The Planetary Science Institute (PSI) is a research institute based in Tucson, Arizona, focusing on planetary science. Founded in 1972 on a non-profit basis, it is involved in many NASA missions, the study of Mars, asteroids, comets, interplanetary dust, the formation of the Solar System, extrasolar planets, the origin of life, and other scientific topics. It is now actively participating in the Dawn mission, scheduled to explore Vesta between 2011 and 2012, and Ceres in 2015. PSI manages the spacecraft's Gamma-Ray and Neutron Detector, which will map the surfaces of the two minor planets to determine how they were formed and evolved. The Institute's orbit@home is a distributed computing project through which the public can help in the search for near-Earth objects. The Institute is also involved in science education through school programs, popular science books and art. Its scientific Staff are distributed in 16 US states and in the United Kingdom, Switzerland, France, Russia and Australia. Its present director (2009) is Dr. Mark V. Sykes.
Vesta's potassium-to-thorium ratio reveals hot origins
Studies of materials on the surface of Vesta offer new evidence that the giant asteroid is the source of howardite, eucrite and diogenite (HED) basaltic meteorites, supporting current models of solar system evolution and ...
MARSDROP microprobes could expand spacecraft mission capabilities
Microprobes that piggyback on Mars-bound spacecraft could investigate areas currently unavailable to surface instruments, a Planetary Science Institute researcher said.
Two years on, source of Russian Chelyabinsk meteor remains elusive
Two years after a 20-meter rock slammed into the Earth after a meteoroid dramatically fragmented in the atmosphere over the Chelyabinsk region in Russia and injured hundreds of people, its parent asteroid remains elusive, ...
Other asteroids contributed elusive olivine to Vesta
Olivine should be one of the most abundant minerals on asteroid Vesta, but it remains elusive. Scientists working on NASA's Dawn mission to Vesta were initially thrilled to find few scattered remains of this enigmatic mineral ...
Russian meteorite sheds light on dinosaur extinction mystery
A long-standing debate about the source of the asteroid that impacted the Earth and caused the extinction of the dinosaurs has been put to rest thanks to the Chelyabinsk meteorite that disintegrated over Russia in February ...
Area on Mars reveals a surface modified by water over much of planet's history
A new geologic map of part of the ancient Martian highlands produced by Scott C. Mest and David A. Crown of the Planetary Science Institute provides new insights into the planet's history of water modifying the planet's surface.
Scientists study surface composition of asteroid 2004 BL86 during close flyby of Earth
Planetary Science Institute researchers Vishnu Reddy and Driss Takir studied the surface composition of near-Earth asteroid 2004 BL86 during its close flyby of Earth earlier this week.
Imager sends ultra high-res photo from Mars
(Phys.org) —An instrument aboard NASA's Curiosity rover has sent back to scientists on Earth an ultra high-resolution image of a penny the rover carried to Mars.
Curiosity rover has seen much in first two years on Mars
NASA's Curiosity rover marks two Earth years on Mars this week, and Planetary Science Institute researchers are actively pursuing new knowledge of our neighboring planet.
Dawn mission discovers hydrogen on giant asteroid Vesta (w/ Video)
(Phys.org)—The first measurements of the elemental composition of the surface of the giant asteroid Vesta indicate that hydrogen was brought to the body by impactors, research by a team led by Planetary Science Institute ...