Board of Advisors
Robert Gaskell Senior Scientist, Planetary Science Institute
Bob Gaskell studied at Brown University (ScB) and McGill University (PhD) specializing in Elementary Particle Physics. After postdoctoral work at Carleton University and the University of Toronto, he was a research associate at McGill and a professor at Lafayette College. During this time his research interests moved from particle physics to group theory. In collaboration with researchers at McGill and Universite de Montreal, he developed a number of innovative techniques for construction of generating functions. In 1984, Bob joined the Optical Navigation group at Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he spent 22 years coming up with wild and crazy solutions to real problems. He designed fake planets, comets and asteroids for simulations in preparation for various missions, and built real ones by analyzing the imaging data. He retired from JPL in 2006 to join the Planetary Science Institute, a non-profit Tucsonbased group of independent scientists, where he can build real planets and asteroids full-time. With support from NASA, he is currently working on the asteroid Eros, the moons of Saturn, the planet Mercury and our own Moon. In 2007, Bob received NASA's Exceptional Achievement medal for his model of the asteroid Itokawa in support of the Japanese Hayabusa mission. Like many PSI scientists, Bob works remotely, from his home in Altadena, California.