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Regents’ Professor Michael J. Drake, 1946-2011

September 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Under Drake’s leadership, the UA’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory grew from a small group of geologists and astronomers into an international powerhouse of research into the solar system.

Michael J. Drake, Regents’ Professor, director of the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory and head of the department of planetary sciences, died Wednesday at The University of Arizona Medical Center-University Campus in Tucson, Ariz. He was 65.

Drake, who joined the UA planetary sciences faculty in 1973 and headed LPL and the planetary sciences department since 1994, was the principal investigator of the most ambitious UA project to date, OSIRIS-REx, an $800 million mission designed to retrieve a sample of an asteroid and return it to Earth. OSIRIS-REx is due to launch in 2016. It is the largest grant or contract the UA has ever received.

Full Story: http://www.uanews.org/node/42011

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