About the Center

Space science is the province of multiple disciplines. Understanding the formation and evolution of the solar system, the galaxy, or the universe is equally the task of the cosmochemist who measures isotopic effects in meteorites, the astronomer who observes planetary atmospheres or interstellar dust, and the astrophysicist who studies high energy emissions and gravitational effects of neutron star mergers.

Faculty, researchers, and students of the McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences belong to one of the traditional science departments, yet overlap in their research. Members of the Center enjoy the diversity of research being conducted and consider the eclectic nature of the Center to be one of the most important aspects of the space sciences program at Washington University.

The McDonnell Center plays a key role at Washington University through endowed professorships, supporting acquisition of sophisticated instrumentation, hiring new faculty, supporting postdoctoral and graduate student fellowships, administering visiting scientist programs, seeding innovative research, and fostering wide-reaching collaborations.  

As we look to the future, space science is central to humanity’s aspiration for knowledge as we seek to explore and comprehend our surroundings and our beginnings.     

Faculty Focus

Randy Korotev:  "What?  Moon Rocks!  Sign me up!"

Korotev's undergraduate research project led to a career of analyzing lunar samples. 


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McDonnell Center lecture on sampling the solar system

McDonnell Center lecture on sampling the solar system

Tread lightly: ‘Eggshell planets’ possible around other stars

Tread lightly: ‘Eggshell planets’ possible around other stars

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