Smith Peter

PETER SMITH                                                                                                        Enshrined 2011

Peter Smith was born December 2, 1947 in New York and attended the University of California Berkley where he received a Bachelor’s degree in Physics in 1969. He received a Master’s and Doctoral degrees from the University of Arizona in 1977 and 2009. Dr. Smith began working as a research scientist at the Lunar and Planetary lab at the University of Arizona in 1978. There he has worked on projects providingcameras and optical equipment for NASA space probes for the last 30 years. These projects include the CASSINI probe, Mars Polar Lander, Mars Pathfinder, Beagle 2, and the Japanese MUSES-Cnear-earth asteroid mission. In 2003 thePhoenix mission to Mars received NASA approval with Smith as the principalinvestigator.  The Phoenix mission wasthe first Mars exploratory mission to be led and controlled from a publicuniversity.  The probe was launched onAugust 4, 2007 and spent the next nine moths en route to Mars, finally landingon the planet on May 25, 2008. The lander was controlled by Smith and his team from a mission control center onthe campus of the University of Arizona in Tucson.  In July 2008, NASA announced that samples tested by the probe had for the firsttime proven the presence of water ice on Mars. Smith’s name will be forever linked to the confirmation that there iswater on Mars.