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Headshot of Bruce Betts

Bruce Betts

Director of Projects

bruce.betts@planetary.org
+1-626-793-5100

Dr. Bruce Betts is Director of Projects for The Planetary Society, the world’s largest space interest group.  Dr. Betts is a planetary scientist who earned a B.S. in physics and math and an M.S. in Applied Physics from Stanford and a Ph.D. in Planetary Science with a minor in Geology from Caltech.  He spent several years with San Juan Institute/Planetary Science Institute as a Research Scientist, and later Senior Research Scientist.  He studied planetary surfaces, including Mars, the Moon, and Jupiter’s moons, using infrared and other data, and published several scientific papers on these subjects.  Dr. Betts spent three years at NASA headquarters managing planetary instrument development programs to design spacecraft science instruments. 

At The Planetary Society, he has had copious project management experience, having managed a number of flight instrument (both science and public outreach) projects, including silica glass DVDs on the Mars Exploration Rovers and Phoenix lander carrying millions of names and Mars literature, and the LIFE biology experiment that flew on the Russian Phobos sample return mission.  He is the Imaging Team Lead for The Planetary Society’s LightSail solar sail mission, and led a NASA grant studying microrovers assisting human exploration.  He has also overseen or managed a number of additional projects designed to excite and involve the public in space exploration. 

He regularly writes for The Planetary Society member magazine The Planetary Report, and on his blog on planetary.org.  His twitter feed @RandomSpaceFact provides easy night sky astronomy and random space facts.  He also co-hosts the "What's Up?" feature on the weekly Planetary Radio show (150 radio stations, XM/Sirius satellite radio, and podcast).  He is a frequent guest on History Channel’s The Universe.  Dr. Betts is an Adjunct Professor with California State University Dominguez Hills and his recent Introduction to Astronomy and Planetary Science course is available online. He is an Alumnus Senior Scientist with Planetary Science Institute

Latest Planetary Radio Appearance

Planetary Radio Live Celebrates the Launch of MAVEN

11/18/2013 | 28:50
Listen

The successful launch of MAVEN was covered by Mat Kaplan, Bruce Betts and Emily Lakdawalla, with special, launch site reports from Jim Bell and Bill Nye.

More Planetary Radio shows »

Latest Blog Posts

Intro Astronomy 2014. Class 10: Trans Neptunian Objects including Pluto, KBOs, Comets

Posted 2014/04/18 06:42 CDT | 0 comments

Explore the worlds beyond Neptune including Pluto, Kuiper Belt Objects and comets in this video of class 10 of Bruce Betts' Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy class.

Intro Astronomy Class 9: Titan, Uranus and Neptune Systems

Posted 2014/04/11 02:31 CDT | 0 comments

Examine Saturn's moon Titan and explore the Uranian and Neptunian systems in this video of class 9 of Bruce Betts' Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy class.

Intro Astronomy 2014. Class 8: Icy Galilean Satellites, Saturn System

Posted 2014/04/11 02:28 CDT | 0 comments

Explore the icy moons of the Jupiter System and tour the Saturnian system in this video of class 8 of Bruce Betts' Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy class.

Older blog posts »

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