Ralph McNutt Print




:   Space Physicist

:  Heliophysics, Planetary

  Cassini, INMS, Europa Clipper, PIMS, MESSENGER, Mission Only, NEAR, XGRS, New Horizons, PEPSSI, Parker Solar Probe, ISIS-EPI-Lo, Voyager, LECP

Degree Field of Study Year Attained Institution Name
Ph.D. Physics 1980 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
B.S. Physics 1975 Texas A&M University

Dr. McNutt is the chief scientist for space science in the Space Exploration Sector at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, which he joined in 1992. As project scientist for the MESSENGER mission, he serves as the principal investigator's "right-hand man" in making sure that the spacecraft, mission design and experiment plan answer all six of the major science questions the project will investigate at the innermost planet. He will participate in analysis of Mercury's surface composition using data from MESSENGER's X-Ray Spectrometer and Gamma-Ray and Neutron Spectrometer instruments.

Dr. McNutt is also a co-investigator on NASA's New Horizons (Pluto-Kuiper Belt) mission, a team member of the Cassini Ion Neutral Mass Spectrometer investigation and a science team member of two Voyager investigations. He has been involved in a range of space physics research projects and mission studies, including studies of the magnetospheres of the outer planets, the interaction of the solar wind with the interstellar medium, solar neutrinos, and solar probe and interstellar probe missions for the future.

AGU Index Category AGU Index Sub-Category
INTERPLANETARY PHYSICS Heliopause and solar wind termination
INTERPLANETARY PHYSICS Heliosphere/interstellar medium interactions
INTERPLANETARY PHYSICS Instruments and techniques
SPACE PLASMA PHYSICS Spacecraft sheaths, wakes, charging
Start Year End Year Description
1999 Current Co-Investigator and Project Scientist, MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) (NASA Discovery)
2010 Current Co-Investigator, Integrated Science Investigation of the Sun (ISIS) – Solar Probe Plus (Institutional Co-I for the EPI-Lo Instrument)
2001 Current Co-Investigator, New Horizons (Principal Investigator for the PEPSSI instrument) (NASA New Frontiers)
1990 Current Co-Investigator Voyager PLS and LECP instruments
1992 Current Member, Ion Neutral Mass Spectrometer Team, Cassini Orbiter spacecraft
2015 Current Deputy Principal Investigator, Plasma Instrument for Magnetic Sounding (PIMS) (NASA, Europa)
2005 2006 Principal Investigator - Outer planet radioisotope electric propulsion (NASA - GRC)
2000 2003 Principal Investigator for Space Science Vision Mission: Innovative Interstellar Explorer, Phase II (NIAC)
1998 1999 Principal Investigator for Space Science Vision Mission: Innovative Interstellar Explorer, Phase I (NIAC)
1999 2003 Principal Investigator for Miniaturized Energetic Particle Detector Development (NASA)
1995 1998 Principal Investigator on A Compact Particle Detector (NASA)
1993 1994 Principal Investigator on Studies of the macroscopic and microscopic properties of the heliosphere (MIT)
1995 1997 Principal Investigator on Global heliospheric structure and dynamics
1994 1995 Principal Investigator on Solar Pioneer Pre-Phase A study
1994 1996 Principal Investigator on Global MHD model of Neptune's magnetosphere
1994 2000 JHU/APL Instrument Scientist: Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) X-Ray and Gamma-Ray Spectrometer (XGRS) Facility Instrument
1992 1993 Deputy Project Scientist, Nuclear Electric Propulsion Space Test Program (NEPSTP; DoD/SDIO)
Start Year End Year Description
2013 Current Full Member and Trustee for Basic Sciences, International Academy of Astronautics (IAA)
2011 Current Associate Fellow, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)
2014 Current Member: NASA Advisory Council (NAC) Heliophysics Subcommittee
2014 2015 Chair: NASA Nuclear Power Assessment Study (NPAS)
2008 2009 Co-Chair (with General William Hoover): Committee on Radioisotope Power Supplies, National Research Council (NRC)
2010 Current Member: NASA Standing Review Board on Radioisotope Power Systems
2009 2011 Member: Steering Committee, NRC Solar System Exploration Decadal Survey
2011 2011 Member: NRC Innovations Working Group for the Heliophysics Decadal Survey
1996 1999 Deputy Chairman: NASA Science Definition Team for Solar Probe
1997 2001 Member: NASA Sun-Earth Connections Advisory Subcommittee (SECAS)
2015 Current Chief Scientist for the Planetary Data System (NASA)
2009 2009 Member: NASA Senior Review Panel for the Planetary Data System
2015 Current Chair: Panel on Interstellar Research (PIR) (Committee on space Research - COSPAR)
2004 2008 Member: NASA Science Definition Team (SDT) for Solar Probe
1999 1999 Member: NASA Science and Technology Definition Team (STDT) for Interstellar Probe
1995 1995 Member: NASA Science Definition Teams (SDT) for Pluto Express
2007 2008 Member NRC Committee: New Opportunities in Solar System Exploration
2007 2007 Member NRC Committee: Assess Solar System Exploration
2006 2006 Member NRC Committee: Assessment of NASA's Mars Architecture 2007-2016
2004 2004 Member NRC Committee: Priorities in Space Science Enabled by Nuclear Power and Propulsion
1999 1999 Member: NASA Task Force on Technology Readiness (TFTR)
1999 1999 Member: NASA Sun-Earth Connection Roadmap Team, Galveston Strategic Planning Workshop
Year Description
2016 IAA Laurels for Team Achievement Award for New Horizons
2012 IAA Laurels for Team Achievement Award for MESSENGER
2003 “Best Paper” award 10th International Workshop on Combustion and Propulsion, In-Space Propulsion, Lerici, Italy, 21-25 September 2003
1988 National Finalist for the 1987-1988 class of White House Fellows
The following publication information was downloaded from http://www.researcherId.com/rid/E-8006-2010.