Richard Elphic

Expertise: Planetary Science
Affiliation: NASA Ames Research Center
Certification/Education: PhD Geophysics & Space Physics/UCLA,

BASALT Research Objectives

Assess water abundance via neutron spectrometer and source for field use on a robotic rover, and analysis and interpretation of the data from the instrument.


Rick Elphic is a planetary scientist with interest in the delivery of water and other volatiles to the terrestrial planets. He is the Project Scientist for the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE), which returned data on the Moon’s dust and gas environment. He is an expert in neutron spectroscopy, and has been a member of the Lunar Prospector and Mars Odyssey gamma ray/neutron teams. Rick is currently leading the development of a neutron spectrometer for flight to the lunar surface aboard the Resource Prospector flight project. Now in Phase A, RP will use an instrumented robotic rover to explore the polar regions of the Moon, where ancient ice may be hiding today.