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Dr. Lucille Le Corre

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Senior Scientist

Currently resides in AZ
lecorre [at]
Areas of Expertise
Targets: Asteroids, Ceres, Dwarf planets, Europa, Icy satellites, Meteorites, Small satellites, Titan, Vesta
Disciplines/Techniques: Geology, Geomorphology, Ground-based observing, Mapping, Mineralogy, Remote sensing, Shape modeling, Space-based observing, Spectroscopy
Missions: Cassini, Dawn, Hayabusa 1 (Japan), Hayabusa2 (Japan), OSIRIS-REx
Mission Roles: Calibration/Test planning, Data archive, Science operations
Instruments: Cameras, Imaging spectrometers, Spectrometers
Facilities: IRTF

Research Interests

Principal Investigator of a NASA grant that focuses on processing and analyzing color images of asteroid Vesta using the Framing Camera (FC) onboard NASA's Dawn spacecraft. I am producing local and global color mosaics of Vesta, and studying the geology and composition of the surface. I am also a co-Investigator of another NASA project dedicated to calibrate and analyze data from the Hayabusa spacecraft using the Near-Infrared Spectrometer (NIRS) instrument and the Asteroid Multi-band Imaging Camera (AMICA) to study the composition of asteroid Itokawa. I am a team member of the Image Processing Working Group of the OSIRIS-REx mission to asteroid Bennu to help create mosaics using images from the OSIRIS-REx Camera Suite (OCAMS) and contribute to the study of space weathering effects on Bennu. In 2016, I was selected by NASA to be a Participating Scientist for JAXA Hayabusa2 mission to asteroid Ryugu. I will help constrain color properties and surface composition of Ryugu in correlation with surface geology to understand surface alteration. I will support sample site selection, impactor site selection, rover and lander deployment, mission planning and scientific investigations of the Hayabusa2 science team by generating higher-level data products (color maps, shape model and SPICE kernels).

Professional History

Research Scientist at PSI with the following projects:

- Participating Scientist for JAXA Hayabusa2 mission to asteroid Ryugu.

- NASA OSIRIS-REx mission, Image Processing Working Group.

- Processing of Dawn FC images of asteroid Vesta (PI of a PMDAP grant).

- Hayabusa camera and spectrometer data processing of asteroid Itokawa (Co-I of a PMDAP grant).

- NASA Dawn mission at Ceres, associate team member. Analysis of data from the Ceres phase of the mission using the Framing Camera images. Observations using IRTF/SPEX in preparation of the Ceres phase of the Dawn mission.


Research scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Germany (2010-2012):

- NASA Dawn mission at Vesta, Framing Camera team member. I conducted research on Vesta’s geomorphology and mineralogy using the Framing Camera operated from the institute. I was responsible for developing the processing pipeline of all the color data of Vesta, and for mapping Vesta’s surface in a Geographic Information System.


Post-doctoral researcher in the Department of Space and Climate Physics, University College London (2010):

- ESA Mars Express, HRSC associate team member. Processed Mars images from Mars Express and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter missions, and analyzed the geology of specific outflow channels.


I obtained a B.Sc. in applied physics and a Master in Planetary Sciences from University Pierre and Marie Curie in Paris, France. I got a PhD from the University of Nantes in France with the thesis “Geology of Titan from Cassini infrared spectro-imagery and radar SAR datasets” in 2009. I studied the surface of Titan, the largest satellite of Saturn, using VIMS (Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer) and radar data from the Cassini spacecraft. During my PhD, I was a teaching fellow at the University of Nantes.

Honors and Awards

Minor Planet 9285 Le Corre named by the International Astronomical Union

NASA Planetary Science Early Career Fellowship (2014)

NASA Group Achievement Award: Dawn Science Operations Team (2013)

NASA Group Achievement Award: Dawn Science Team Vesta Phase (2013)

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