Baylor professor shares space endeavors

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WACO, Texas – Dr. Peter James is a geophysics professor at Baylor who teaches students how what we learn about outer space can help with technology here on Earth.

“I was on the science teams for three different NASA missions, meaning that I was involved with analyzing the data that came back from those missions,” James says.

His most the most recent mission was being a part of the first space craft to ever orbit the planet Mercury.

“We learned a lot of things about Mercury that we hadn’t known before and haven’t seen on any other planet in the solar system, so that’s some of my upcoming research to study more of that data and analyze it,” James says.

James and his team plans to analyze the tracking data of the space craft to learn more about Mercury.

“That will tell us about the gravity field of Mercury. So from that gravity field, we can study how much mass is in the ground, in different places, and hopefully we can use that to figure out how dense the rocks are on Mercury,” James says.

James says the practical knowledge you gain from learning about space can be applied to studies here.

“There have been a lot of technological innovations that came from NASA that we use in our everyday lives. You can apply the same kinds of techniques to study the Brazos Aquifer like one student here is doing, or to study fractures and oil production,” James says.

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