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Wesley Huntress

Wesley Huntress

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Wesley T. Huntress, Jr. is president of the Planetary Society
Planetary Society
The Planetary Society is a large, publicly supported, non-government and non-profit organization that has many research projects related to astronomy...

 in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and Director of the Geophysical Laboratory at the Carnegie Institution. Huntress spent much of his career at NASA's
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

 Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Jet Propulsion Laboratory is a federally funded research and development center and NASA field center located in the San Gabriel Valley area of Los Angeles County, California, United States. The facility is headquartered in the city of Pasadena on the border of La CaƱada Flintridge and Pasadena...

, also teaching as a professor at the associated California Institute of Technology
California Institute of Technology
The California Institute of Technology is a private research university located in Pasadena, California, United States. Caltech has six academic divisions with strong emphases on science and engineering...

, before promotions took him to NASA Headquarters
NASA Headquarters
Two Independence Square, often referenced as NASA Headquarters, is a low-rise building in the two-building Independence Square complex at 300 E Street SW in Washington D.C. The building houses NASA leadership who provide overall guidance and direction to the US government executive branch agency...

. This culminated in Huntress serving as NASA's Associate Administrator for Space Science, starting in 1993. Huntress became an outspoken critic of reductions in the growth of NASA's science budget, and on Thursday, August 17, 2006, he was asked by then-administrator Michael D. Griffin
Michael D. Griffin
Michael Douglas Griffin is an American physicist and aerospace engineer. From April 13, 2005 to January 20, 2009 he served as Administrator of NASA, the space agency of the United States...

 to resign his position with the NASA Advisory Council. On November 2, 2009, he was named by administrator Charles Bolden as chair of the NASA Advisory Council's Science Committee.

In 2004 he was head on a report, The Next Steps In Exploring Deep Space, which proposed a vision for a "stepping stone" approach for incremental space exploration using the Moon, Lagrange Points, Near-Earth Objects, and Mars.

Huntress was awarded a B.S. in Chemistry from Brown University
Brown University
Brown University is a private, Ivy League university located in Providence, Rhode Island, United States. Founded in 1764 prior to American independence from the British Empire as the College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations early in the reign of King George III ,...

 and a Ph.D. in Chemical Physics at Stanford University
Stanford University
The Leland Stanford Junior University, commonly referred to as Stanford University or Stanford, is a private research university on an campus located near Palo Alto, California. It is situated in the northwestern Santa Clara Valley on the San Francisco Peninsula, approximately northwest of San...


During the 1980s, Huntress did game programming
Game programmer
A game programmer is a software engineer, programmer, or computer scientist who primarily develops codebase for video games or related software, such as game development tools. Game programming has many specialized disciplines all of which fall under the umbrella term of "game programmer"...

 on the Apple II computer
Apple II series
The Apple II series is a set of 8-bit home computers, one of the first highly successful mass-produced microcomputer products, designed primarily by Steve Wozniak, manufactured by Apple Computer and introduced in 1977 with the original Apple II...

 as a hobby, creating space flight simulator software for subLogic
Sublogic may refer to:* subLOGIC, a flight simulation company * Sublogic Corporation, a Dutch netlabel...

, Edu-Ware
Edu-Ware Services, Inc. was an educational and entertainment software publisher established in 1979 by Sherwin Steffin and Steven Pederson It was known for its adventure games, role-playing video games, and flight simulators for the Apple II family of computers.-History:Edu-Ware founders Sherwin...

 and Electric Transit.

He was the recipient of the 1998 Carl Sagan Memorial Award
Carl Sagan Memorial Award
The Carl Sagan Memorial Award is an award presented jointly by the American Astronautical Society and The Planetary Society to an individual or group "who has demonstrated leadership in research or policies advancing exploration of the Cosmos." The annual award, first presented in 1997, was created...


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