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.


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Carbon dioxide glaciers are moving at Mars' South Pole

Glaciers of carbon dioxide are moving, creating deposits kilometers thick today across the south polar region of Mars, something that could have been going on more than 600,000 years, a paper by Planetary Science Institute ...

Widespread megaripple activity found on Martian north pole area

Megaripples, intermediate-scale bedforms caused by the action of the wind, have been studied extensively and thought to be largely inactive relics of past climates, save for a few exceptions. A new paper by Planetary Science ...

Is new finding an asteroid or a comet? It's both

The newest known example of a rare type of object in the Solar System—a comet hidden among the main-belt asteroids—has been found and studied, according to a new paper by Planetary Science Institute Senior Scientist Henry ...

All is quiet among newly studied Centaurs

Often, the squeaky wheel, or at least the shiniest object, seems to get all the attention. In a new study led by PSI Research Scientist Eva Lilly, it is the inactive Centaurs that take center stage and illuminate why other ...

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