Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences News

Professor’s Work on NASA Dawn Spacecraft Reveals Secrets of Large Asteroid

Slice of a meteorite

Harry “Hap” McSween, Chancellor’s Professor and Distinguished Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences, presented findings of a mission investigating the asteroid Vesta at a press conference held at NASA headquarters on Thursday. McSween is a co-investigator for the Dawn spacecraft mission, which has been circling Vesta since last July and is slated to stay until late August.

Professor to Present Asteroid Findings at NASA News Conference

Harry McSween

Harry “Hap” McSween, Chancellor’s Professor and Distinguished Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences, will present a new analysis of the giant asteroid Vesta during a NASA news conference on Thursday, May 10. The event will be streamed live on Ustream.

UT Competes in NASA Moonbuggy Race Founded by UT Professor

For six weeks, a team of four UT students worked with old bicycle parts, scrap metals and little engineering expertise inside a garage to build a moonbuggy, a simulation of the lunar rovers used by the Apollo 15, 16 and 17 astronauts. The students raced their moonbuggy in NASA’s 19th annual moonbuggy race at the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala. The race was founded by their mentor Larry Taylor, distinguished professor of earth and planetary sciences.

Jones Professorship Puts UT on the Map for Hydrogeologist

A native of British Columbia, Canada, Larry McKay had to pull out a map to locate the state of Tennessee twenty years ago when he was invited to UT. Knoxville was the place he wanted to go to start his career as a professor after he learned the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences would award him the Donald H. Jones Professorship of Hydrogeology. The endowed professorship, established by 1950 UT geology graduate Donald Jones and his wife Flo, has given McKay the opportunity to combine his love of teaching with research.