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Ben Bussey

Ben Bussey

Chief Scientist, Intuitive Machines

Dr. Bussey is a planetary scientist who is currently the chief scientist for Intuitive Machines. He earned a BA in Physics from Oxford University and a Ph.D. in Planetary Geology at University College London before moving to the United States. He gained both science and mission experience during his 20 years at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, before joining Intuitive Machines in 2022. He has also worked at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, the European Space Agency, Northwestern University and the University of Hawaii.

Dr. Bussey’s research concentrates on the remote sensing of the surfaces of planets, particularly the Moon. He has a specific interest in the lunar poles, producing the first quantitative illumination maps of the polar regions. He co-authored the Clementine Atlas of the Moon, the first atlas to map both the lunar near side and far side in a systematic manner.

Dr. Bussey spent 5-years at NASA HQ which included roles as the Acting Deputy Associate Administrator of Exploration in NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, and as the Chief Exploration Scientist in the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate. During his time at JHU/APL he was Principal Investigator of NASA VORTICES SSERVI and NASA Lunar Science Institute research teams that considered the exploration and scientific potential of the lunar poles. He was the Principal Investigator of the Mini-RF radar instrument on NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, and Deputy Principal Investigator of the Mini-RF radar instrument on India’s Chandrayaan-1 mission. These instruments acquired the first radar data of the lunar poles and farside.

He enjoys planetary analog field work and has been fortunate to have twice been part of the Antarctic Search for Meteorites expedition to recover meteorites from the Antarctic glaciers.


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