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Richard Elphic

Planetary Science
NASA Ames Research Center
PhD Geophysics & Space Physics/UCLA,

FINESSE 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.

Upcoming Activities

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SSERVI / Exploration Science Forum
July 2016
The Exploration Science Forum brings together the Science and Exploration communities to discuss current research regardin the Moon, Near Earth Asteroids, and Phobos & Deimos.
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Third International Conference on the Exploration of Phobos & Deimos
July 2016
The Third International Conference on the Exploration of Phobos and Deimos, subtitled The Science, Robotic Reconnaissance, and Human Exploration of the Two Moons of Mars, will be the third international meeting focused on Phobos and Deimos, and on how their exploration relates to that of other small bodies, Mars, and the rest of the Solar System.

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Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve (COTM), Idaho, USA

Prime FINESSE COTM field deployment:
Summer 2016


International Observe the Moon Night (InOMN)

October 8, 2016
InOMN is a world-wide outreach event to encourage people to observe and learn about our nearest celestial neighbor, the Moon. The InOMN website can be found here.
Division of Planetary Sciences
October 16-21, 2016
The Division of Planetary Sciences (DPS) annual meeting will be held in Pasadena, CA.  This meeting brings together researchers studying planetary objects to present and discuss cutting-edge planetary science.
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American Geophysical Union
December 12-16, 2016
The American Geophysical Union (AGU) meeting is one of the most prestigious Earth and space sciences meeting worldwide.  AGU is held each December in San Francisco, CA.

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