Alfred McEwen, professor of planetary geology at the UA's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory and principal investigator of the HiRISE camera orbiting Mars, has received NASA's Distinguished Public Service Medal.
By tracking atmospheric features on Neptune, a UA planetary scientist has accurately determined the planet's rotation, a feat that had not been previously achieved for any of the gas planets in our solar system except Jupiter.
Beginning July 1, the Biosphere 2 facility in Oracle, Ariz. will become official property of the UA. CDO Ranching & Development will donate real estate and facilities, and the Philecology Foundation will provide $20 million to support ongoing science and operations.
UA engineering students designed and built a planetary rover and demonstrated its capabilities recently at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston. The team received $10,000 to partake in the competition, requiring the rover to negotiate obstacles and traverse difficult terrain.
The UA College of Optical Sciences has been awarded a multi-million dollar contract to polish the 4.2-meter primary mirror for the world's largest solar telescope. Researchers will produce a surface that will allow scientists to view features on the sun in unprecedented detail.