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Dr. Paul Weissman

Senior Scientist

Currently resides in Pasadena, CA
pweissman [at]
Areas of Expertise
Asteroids, Comets, Kuiper Belt, Small satellites | Galileo, Rosetta | Space-based observing, Remote sensing, Photometry, Numerical modeling, Education/Public Outreach, Ground-based observing

Research Interests

Dr. Paul Weissman is a leader in comet studies, and his research focuses on the characterization and understanding of comet nuclei. His research includes the evolution of comets, their connection with the asteroid population, and their role in the evolution of the solar system. Other studies, relevant to comet evolution include examining the dynamical history of the Oort Cloud and its evolution over the formation of the solar system.

Professional History

Dr. Weissman received his Bachelor of Arts in Physics from Cornell University in 1969. He earned two Masters of Science degrees, on in Astronomy from the University of Massachusetts in 1971 and his second in Planetary and Space Physics from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1973. Dr. Weissman was awarded his Ph.D. in 1978 from the University of California, Los Angeles for his work on the Physical and Dynamical Evolution of Long-Period Comets. He has worked at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in a multiple array of capacities, including as a research scientist in the Earth and Space Sciences Division (1979), Mission Scientist for the Mariner Mark II Project (1981 – 1982), Co-Investigator on the Visual Infrared Mapping Spectrometer Science Development Team (1984 – 1988), Deputy Project Scientist on the Comet Rendezvous/Asteroid Flyby Project (1987 – 1992), Co-Investigator on the Near Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (NIMS) experiment on the Galileo spacecraft (1988 – 2003), Deputy Study Scientist for the Champollion Lander on the International Rosetta Mission (1995 – 1996), Project Scientist for the Champollion/DS4 Comet Lander and Sample Return Mission (1996 – 1999), and the Astronomy Science Lead at Table Mountain Observatory (2003 – 2015). Dr. Weissman was a Senior Research Scientist at JPL from 1995 until he joined PSI in 2015.

Honors and Awards

2005, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
2005, NASA Group Achievement Award: Stardust Mission
1997, Letter of Excellence in Reviewing, Icarus
1996, NASA Group Achievement Award: Galileo Probe Relay and Jupiter Orbit Insertion
1995, NASA Group Achievement Award: Galileo Ida Encounter / Dactyl Discovery Team
1993, NASA Group Achievement Award: Galileo Gaspra Encounter Team
1991, NASA Group Achievement Awards: Galileo Orbiter Instrument Design, Development and Test: NIMS Instrument, Science Calibration Subsystem, Instrument Coordinators
1986, Minor Planet 3197 Weissman

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