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David Rothery

David Rothery

Professor of Planetary Geosciences, The Open University

I became Professor of Planetary Geosciences at the Open University in November 2013, having been a Senior Lecturer in Earth Sciences since 1994. Before that I was a Lecturer here. I am now in the Department of Physical Sciences, but until 2011 was in the former Department of Earth Sciences. During 1999-2004 I was Director of Teaching and Geosciences Programme Director. I have also been Leader of the IAVCEI Commission on Remote Sensing, and in 2005 I was appointed to the PPARC Solar System Advisory Panel and the BepiColombo Oversight Committee.

In May 2006 I was appointed UK Lead Scientist (now lead Co-Investigator) on MIXS (Mercury Imaging X-ray Spectrometer), which is the only UK Principal Investigator instrument on BepiColombo, the European Space Agency mission to Mercury to be launched in 2017. I chair ESA's Mercury Surface and Composition Working Group. I was also a member of the Science Advisory Panel for C1XS, the X-ray spectrometer on Chandrayaan-1 (launched 22 Oct 2008).
In 2006-7 I served on the ESSC/ESF Ad Hoc Group on Definition of a science-driven European scenario for space exploration.

My research interests centre on the study of volcanic activity by means of remote sensing, and volcanology and geoscience in general on other planets. My landmark book 'Planet Mercury: From Pale Pink Dot to Dynamic World' was published by Springer-Praxis on 14 Dec 2014. I also wrote 'Volcanoes, Earthquakes and Tsunami, A complete introduction' (new edition 2015) and 'Geology, A complete introduction' (new edition 2015) for Hodder's 'Teach Yourself' series, and 'A Very Short Introduction to Planets', Oxford University Press (2010). A companion volume 'A Very Short Introduction to Moons' was published in November 2015.

How geological maps made the Apollo moon landings worthwhile

Jul 22, 2019 13:33 pm UTC| Insights & Views Science

I still remember a cartoon in a newspaper in July 1969, just before the first Apollo moon landing. It showed the ground crew reminding the astronauts as they boarded their rocket, Dont forget to bring back some rock! This...

China goes where no one has gone before – the moon's far side

Jan 04, 2019 16:05 pm UTC| Insights & Views Science

In a spectacular few days for solar system exploration during which NASA whizzed the New Horizons spacecraft past the Kuiper Belt object 2009 MU69 (somewhat controversially nicknamed Ultima Thule) and eased OSIRIS-REx...

Europe's set to blast off to Mercury – here's the rocket science

Oct 20, 2018 15:30 pm UTC| Insights & Views Science

The European Space Agency (ESA) will launch its BepiColombo mission to the planet Mercury from its spaceport near the equator in Kourou, French Guyana, on October 20. My involvement in the mission means that I will be...

Space Science Series

Proof: Saturn moon Enceladus is able to host life – it's time for a new mission

Apr 14, 2017 01:56 am UTC| Science

Ever since studies started suggesting that chemical reactions between water and rock on Saturns moon Enceladus could provide enough energy in the water to feed microbial life, scientists have been searching for proof that...

Space Science Series

Solar system with seven Earth-like planets found around nearby star – here's what they could be like

Feb 28, 2017 07:12 am UTC| Science

There have been many discoveries of potentially habitable planets orbiting stars other than our own over the last few years. Now things are getting even more exciting. Scientists have documented a star surrounded by no...

How old is our moon?

Jan 12, 2017 14:37 pm UTC| Science

Most scientists agree that the Earth has pretty much always had its moon. Details of the moons composition (in particular the isotopic mixture of heavier and lighter versions of various elements) are too similar to the...

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Economy

US investment banks take funding intended for small businesses

Investment banks advising on corporate dealmaking received tens of millions of dollars from the $660 billion Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which were earmarked to assist small businesses in the pandemic-induced...

Canada urged to focus on boosting economy than managing debt

Analysts say Canada should focus on implementing measures to boost economic growth and incentives to get people back to work instead of managing its budget deficit. Due to the countrys growing debt, Fitch downgraded...

EU warns of decisive action against US over trade disputes

The EU is threatening to take decisive action against the US over its unwillingness to settle the issue of aircraft subsidies and its plan to conduct new investigations in trade deficits. The aircraft trade dispute...

S. Korea posts record-high forex reserves of $410.75-B

South Koreas foreign exchange reserves reached a record high of $410.75 billion in June, having gained $3.44 billion from May due to profits and investment returns from overseas assets and a weak dollar. The June...

International banks sue Argentine soy crusher for diverting funds

International creditor banks are suing Argentine soy crusher Vicentin of diverting hundreds of millions of dollars and have asked a US court to subpoena records as part of a lawsuit, including wire transfers and bank...

Politics

Joe Biden: Former VP assembles aides for Pennsylvania campaign

The Biden campaign is zeroing in on the swing states for the upcoming elections in November. This time, the former vice president has taken on several aides to lead the charge in his campaign in Pennsylvania. The Hill...

Melania Trump: Former aide to FLOTUS to write a tell-all book

There have been quite a few books written about first lady Melania Trump, the latest being by Washington Post reporter Mary Jordan called The Art of Her Deal. Now, another book is being written about the first lady, but...

Donald Trump: POTUS says waving of the Confederate flag is "freedom of speech"

100% uniqueness President Donald Trump has recently ripped into NASCAR for its decision to ban the Confederate flag in its events following the changes sparked by the death of George Floyd to put an end to the...

Melania Trump’s Independence Day dress makes headlines, prompts fact-check reports

United States First Lady Melania Trump has received both applause and criticisms for her fashion choices over the years. However, her eve of Independence Day dress garnered social media attention for quite a unique reason...

Science

Black hole: Scientist addresses the concern that the universe could collapse into a supermassive black hole

There have been many theories suggesting what could happen when the universe has reached its final or ultimate end or at least what would happen once the Sun dies out. One scientist, in particular, weighed in on the...

Archaeologists discover remains of guillotine victims inside a chapel in France

Being executed by guillotine seems like the most gruesome type of execution there is for its bloody nature. Archaeologists have recently uncovered the skeletal remains of around 500 victims of the deadly machine inside the...

NASA: Hubble Space Telescope photographs a supernova remnant

Along with the creation of celestial objects such as stars, destruction is also present in the form of violent supernovas that would follow dying stars. The Hubble Space Telescope was able to capture a remnant from a...

Archaeologists find proof of tooth decay and cavities in 9,000-year-old discoveries

It is clear that many problems that were once prevalent in ancient times are no longer a problem today and vice versa. However, there are some problems that, as archaeologists have found, have been actually been present...

Technology

‘World of Warcraft’ bonus events reward players with passive reputations buffs

World of Warcraft players looking to improve their in-game reputation faster than the normal process will have several chances to do it until next week. All they have to do is join special events, including the Cataclysm...

‘The Sims 5’: Would EA launch it on Nintendo Switch?

EA and Maxis life simulation series has to be one of the most popular video game franchises ever. It is then only natural for fans anticipating the release of The Sims 5 to ask if the next installment would mark the IPs...

‘Kingdom Hearts 4’: What ‘Re:Mind’ tells fans about Sora’s fate and the franchise’s future

The wait for Kingdom Hearts 4 has officially started when players complete the missions and stories in the KH3: Re:Mind DLC released earlier this year. Fans should make sure they explore all the endings included in the...

‘GTA 6’: Is the next game already in development?

This year, the GTA V title will officially become a game that is supported by three generations of consoles from both Sony and Microsoft. Fans may find it exciting or disappointing depending on how much they want to get a...
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