(Scheeres, Daniel J. - 2017) -- Membership uri icon



  • Daniel Scheeres has made his mark in space, quite literally. In recognition of his work, colleagues in his field renamed an asteroid in his honor. Throughout his scholarly life, Scheeres has worked to understand the motions of small bodies in space—focusing especially on asteroids and moons. Early in his career Scheeres collaborated with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory on NEAR, the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous mission, which was the first to orbit an asteroid and the first to touch down on its surface. Since then he has striven to understand the complicated physics of asteroids, whose irregular shapes and inconstant densities can lead to unexpected phenomena in their orbital mechanics. Scheeres uses radio science data to measure the gravity coefficients of asteroids, extrapolating from that their mass distribution, and he is currently serving as the radio science lead and co-investigator for NASA’s OSIRIS Rex Asteroid Sample Return Mission.
    Professor Scheeres has been at CU since 2007 and has served as an integral part of the Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research (CCAR). He leads the Celestial Spaceflight Mechanics Laboratory at the university and has received numerous internal and external awards, including a Dean’s Award for Outstanding Research and a Faculty Research award, both from the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. He has been elected fellow to numerous prestigious scientific organizations, including the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the Celestial Mechanics Institute and the American Astronautical Society.

award or honor for

year awarded

  • 2017