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Prof. Daniel Scheeres

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Dan Scheeres is the A. Richard Seebass Endowed Chair Professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences at the University of Colorado at Boulder and a member of the Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research. Prior to this he held faculty positions in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Michigan and Iowa State University, and was a Senior Member of the Technical Staff in the Navigation Systems Section at the California Institute of Technology’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.  He was awarded PhD. (1992), M.S.E. (1988) and B.S.E (1987) degrees in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan, and holds a B.S. in Letters and Engineering from Calvin College (1985).  Scheeres is a Fellow of both the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the American Astronautical Society.  He was awarded the Dirk Brouwer Award from the American Astronautical Society in 2013 and gave the John Breakwell Lecture at the 2011 International Astronautical Congress. He has studied the dynamics of the asteroid environment from a scientific, engineering and navigation perspective since 1992. He was involved with the NASA NEAR mission to asteroid Eros and the Hayabusa mission to asteroid Itokawa. He is currently the Radio Science lead on NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission to asteroid Bennu, currently scheduled to launch in 2016. He is also the PI on the Binary Asteroid In-Site Explorer (BASiX) Discovery mission proposal. In 2012 he published a book with Springer-Praxis on orbital mechanics about small bodies entitled “Orbital Motion in Strongly Perturbed Environments: Applications to Asteroid, Comet and Planetary Satellite Orbiters.” Asteroid 8887 is named “Scheeres” in recognition of his contributions to the scientific understanding of the dynamical environment about asteroids.


The Mechanics of Asteroids: Implications for Exploration and Mitigation

This talk will explore our current understanding of the evolution and mechanics of small asteroids in the solar system, with a focus on the Near Earth Asteroid (NEA) population. Our understanding of these bodies has progressed significantly over the last decades, yet many fundamental questions concerning their evolution still exist. Resolution of these questions can be carried out through dedicated ground-based observations of these bodies paired with appropriately chosen scientific characterization missions. These key questions will be reviewed, and the technical challenges that must be overcome to address them will be discussed.

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