Dr. Daniel Britt is the Pegasus Professor of Astronomy and Planetary Sciences at the Department of Physics, University of Central Florida.  He was educated at the University of Washington and Brown University, receiving a Ph.D. from Brown in 1991.  He has served on the science teams of four NASA missions, Mars Pathfinder and Deep Space 1, the New Horizons Mission Science Team for the flyby of the Kuiper Belt asteroid 2014 MU69, and the Lucy Mission Science Team for a series of flybys of asteroids near Jupiter.  He was the project manager for the camera on Mars Pathfinder and has built hardware for all the NASA Mars landers.  He currently does research on the physical properties and mineralogy of asteroids, comets, the Moon, and Mars under several NASA grants and is the director of the Center for Lunar and Asteroid Surface Science (CLASS), a node of NASA’s Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI). He has served as the Chair of the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society and the Planetary Geology Division of the Geological Society of America. Honors include 6 NASA Achievement Awards, election as a Fellow of the Meteoritical Society, and an asteroid named after him; 4395 DanBritt.

Video Links for Dr. Britt’s Talks

Orbits and Ice Ages: The History of Climate.

Economics and Exploration:  A Bit of Historical Perspective on the New Age of Exploration

Toward a Space Based Economy

Why use space resources? What resources are available?

The Economic Geology of Luna and Asteroid Resources – Mineral Evolution, review of the primordial suite of minerals


Research Areas

The physical properties of asteroids and meteorites
The strength of asteroidal materials Asteroid surface properties and surface evolution
Experimental and computational investigation of space weathering processes
Development of simulants for asteroidal materials
Experimental investigations of thermal degradation of asteroidal materials
Effects of space weathering on volatile-rich asteroids.

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