Bruce MurrayCo-Founder and Former Chairman of The Planetary Society
Bruce Murray is professor of Planetary Science at the California Institute of Technology, where has been on the faculty since 1960. He participated in the development and interpretation of television images of the first successful Mars probe, Mariner 4 (1965); the subsequent Mars flybys, Mariners 6 and 7 (1969); the first successful Mars orbiter, Mariner 9 (1971-72); and the first probe to Mercury (by way of Venus), Mariner 10 (1974-75).
From 1976-1982 he was the Director of the NASA/Caltech Jet Propulsion Laboratory, with full responsibility for that 5,000-person enterprise during the period of the Viking landings on Mars and the Voyager explorations of Jupiter and Saturn. After returning to a full-time professorial role at Caltech in 1985, he took on a scientific role with the USSR's Phobos '88 mission to Mars, and also established linkages between Caltech and Soviet space institutions. With his students, Dr. Murray continues to conduct research on Mars and its future exploration. In 1980, Dr. Murray co-founded (with Dr. Carl Sagan) The Planetary Society. After serving as the Society's President from 1997 to 2001, he is now the Chairman of the Board of Directors.
Dr. Murray's involvement in the oil business began in late 1955, following completion of his Ph.D. in geology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He worked for three years as an exploration and exploitation geologist in south Louisiana and offshore for a unit of Standard Oil of California. From 1978-84 he was a member of the Board of Directors of the Kerr-McGee Corporation, serving also on the audit committee. From 1982-85 he was a member of the Board of Directors of the Prospect Group, a New York-based investment organization.
He has contributed over 100 professional articles concerning Earth and planetary science and technology and has authored or co-authored six books, the most recent being Journey Into Space, published in 1989 by W.W. Norton. He was the associate director of an award-winning educational film, Mars Minus Myth, first released in 1973 and revised in 1977.