Christopher McKay

Expertise: Planetary Geologist
Affiliation: Space Science Division - NASA Ames Research Center
Certification/Education: Ph.D. in AstroGeophysics from the University of Colorado


Chris received his Ph.D. in AstroGeophysics from the University of Colorado in 1982 and has been a research scientist with the NASA Ames Research Center since that time. His current research focuses on the evolution of the solar system and the origin of life.

He is also actively involved in planning for future Mars missions including human settlements. Chris been involved in research in Mars-like environments on Earth, traveling to the Antarctic dry valleys, Siberia , the Canadian Arctic, and the Atacama desert to study life in these Mars-like environments. His was a co-I on the Titan Huygen’s probe in 2005, the Mars Phoenix lander mission for 2007, and the Mars Science Lander mission for 2009.

He is currently the Program Scientist for the Robotic Lunar Exploration Program.