Dr Anthony (Tony) Colaprete of NASA Ames’ Space Science & Astrobiology Division/Planetary Systems Branch (Code SS/SST) is the Principal investigator of the LCROSS mission and deputy principal investigator on SSERVI’s FINESSE team (PI Jen Heldmann). He and the LCROSS team, of which Jen was an important member, won the H. Julian Allen award– one of NASA Ames’ highest honors.

The award recognizes the following scientific paper for outstanding significance in confirming the presence of water on the Moon:

Colaprete, A., P. Schultz, J. Heldmann, D. Wooden, M. Shirley, K. Ennico, B. Hermalyn, W. Marshall, A. Ricco, R. Elphic, D. Goldstein, D. Summy, G. Bart, E. Asphaug, D. Korycansky, D. Landis, L. Sollitt, 2010: “Detection of Water in the LCROSS Ejecta Plume“. Science, 330, 463 (22 October 2010), doi: 10.1126/science.1186986.

Congratulations to Tony and the LCROSS team for their accomplishments!

More About Dr. Colaprete

Dr. Colaprete has worked on a variety of space projects ranging from sounding rocket and space shuttle flights, to micro and small satellites:

ESCAPE/SUV (STS-56) – project scientist – A “Get Away Special” cargo-bay experiment
ESCAPE II (STS-66) – project scientist – A “Get Away Special” cargo-bay experiment
DATA-CHASER (STS-85) – A “Hitchhiker” cargo-bay experiment – project scientist and principal investigator of the Lyman Alpha Solar Imaging Telescope (LASIT)
HOMER – A Sounding Rocket New Technology Test Flight – project scientist and principal investigator of the Limb Imaging Far-UV Spectrometer
3Corner-Sat – A micro-sat (LEO) constellation funded by DARPA (launched in December 2004) – project scientist (until leaving CU for NASA)
Citizen Explorer – A small-sat (LEO) funded by CU – project scientists and principal investigator of the ozone spectral-photometer (Speck) (until leaving CU for NASA)

In most cases these projects had limited budgets and aggressive schedules, forcing the project to be innovative, often taking advantage of equipment and efficient labor phasing to stay on schedule and budget.

In addition to his project and instrumentation work, Colaprete is internationally recognized for his work on the nature of the martian climate system. He has developed state-of-the-art cloud microphysical schemes and incorporated them into the NASA/Ames Mars General Circulation Model. He has used these models to show carbon dioxide ice clouds on early Mars do warm the surface through a scattering greenhouse, but not to the levels previously thought, impact events on early Mars can dramatically alter the planet’s climate system and could provide an explanation for many of the fluvial features and atmospheric dynamics can explain the observed offset of the south polar residual ice cap. These findings have had a significant impact on the field, and have motivated follow-up studies by other groups of researchers. In addition to his scientific research, Colaprete has also contributed to various projects at Ames including the Pascal Scout Mission for which he is the deputy principal investigator, the Mars Polar Drill Scout mission for which he is leading the effort on the meteorology package, and the Lunar Robotic program for which he is the science / payload lead on one of the Ames proposals. Colaprete has also formed an instrument working group at NASA Ames whose purpose is to facilitate new business and maximize the use of Ames facilities.

1992 B.A., Physics, University of Colorado
1998 M.S., Astrophysical, Planetary and Atmospheric Science, University of Colorado
2000 Ph.D., Astrophysical, Planetary and Atmospheric Science, University of Colorado

Work Summary:
1990 -2000, Colorado Space Grant Consortium
1992 -2000, Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics
2000 – March 2003, National Research Council Associate at NASA Ames Research Center
April 2003 – August 2003, principle investigator, SETI Institute
August 2003 – present, space scientist, NASA

About the H. Julian Allen Award

The H. Julian Allen Award was established to annually recognize a scientific or engineering paper of outstanding technical merit and significance. The H. Julian Allen award truly is one of NASA Ames’ highest honors.

Any employee of Ames Research Center (ARC) may nominate a scientific or engineering paper of outstanding significance for recognition. All nominations are submitted to the Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS), which arranges a peer-review committee to evaluate the technical and scientific merit of the paper.

All nominations must be made by someone other than the authors. Each nomination must be accompanied by the following information:

A copy of the nominated paper;
A succinct memorandum containing:
Statement of importance of problem addressed by the paper;
Degree to which the paper contributes to solving the problem;
Description of key innovative contributions of the paper;
Impact of paper on general field of research;
Degree of contributions by each author;
Supporting background material;
Two letters of support from outside of Ames that assess the impact of the work in its field of study.


To be eligible to receive the H. Julian Allen Award, nominees must meet the following criteria:
Be a current civil servant at ARC;
Be the senior author of the paper;
The majority of the work must have been done at ARC;
Nominated paper must be at least 2-3 years old and have measurable impact;
The paper must have passed through a peer-review.


One H. Julian Allen Award will be granted per fiscal year. The Center Director makes the final selection. Awardees receive a $10,000 honorarium and a plaque.
Awardees will also give a lecture at the Center.

Posted by: Soderman/SSERVI Staff
Source: NASA ARC

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