Dr. Amy Mainzer: Cool Rocket Scientist

Dr. Amy Mainzer is an astronomer who works at NASA's Jet Propulsion Labratory.


  1. Amy Mainzer (born 1974) is an American astronomer, specializing in astrophysical instrumentation and infrared astronomy. She is the Deputy Project Scientist for the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer and the Principal Investigator for the NEOWISE project to study minor planets. She has appeared a number of times in the History Channel series The Universe. She also appears in the documentary featurette "Stellar Cartography: On Earth" included on the Star Trek Generations home video release (March 2010).

    The above information is from Wikipedia:
  2. Dr. Amy Mainzer
    WISE Deputy Project Scientist, NASA Jet Propulsion Labratory

    B.S. in Physics, Stanford University, with honors (1995)
    M.S. in Astronomy, California Institute of Technology (2001)
    Ph.D. in Astronomy, University of California, Los Angeles (2003)

    Research Interests
    Asteroids, brown dwarfs, planetary atmospheres, debris disks, star formation
    Design and construction of novel instrumentation for ground and space

    Professional Experience
    Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Astrophysics and Space Sciences Section (2003-present)
    -  Principal Investigator, Near Earth Object Camera (NEOCam), a proposed Discovery mission selected for technology development funding in 2011
    -  Deputy Project Scientist, Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE)Principal Investigator, NEOWISE, an enhancement to the WISE data processing pipeline that will facilitate solar system science, including discovery of new asteroids with WISE

    Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center (1995-2003)
    -  Principal Investigator, Pointing Calibration & Reference Sensor (PCRS) for Spitzer Space Telescope. The PCRS is the Observatory's fine guidance sensor, and it has been operational on-orbit since 2003.

    Selected Awards
    - NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal (2011)
    - NASA Group Achievement Award Near Earth Objects Observation Program Team (2011)
    - NASA Group Achievement Award WISE Project Science Team (2011)
    - Lew Allen Award for Excellence (2010)
    - Muhlmann Award from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific to the Spitzer Space Telescope Team (2010)
    - JPL Ranger Award (2008 and 2011)NASA Graduate Student Research Program Fellowship (2001-2003)
    - National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (1996-1999)

    The above information is from this NASA JPL page:

  3. Dr. Mainzer discusses the origins and orbits of asteroids
  4. Amy Mainzer - Squashy Orbits

  5. Dr. Mainzer and others discuss the WISE project.  Skip to 15:20 in the video to watch her.
  6. WISE L-20 News Conference

  7. Dr. Mainzer discusses the WISE project.

  8. Dr. Mainzer answers a question pertaining to the mythical Planet X.
  9. Amy Mainzer answers a planet X (brown-dwarfs) and WISE mission in hibernation mode questions

  10. Dr. Mainzer gives an update on the WISE project.
  11. WISE Finds Fewer Asteroids