Issue 20-20, May 9, 2020
- IN MEMORIAM: FRANCK HERSANT (1977-2020)
- REMINDER: FRIDAY MAY 15 DEADLINE TO SUBMIT WRITE-IN CANDIDATES FOR DPS 2020 ELECTION
- COMMUNITY NOTICE: **NEW MERCURY EXPLORATION ASSESSMENT GROUP (MEXAG)** – CALL FOR STEERING COMMITTEE NOMINATIONS
- SMALL BODIES ASSESSMENT GROUP (SBAG) COMMUNITY SURVEY FOR DECADAL REPORT
- SMALL BODIES ASSESSMENT GROUP (SBAG) STEERING COMMITTEE POSITIONS OPEN
- NOMINATIONS REQUESTED BY JUNE 1ST FOR THE 10TH PAOLO FARINELLA PRIZE
- THE 6TH INTERNATIONAL PLANETARY DUNES WORKSHOP GOES VIRTUAL
- 4TH COSPAR MEETING ON REFINING PLANETARY PROTECTION REQUIREMENTS FOR HUMAN MISSIONS TO MARS
- PLANETARY MISSION CONCEPT STUDIES (PMCS) WORKSHOP
IN MEMORIAM: FRANCK HERSANT (1977-2020)
Franck Hersant, CNRS researcher at the Laboratory of Astrophysics in Bordeaux
(LAB), passed away suddenly of unknown causes in late April. He was 43 years old.
After graduate studies in fundamental physics at Paris 7 University and the University
of Grenoble in 1999, Franck Hersant defended his doctoral thesis in 2002 on turbulence
in the solar nebula under the direction of Bérengère Dubrulle (CEA-Saclay) and Daniel
Gautier (LESIA / Obs. Paris- Meudon-Nançay). He then joined the Institute of Theoretical
Astrophysics in Heidelberg, Germany. After postdoctoral work at LESIA in 2005 and
LAB in 2006, Hersant was recruited to the CNRS in 2008 and continued his research at
the LAB on the formation of the Solar System including isotopic fractionation, turbulent
mixing and the physico-chemical composition of comets and planets. He expanded his
fields of expertise into gas-grain interactions, chemistry in circumstellar disks, planetary
atmospheres and the interstellar medium, self-gravitating systems in rotation, planetary
migration and the effects of tides. Franck was a key contributor to the success of numerous
research projects and theses. The diversity of the subjects and his approaches to them
reflect his brilliant, curious and lively intellect.
The scientific community has lost an exceptional researcher. Those who had the chance
to know him, both professionally and personally, will remember a humble, sensitive,
altruistic person, always kind, warm and deeply endearing. He leaves a huge void behind him.
Expressions of sympathy may be sent to Franck’s family at
REMINDER: FRIDAY MAY 15 DEADLINE TO SEND WRITE-IN CANDIDATES FOR DPS 2020 ELECTION
The DPS Nominating Subcommittee has identified the following candidates for the
2020 DPS elections for Vice Chair, Committee, and Student Representative.
Note that following the changes made to the DPS Bylaws in 2019, this year we will
be electing one Student Representative to the DPS Committee:
Vice-Chair (1 to be elected):
o Diana Blaney, JPL
o Nader Haghighipour, University of Hawaii
Committee (2 to be elected):
o Jessie Christiansen, IPAC
o Edgard Rivera-Valentin, LPI
o Kelsi Singer, SwRI
o Matt Tiscareno, SETI
Student Representative to the DPS Committee (1 to be elected):
o Malena Rice, Yale
o Maya Yanez, USC
According to the DPS Bylaws, the Student Representative shall be a Full Member,
Graduate Student Member, Undergraduate Student Member, International Member,
or an Affiliate Member. The Student Representative shall be enrolled in a degree
program at the start of the term of office. The Student Representative term of office
is two years; therefore, the next Student Representative election will be in 2022.
Per the DPS Bylaws, additional candidates for Vice Chair, Committee and Student
Representative, supported by a petition of at least 20 DPS members, may be nominated
by May 15th. Please send any nominations to the DPS Secretary, Anne Verbiscer, at [email protected].
The DPS Committee thanks the members of the Nominating Subcommittee for
their dedicated service to the DPS:
Carrie Nugent (Chair)
Desiree Cotto Figueroa
COMMUNITY NOTICE: **NEW MERCURY EXPLORATION ASSESSMENT GROUP (MEXAG)** – CALL FOR STEERING COMMITTEE NOMINATIONS
The NASA Planetary Science Division (PSD) is pleased to announce the formation
of a new Mercury Exploration Assessment Group (MExAG). This community-based,
interdisciplinary body will provide science input and analysis needed to plan and prioritize
Mercury research and exploration activities. Membership of MExAG, and participation
in its activities, is open to all members of the planetary science and exploration community
who are interested in the exploration of Mercury.
MExAG is now accepting nominations for its initial Steering Committee. See the
MExAG website for full information. Nominations will close at 11.59pm (EDT) on May 27th, 2020
so that the Steering Committee can be in place before the Planetary Science and Astrobiology
Decadal Survey White Paper submission deadline.
Steven A. Hauck, II (Case Western Reserve University)
Shoshana Weider (on behalf of PSD Director, Lori Glaze)
MExAG NASA Liaison
SMALL BODIES ASSESSMENT GROUP (SBAG) COMMUNITY SURVEY FOR DECADAL REPORT
SBAG has posted a survey that queries the community for opinions on research
priorities and missions regarding small bodies. Please fill it out before May 25, 2020.
It should take about 10 minutes.
Bonnie Buratti, for the SBAG Steering Committee
SMALL BODIES ASSESSMENT GROUP (SBAG) STEERING COMMITTEE POSITIONS OPEN
We are soliciting up to five positions open on the Steering Committee of the Small
Bodies Assessment Group (SBAG), with terms starting in August 2020.
The SBAG Steering Committee organizes SBAG meetings, writes the official SBAG
findings, and takes a leadership role in other activities where community input on topics
of interest is needed. The Steering Committee members should be as diverse as the
community, in terms of topical interest (asteroids, comets, meteoroids, TNOs, KBOs,
observational, experimental, computational, sample handling, etc.), demographics,
experience, type of employer (commercial, small business, academia, government),
and other parameters.
We are looking for members with expertise in the following areas:
• Human Exploration Lead – We desire an individual actively involved in,
studying, and aware of Human Exploration and the current challenges and progress
in this field to lead related SBAG activities
• At-large members (2 to 4) – Any member of the small bodies community from
any career stage is welcome to apply.
Terms are for three years. Application for Steering Committee Membership requires
a) a two-page CV, which should include a description of participation in SBAG or
other small bodies community organizations, and b) a short (one-page or equivalent)
statement of interest. Previous participation in SBAG is preferred, but not required.
To indicate your willingness to serve in any of these positions, please email Bonnie
Buratti ([email protected]) by May 25, 2020, and include a two-page CV
and your statement of interest. The current Steering Committee will select new members
prior to the 23rd Meeting of SBAG, June 1-2, 2020.
Bonnie Buratti, SBAG Steering Committee Chair
NOMINATIONS REQUESTED BY JUNE 1ST FOR THE 10TH PAOLO FARINELLA PRIZE
Full call for nominations: https://lagrange.oca.eu/images/CALL_Paolo_Farinella_Prize_2020.pdf
The tenth Paolo Farinella Prize will be awarded to a young scientist with outstanding
contributions in the field of planetary science concerning “Structure, Physics and
Dynamics of Giant Planets”, including work on the composition, atmospheric dynamics,
and interior structure of giant planets inside or outside of our solar system. The award
ceremony will be hosted by the European Planetary Science Congress (EPSC) meeting
in Granada, Spain (27th of September to the 3rd of October 2020). It will also honor the
outstanding scientific contributions of Adam Showman (1968-2020) who had accepted
to be a member of this prize committee and passed away unexpectedly twenty years
after Paolo Farinella.
Nominations must be sent by email not later than June 1st (extended from May 15
[email protected], using the form downloadable from
The nominations for the “Paolo Farinella” Prize can be made by any researcher that
works in the field of planetary sciences following the indications in the attached form.
Self-nominations are acceptable. The candidates should have international and inter-
disciplinary collaborations and should be not older than the age of Paolo when he
passed away, 47 years, on May 15, 2020.
Tristan Guillot for the 10th Paolo Farinella Prize Committee
THE 6TH INTERNATIONAL PLANETARY DUNES WORKSHOP GOES VIRTUAL
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 6th International Planetary
Dunes Workshop is going virtual. The revised dates are: May 12-13,
2020. The focus will be white papers and white paper concepts. Day 1
will be contributed science talks with a focus on the Decadal and day 2
will be a series of white paper presentations with extended
discussions. Registration is open and free but you must register to get
the virtual meeting pass code. More information can be found at:
4TH COSPAR MEETING ON REFINING PLANETARY PROTECTION REQUIREMENTS FOR HUMAN MISSIONS TO MARS
19-20 May 2020
This meeting series is to address knowledge gaps in planetary
protection in the timeframe between now and the first crewed flight to
the Martian surface. The meeting output will feed into subsequent
COSPAR reporting on this topic. The 2020 meeting is on “Technology and
operations for contamination control” and will be in two parts: a
virtual meeting on 19-20 May (~4hr programs on each day, starting at
9:00am EDT) followed by an in-person meeting on TBD date. Day one of
the virtual meeting, to be held via WEBEX, will present updates in
planetary protection and spaceflight programs, and an overview of
workshop findings to date. Day two will focus on spacecraft hardware
and operations technologies, particularly emphasizing the interface
between hardware performance and contamination control/planetary
Contact Valerie Chabot ([email protected]) for access information.
PLANETARY MISSION CONCEPT STUDIES (PMCS) WORKSHOP
The Planetary Mission Concept Studies Workshop previously scheduled for
March 15, 2020 at LPSC 51 will now take place virtually on May 26–27, 2020.
For further information and the Agenda, please visit:
Send submissions to:
Anne Verbiscer, DPS Secretary ([email protected])
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