Physics Faculty Lead Conference

Britt Conference

UCF Physics professor Daniel Britt, Ph.D., who was recently selected to take part in the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) New Horizons extended mission, continues to make waves in the world of physics. Most recently, he assisted in organizing the International Conference on the Exploration of Phobos and Deimos hosted by NASA from July 18-19 at NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California.

The International Conference on the Exploration of Phobos and Deimos is a conference held for scientists, engineers, space exploration professionals and students to discuss the status and advancement of the exploration of Mars. This third international meeting particularly focused on Mars’ moons Phobos and Deimos and how powers such as Europe, Russia, and Japan view them as the stepping stones to the surface of Mars. The conference also detailed how their exploration relates to other small bodies and the rest of the Solar System.

Serving on the science organizing committee, Dr. Britt vetted and organized the presentations that were made at the conference. In addition, he presented a poster detailing a graduate seminar held at UCF that focused on the exploration of Phobos and Deimos.

“The whole point of conferences like this is the interaction between the active researches in this field,” explained Dr. Britt. “My major contribution was in the discussion periods that followed every talk. It is quite common for scientists to actually learn a great deal about their own research by presenting it and getting feedback from their colleagues at scientific conferences.”

Fellow UCF physics professor and NASA colleague, Humberto Campins, Ph.D., as well as Florida Space Institute and Planetary Sciences Group associate, Gal Sadrid, Ph.D., were also in attendance. Their scientific interests centered on the different aspects of the exploration of Phobos and Deimos.

“The advantage of a conference like this is to bring everyone together and apply our very best understanding of the key scientific issues to the design of future missions,” explained Dr. Britt. “One of the important aspects is highlighting the things we don’t know and need to find out for future exploration. So, periodic conferences like this are extremely valuable, both for the field of Phobos and Deimos research and for the space agencies.”

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