Dr. Peter Smith is a Professor Emeritus of Planetary Sciences at the University of Arizona where he held the Thomas R. Brown Distinguished Chair of Integrated Science. His career spans 4 decades during which he has participated in many of the space missions to various planets in the solar system. Combining a background in optical sciences with a deep interest in geology and planetary atmospheres, Dr. Smith has contributed to cameras that have flown to Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Titan.
In 1997 his camera on board the Mars Pathfinder lander returned exquisite pictures of the dry, rocky plains in Chryse Planitia. The world watched as the team drove a small rover around the spacecraft studying the composition of the local rocks and soils.
In 2008, Dr. Smith was the Principal Investigator, or leader, of the Phoenix mission to the icy northern plains of Mars. This mission was operated from its science center in Tucson for five months and found that the ice of the northern plains is a potential habitable zone on Mars. He has won numerous awards including the prestigious NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal. He is an imaging scientist on the OSIRIS-REx mission to return samples from a nearby asteroid.
“Mars One holds promise as the paradigm for settling our neighboring planet. As with any frontier community, it starts small and grows finding resources and purpose that inspire others to join. Certainly our future involves the settlement of Mars, why not start in our own lifetimes?”