Roger J. Phillips
, Professor of Geophysics with the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, succeeded Dr. Walker as Center Director in 1999 and served until 2007. Professor Phillips is now Professor Emeritus of the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and Institute Scientist with the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado. His research has included the geophysical development and interior structure of solid planets, starting with the interior structure of the Moon and including Venus and Mars; the integration of results from different fields as applied to the volatile and hydrological history of Mars; and most recently the subsurface structure of Mars.
This generation's initial probing beyond our planet with unmanned spacecraft and human explorers is a major turning point in history, fundamentally changing the boundary conditions of human existence. We have taken only the first small steps; the exploration of space will continue as long as humanity exists. The first American in space and the first American in Earth orbit made their flights in spacecraft designed and built in St. Louis. The McDonnell Center is privileged to help carry on this tradition of space exploration. We look forward to the future with enthusiasm and immense curiosity.