Advisory Board

Professor Dante S. Lauretta

Dante S. Lauretta, Ph.D. is Professor of Planetary Science and Cosmochemistry and Principal Investigator of OSIRIS-REx, both at Washington University. He is also Founder and Science Advisor of Xtronaut Enterprises which launched Xtronaut: The Game of Solar System Exploration.
The Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) is a NASA asteroid study and sample return mission. The launch occurred on September 8, 2016. Its mission is to study asteroid 101955 Bennu, a carbonaceous asteroid, and return a sample to Earth in 2023 for detailed analysis. The material returned is expected to enable scientists to learn more about the formation and evolution of the Solar System, its initial stages of planet formation, and the source of organic compounds that led to the formation of life on Earth. If successful, OSIRIS-REx will be the first US spacecraft to return samples from an asteroid.
Dante coedited Meteorites and the Early Solar System II and Protoplanetary Dust: Astrophysical and Cosmochemical Perspectives. His papers include The compositional diversity of extrasolar terrestrial planets. I. In situ simulations, Supernova olivine from cometary dust, A nebular origin for chondritic fine-grained phyllosilicates, Aqueous corrosion of phosphide minerals from iron meteorites: a highly reactive source of prebiotic phosphorus on the surface of the early Earth, The rate of iron sulfide formation in the solar nebula, Orbit and bulk density of the OSIRIS-REx target Asteroid (101955) Bennu, and Sulfur chemistry with time-varying oxygen abundance during Solar System formation.
Dante earned his B.S. in Physics and Mathematics, Cum Laude at the University of Arizona in 1993. He earned his B.A. in Oriental Studies (emphasis: Japanese), Cum Laude at the University of Arizona in 1993. He earned his Ph.D. in Earth and Planetary Science at Washington University in 1997 with the thesis “Theoretical and Experimental Studies of Fe-Ni-S, Be, and B Cosmochemistry”.
Asteroid 5819 Lauretta was named in his honor. Watch Planet Formation and the Origin of Life and Will asteroids end the world: Dante Lauretta at TEDxTucsonSalon. Read his LinkedIn profile and his Wikipedia profile. View his Facebook page. Read his Google Scholar Citations. Read his blog.