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David Blewett

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Planetary geologist
  • B.A., Astronomy & Astrophysics
    University of Pennsylvania
  • M.S., Geology & Geophysics
    University of Hawaii
  • Ph.D., Geology & Geophysics
    University of Hawaii

David T. Blewett joined the Planetary Exploration Group at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in 2007. Prior to that he was a Principal Scientist at NovaSol, a small employee-owned high-tech company in Honolulu, Hawaii of which he was a co-founder. NovaSol specialized in electro-optical systems, including free-space optical communications, hyperspectral imaging sensors, and real-time data processing systems. His planetary research emphasizes remote sensing, geological analysis, and spectral algorithm development using data from planetary spacecraft including Mariner 10, Clementine, Galileo, Lunar Prospector, NEAR, LRO, MESSENGER and Dawn. He has been a Principal Investigator in NASA Planetary research programs since 2002, was named a MESSENGER Participating Scientist in 2007, and a Dawn at Vesta Participating Scientist in 2010. Dr. Blewett has focused on geological and compositional analysis of UV-NIR spectra and multispectral images, including study of space weathering on the Moon, Mercury, Vesta, and Eros. He was lead geologic mapper on a Vesta quadrangle. He served for three years as Co-Chair of the MESSENGER Geology Discipline Group and as a member of the PI's Science Steering Committee. Dr. Blewett fielded all the questions from the public that were submitted via the MESSENGER Q&A website. In 2015 and 2016 he had two-month Visiting International Scholar fellowships from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, hosted by the Key Laboratory for Lunar and Deep Space Exploration in Beijing. During the fellowships, he lectured on his planetary research and collaborated on analysis of data from the Chang'E lunar missions. He was an Antarctic Search for Meteorites field party member during the 1988-89 austral summer. He is the namesake of asteroid 8997 Davidblewett.

Notable Awards and Leadership

Year(s) Description
2017 NASA Group Achievement Award, MESSENGER Science Team - orbital mission at Mercury
2015, 2016 President's Visiting International Scholar fellowship from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), hosted in Beijing by the Key Laboratory for Lunar and Deep Space Exploration of the National Astronomical Observatories of CAS (NAOC).
2014 Asteroid 8897 named Davidblewett
2012 NASA Group Achievement Award, Dawn Science Team - mission at asteroid Vesta
2009 NASA Group Achievement Award, MESSENGER Science Team - first Mercury flyby
1989 Antarctica Service Medal