Purdue Space Experts

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; e-mail, purduenews@purdue.edu

Space Experts

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Kathleen C. Howell
Associate professor, aeronautics and astronautics

(765) 494-5786

E-mail: howell@ecn.purdue.edu

Is an expert on spacecraft navigation and orbital mechanics, the motion of man-made objects in space. Has designed innovative trajectories for spacecraft that may help lower the cost of planetary missions. Has discovered points in the solar system where satellites could be safely placed in order to study the sun and to facilitate communication with astronauts on the dark side of the moon. Has collaborated with Russian and European scientists on various projects.

James M. Longuski
Associate professor, aeronautics and astronautics

(765) 494-5139/494-5117

E-mail: longuski@ecn.purdue.edu

Worked for nine years on the Galileo project, designing the orbital path of the spacecraft for its trip to Jupiter and its moons. An expert on orbital trajectories, he and students have found a gravity-assisted trajectory, similar to that of Voyager's, which would support a mission to Uranus, Neptune and Pluto sometime after the year 2000. Is faculty adviser for student group, Students for the Exploration and Development of Space.


Dominick Andrisani II
Associate professor, aeronautics and astronautics

(765) 494-5135

E-mail: andrisan@ecn.purdue.edu

Has extensive research and publishing in dynamics and control of space vehicles and helicopters.

Martin J. Corless
Professor, aeronautics and astronautics

(765) 494-7411

E-mail: corless@ecn.purdue.edu

Research focuses on control systems for aerospace vehicles and robots and other mechanical systems. Is a 1990 Presidential Young Investigator Award winner.

David A. Landgrebe
Professor, electrical and computer engineering

(765) 494-3539

E-mail: landgreb@ecn.purdue.edu

Has served on NASA and National Academy of Sciences' National Research Council advisory committees on space topics that include space issues in general as well as Space Station Freedom and the Mission to Planet Earth/Earth Observatory System. Has been involved with the design of Landsat satellites and instruments used to observe the Earth's environment from space.

Robert E. Skelton
Professor, aeronautics and astronautics

Director, Space Systems Control Laboratory

(765) 494-5132

E-mail: skelton@ecn.purdue.edu

Worked on redesign of control system for Hubble Telescope. Has written more than 100 articles and one book on the control of space systems and vehicles. Has received numerous awards. Has presented numerous invited talks and short courses worldwide, including to European Space Agency and Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Is a fellow of the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics and of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.


John P. Finley
Assistant professor, physics

(765) 494-5048

E-mail: finley@physics.purdue.edu

Uses space-based detectors and large ground-based optical telescopes to study objects such as neutron stars, X-ray binary star systems, white dwarfs and black holes. Is part of an international collaboration of scientists studying high-energy gamma rays originating from extragalactic sources.

James A. Gaidos
Professor, physics

(765) 494-5171

E-mail: gaidos@physics.purdue.edu

Is part of an international collaboration of scientists studying high-energy gamma rays originating from extragalactic sources. Is a member of a research group that designed, built and operated the first optical telescope used for astronomical observations at the South Pole.

Solomon Gartenhaus
Professor, physics

(765) 494-5503

E-mail: garten@physics.purdue.edu

Teaches elementary astronomy, including courses where students build and use a telescope and conduct astronomy experiments on the computer. Is a fellow of the American Physical Society. Works closely with the Wabash Valley Astronomical Society.

Thomas J. Moffett
Professor, physics

(765) 494-5508

E-mail: moffett@vm.cc.purdue.edu

Areas of expertise include observational astronomy, pulsating stars and extragalactic Cepheid variables. Is a member of the International Astronomical Union, American Astronomical Society, Royal Astronomical Society.


Michael E. Lipschutz
Professor, chemistry

Associate head, Department of Chemistry

(765) 494-5326

E-mail: rnaapuml@vm.cc.purdue.edu

Has been a consultant to NASA since 1973. Analyzed lunar samples brought back by Apollo astronauts. Is an expert in measuring trace elements in meteorites and determining their age and origin. Served as a consultant to the Johnson Space Center Lunar and Planetary Sample Team. In 1987, the International Astronomical Union named minor planet 2641 Lipschutz in his honor. Has done extensive radio interviews on space and planetary materials. Since 1992 has been associate editor and financial adviser to the Journal of the Meteoritical Society, Meteoritics. Has written more than 150 scientific papers in various research areas including cosmochemistry, radiochemistry, the Antarctic and extraterrestrial materials processing.


Cary A. Mitchell
Professor, horticulture, plant physiology

(765) 494-1347

E-mail: mitchell@hort.purdue.edu

Directed a NASA center at Purdue to develop ecosystems and technologies to create and maintain self-sufficient colonies on the moon and on Mars. Research focuses on optimizing food crop production for controlled ecological life-support systems in extraterrestrial habitats.

S. Suzanne Nielsen
Professor, food science

(765) 494-8328

E-mail: nielsens@foodsci.purdue.edu

Has expertise in food and protein chemistry; enzymes and enzyme inhibitors; and chemical analysis of foods. Was a member of the research team for Purdue's NASA Specialized Center of Research and Training in bioregenerative life support. This NASA center was established at Purdue to develop ecosystems and technologies to create and maintain self-sufficient colonies on the moon and on Mars.