should see when they look at the atmospheres of super-Earths in a bid to learn the planets’ compositions.

NASA’s next priorities

The National Research Council is conducting a series of “Town Hall” meetings across the country to roll out the Planetary Science Decadal Survey 2013-2022 Wednesday, April 6, and the McDonnell Center for Space Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis will be hosting one of the events at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 6, in Room 201, Crow Hall. It will consist of a one-hour presentation by Amy Simon-Hall of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, who was a member of the survey’s steering committee, followed by a one-hour question-and-answer period.  

WUSTL-led Moon mission is finalist for NASA’s next big space venture

Nearly 40 years after the Apollo astronauts first brought samples of the Moon to Earth for study, researchers from Washington University in St. Louis are leading an effort to return to the Moon for samples that could unlock secrets of the early Solar System. Known as MoonRise, the proposed Moon mission is one of three finalists now bidding to become NASA’s next big space science venture, a $650 million mission that would launch before 2019.
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