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Richard P. Binzel

Professor of Planetary Sciences and Margaret MacVicar Faculty Fellow.

Richard Binzel is one of the world’s leading scientists in the study of asteroids and Pluto. As the inventor of the Torino Scale, a method for categorizing the impact hazard associated with near-Earth objects (NEOs) such as asteroids and comets, his ongoing telescopic research includes the spectral characterization of asteroids posing a potential hazard to Earth as well as those that may be most easily reachable by future robotic and human missions. His scientific analysis has shown the link between major meteorite groups and their formation and source locations. Asteroid number 2873 bears his name, an honor bestowed by the International Astronomical Union in recognition of his contributions to the field. His mapping efforts of Pluto in the 1980s revealed a diverse surface entreating for exploration, finally achieved in 2015 as a co-investigator on NASA’s New Horizons mission. He is also a co-investigator on NASA’s OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission where he leads the development of a student-built flight instrument, the Regolith X-ray Imaging Spectrograph (REXIS).

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See also: Academia Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Private land-grant research university

Richard P. Binzel News

NASA plans to use nukes against a killer asteroid

Digital Trends - 12-Mar-2018

NASA has designed Hypervelocity Asteroid Mitigation Mission for Emergency Response craft. 8.8-to...