Ben Bussey
Principal Investigator for Mini-RF on LRO
Ben Bussey

Where did you grow up? Where do you live now? I grew up in Cornwall, England. I now live in Maryland.

How did you get interested in space exploration? I was interested in flying and space from an early age. I remember the first shuttle launch and have always been excited by space exploration, particularly Apollo.

What is your educational background? I have a B.A. in physics from Oxford University and a Ph.D. in astronomy from University College London.

What are your hobbies? I enjoy flying, playing sport, reading, and taking my 2-year-old to the park.

What’s your job on Mini-RF? As deputy principal investigator I have several responsibilities, including organizing science team meetings, helping to plan observations, and interacting with instrument engineers. I will also be analyzing the data that we collect!

What has been the most exciting aspect of working on Mini-RF? The most exciting part has been planning the locations of where Mini-RF will collect data. Using planning and commanding tools produced at the Applied Physics Laboratory, we can target specific craters for observation.

What are you looking forward to the most as Mini-RF begins its lunar exploration? I am looking forward to Mini-RF imaging inside the permanently shadowed regions near both poles. We will be seeing some areas for the first time.

What excites you about exploring the moon? I am excited by the fact that Mini-RF is collecting data that will help engineers and scientists who are planning the next human visits to the moon. I am thrilled to be playing a small role in getting people back exploring the lunar surface.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to get involved in space exploration? Choose subjects you enjoy and study hard. Whilst many people in space exploration are scientists or engineers, people with a wide variety of backgrounds are also involved. The important thing is to enjoy what you do.