Amy Mainzer

Defending the Planet from Falling Rocks -
11:00 am 10/18/2019
Coconino, Tucson Convention Center

The search for falling rocks that could destroy a city… or worse.

Amy Mainzer, a new addition to the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona, will discuss the search for potentially hazardous asteroids and comets that might impact the Earth.

As principal investigator of NASA’s Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer mission, or NEOWISE, Mainzer has overseen the largest space-based asteroid-hunting project in history, resulting in the detection and characterization of an unprecedented number of asteroids and comets, including objects that could potentially pose a hazard to Earth at some point in the future. Mainzer also is the principal investigator of the proposed NASA Near-Earth Object Camera, or NEOCam, a next generation space telescope that would use a similar scientific approach to fulfill a mandate from the U.S. Congress to discover nearly all of the space rocks that could pose a significant threat to Earth. Mainzer holds a doctorate from the University of California, Los Angeles and a Master of Science degree from the California Institute of Technology. She graduated with honors from Stanford University with a Bachelor of Science. Prior to joining JPL in 2003, she worked as an engineer at Lockheed Martin, where she built the fine guidance camera for NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope.