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Dr. Shawn Wright

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Senior Scientist

Currently resides in CA
swright [at]
Areas of Expertise
Targets: Earth, Mars, Meteorites
Disciplines/Techniques: Geology, Mineralogy, Remote sensing
Missions: MER
Mission Roles: Mission science team, Science operations
Instruments: Cameras, FTIR, Spectrometers, X-Ray Diffractometers

Research Interests

Dr. Shawn Wright’s research focuses on impact processes within the inner solar system. His studies include fieldwork to terrestrial impact sites, such as Lonar crater in Deccan basalt, Santa Fe impact structure in New Mexico and Campo del Cielo crater field in Argentina. He works on examining the agreement, or lack thereof, between models, experiments, and observations (field data) regarding impact processes. He is engaged in studying the geologic history and composition of Mars’ surface using a variety of techniques, including spectroscopy, lander/rover measurements, sample analysis, and comparisons with terrestrial analogs. He is a member of the Mars Exploration Rover Mineralogy-Chemistry science theme group and Field Team Lead for SSERVI TREX examining fine-grained and/or basaltic materials. He uses spectroscopic studies of terrestrial impact sites for remote and rover applications.

Professional History

Dr. Wright received his PhD in 2009 from Arizona State University where he conducted laboratory instrumental analyses of terrestrial and martian basaltic impactites for insight into remote thermal infrared data of Mars from rovers and orbiters. He was subsequently a Senior Research Scientist at Institute of Meteoritics, University of New Mexico. Before joining PSI in 2014, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Auburn University. Dr. Wright was the Payload Downlink Lead for the Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometers (Mini-TES) on both Mars Exploration Rovers (MER). He is a member of the Mars Exploration Rover Mineralogy/Chemistry team.

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