Ben Clark

Senior Research Scientist
Littleton, CO


Ph.D. Columbia
B.S. Univ. of Oklahoma

Ben Clark took the B.S. from the Univ. of Oklahoma in Physics, followed by graduate work at U.C. (Berkeley) and Columbia. My PhD is in biophysics and my first love is astrobiology, but the majority of my published work in planetary science is in geochemistry, having developed the x-ray fluorescence soil analyzers for the Viking missions and also participated in the Phoenix mission's discovery of perchlorates on Mars. I am currently a science team member of the MER rovers and a Co-Investigator on the MSL "Curiosity" rover's ChemCam investigation, the OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission, and the Stardust NExT mission which flew by comet Temple 1 after returning samples from comet Wild 2. I was also fortunate to participate in the Giotto mission to comet Halley and the Huygens Probe to Titan. For 37 years I was with Lockheed Martin in Littleton, Colorado, serving as Chief Scientist of Space Exploration Systems, which built the Magellan, MGS, Odyssey, and MRO spacecraft. I also headed a group developing PI-led mission concepts, including the Stardust, Genesis, Phoenix, Juno, GRAIL, MAVEN, and OSIRIS missions, as well as several proposed future missions.