Dr. Richard R Vondrak

Dr. Richard R Vondrak

  • 301.614.6014
  • NASA/GSFC
  • Mail Code: 690
  • Greenbelt , MD 20771
  • Employer: EMERITUS
  • Brief Bio

    Dr. Richard R. Vondrak is a Consultant for Lunar Science and Exploration in the Solar System Exploration Division at the NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD. He received his bachelor's degree in physics from the University of California at Berkeley in 1966 and his doctorate in space physics and astronomy from Rice University in 1970. His doctoral research was a rocket-borne measurement of electrical currents in the aurora borealis, which was followed by a postdoctoral research position in Stockholm, Sweden. He returned to Rice University in 1971 for a research position in lunar science, and worked in the Apollo Science Operations Center during the last three Apollo missions. He then joined the Stanford Research Institute for research in ionospheric and magnetospheric physics. Later he joined the Space Sciences Laboratory at the Lockheed Palo Alto Research Laboratory, ultimately becoming the Director of Space Physics.

    In 1995 he became the Chief of the Laboratory for Extraterrestrial Physics at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in Greenbelt, Maryland, responsible for research and flight projects in heliophysics, planetary science, astrochemistry, and astrobiology. In 2004 he served as the first Director of the Robotic Lunar Exploration Program at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC. In 2005 he organized the Solar System Exploration Division at GSFC, with responsibility for research and instrument development for a wide range of solar system objects, and was its first Director. He also served as the Project Scientist for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, responsible for the scientific performance of the mission. In 2013 he retired and became a part-time consultant to GSFC.

    Dr. Vondrak is the recipient of the prestigious Presidential Award for Meritorious Senior Executives, as well the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, the NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal, 29 NASA Group Achievement Awards, and many other awards. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and a member of several other professional societies. He has served on numerous advisory committees for NASA, other government agencies, universities, and international organizations.

    His primary research interests are in lunar science, including lunar volatiles and the interaction of the solar wind with the Moon, and in space plasma physics, particularly the electrodynamics of the aurora. He has published more than 130 papers in scientific and technical journals, edited two books, and presented more than 300 papers at national or international scientific conferences.
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    Education

    Ph D., Space Physics and Astronomy, Rice University, Houston, Texas (1970)

    B. A., Physics, University of California at Berkeley (1966)

    Positions/Employment

    2013 - Present

    Consulting Scientist for Lunar Science and Exploration, Solar System Exploration Division

    NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center

    As a part-time rehired annuitant he assists the SSED in strategic planning with specific emphasis on the formulation of innovative concepts for new lunar and planetary missions. He also assists the development and implementation of new science objectives for the extended Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter mission as an LRO Associate Project Scientist.

     


    2008 - 2013

    Deputy Director, Solar System Exploration Division

    NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center

    Responsible for research and flight projects in several laboratories with about 300 scientific and technical personnel, including approximately 100 civil servants. Activities include experimental research, development of space instrumentation, and the archiving of data in planetary science, astrochemistry, astrobiology, space geodesy, and laser remote sensing. Project Scientist for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.

     

    2005 - 2008

    Director, Solar System Exploration Division

    NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center

    Responsible for research and flight projects in several laboratories with about 300 scientific and technical personnel, including approximately 100 civil servants. Activities include experimental research, development of space instrumentation, and the archiving of data in planetary science, astrochemistry, astrobiology, space geodesy, and laser remote sensing. Project Scientist for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.

     

    4/2004 - 12/2004

    Program Director, Robotic Lunar Exploration Program

    NASA, NASA Headquarters, Washington DC

    As first RLEP Director, initiated the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter mission, formulated program requirements, developed the program operating plan, established and co-chaired the Lunar Exploration Executive Committee, and presented briefings to Congress.
     

    1995 - 2005

    Laboratory Chief, Laboratory for Extraterrestrial Physics

    NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center

    Responsible for leading a laboratory of 160 scientific and technical personnel, including approximately 80 civil servants. A broad program of experimental and theoretical research based on satellites, rockets, ground-based observations, laboratory studies, and theoretical investigations. Primary research areas were the physical properties and processes in the solar system, including the solar wind, planetary magnetospheres, ionospheres, and atmospheres, comets, and the magnetohydrodynamics of space plasmas. Lead Project Scientist for the Solar Terrestrial Probes program. Co-Director of the Sun Earth Connection Education Forum. Participated in the planning and implementation of national programs in space science.

     

    1993 - 1995

    Director of Space Physics

    Lockheed Palo Alto Research Laboratory, Palo Alto, CA

    Responsible for leading and directing two laboratories with up to 150 personnel in areas of atmospheric physics, space science, solar physics, astrophysics, and scientific space payloads. Responsible for developing new business areas, transferring technology to Lockheed product divisions, and maintaining close professional contact with customers and with university and national laboratories.

     

    1984 - 1993

    Manager of Space Sciences Laboratory

    Lockheed Palo Alto Research Laboratory, Palo Alto, CA

    Responsible for the technical and management direction of up to 110 scientific, engineering, and support personnel engaged in experimental and theoretical research in space sciences.  Principal Investigator or co-investigator on several satellite experiments and other research contracts for NASA, NSF, ONR and USAF.

     

    1981 - 1984

    Group Leader of Electrodynamic Processes, Space Sciences Laboratory

    Lockheed Palo Alto Research Laboratory, Palo Alto, CA

    Responsible for research in space plasma physics and in atmospheric/ionospheric physics. P.I. or Co-I on research contracts for NASA, NSF, and USAF.

     

     

    1974 - 1981

    Senior Research Physicist in the Radio Physics Laboratory

    Stanford Research Institute (SRI), Menlo Park CA

    Senior Research Physicist in the Radio Physics Laboratory. Project leader of the incoherent-scatter radar facility in Chatanika, Alaska. Responsible for analysis and interpretation of auroral and ionospheric measurements with radar, satellites, rockets, and ground-based instrumentation. Developed a high-latitude ionospheric model for application to HF propagation prediction. Co-author of a parametric evaluation of a large spaceborne antenna structure for an interstellar search system. Principal Investigator or co-investigator on several research contracts for NSF, DNA, NASA, and USAF.

    1971 - 1974

    esearch associate in the Department of Space Physics and Astronomy

    Rice University, Houston, Texas Analysis of data from suprathermal ion detectors deployed on the lunar surface by Apollos 12, 14, and 15. Science support at the Manned Spacecraft Center during the Apollo 15-17 missions.
    1970 - 1971

    Visiting postdoctoral research scientist in the Department of Plasma Physics

    Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden Theoretical studies of ionospheric currents and electric fields in the aurora.
    1966 - 1970

    Research/teaching assistant in the Department of Space Physics and Astronomy

    Rice University, Houston, Texas Ph.D. research: rocket-based measurement of auroral charged-particles and electric currents.

    Professional Societies

    American Geophysical Union, 1969 - Present
    American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), 1973 - Present
    International Union of Radio Science (URSI), 1976 - Present
    International Association of Geomagnetism and Aeronomy, 1976 - Present
    National Management Association, 1988 - 1996
    American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1995 - Present
    Washington Map Society, 2013 - Present
    Society for the History of Discovery, 2014 - Present

    Professional Service

    NASA Space Science Advisory Committee (1993-2000)
    NASA Sun-Earth Connections Strategic Planning Committee (Co-Chair, 1995-97, member 1998-99)
    NASA Space Physics Management Operations Working Group (1991-1993)
    NASA Sun Earth Connections Education Forum (Co-Director, 1996-2004)
    NOAA Space Environment Laboratory Advisory Committee (1986-1990)
    NSF Review Committee on Upper Atmosphere Facilities (1996)
    DOE Panel for assessment of environmental impact of solar power satellites (1976-1980)
    American Geophysical Union Committee on Public Affairs (1998-2000)
    AIAA: International Activities Committee (1988-1999), Publications Committee (1987-1994),
      Technical Committee on Space Science and Astronomy (1984-1987),
    Subcommittee
      for 
    Congressional Testimony on NASA Budget (Chairman, 1985-87)
    IAA (International Academy of Astronautics) Committee on Safety and Quality (1990-1994)
    University of Maryland, Special Professor for thesis review (1996-98)
    International Space University (ISU), Visiting Lecturer (1993, 1994, 1997)
    Canadian NSERC External Review Board for Canadian Network for Space Research
      (Chairman 1991-1994), Committee on Space Science and Astronomy (1995-98)
    Danish Space Research Institute (Copenhagen), International Evaluation Panel (2000)
    Boston University Center for Integrated Space Weather Modeling, Advisory Council (2003-now)

    Awards

    NASA Distinguished Service Medal (2014)
    NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal (2012)
    GSFC Award of Merit (2010)
    Robert H. Goddard Leadership Award (2009)
    NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal (2001)
    Presidential Award for Meritorious Senior Executive (2001)
    Fellow of the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics (1994)
    Rice University Outstanding Space Science Ph.D. of the 1970’s (awarded 2008)
    NASA Excellence in Outreach Award (2004)
    29 NASA Group Achievement Awards (1992-2011) for Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite,
       Global Geospace Mission, IMAGE/LENA mission, Sun Earth Connection Educational
       Forum, Transit of Venus, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, etc.
    Distinguished Service Award, DOE Solar Power Satellite Program (1981)
    Swedish Ministry for Scientific Research Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (1970)
    NASA Predoctoral Fellowship (1968-1970)
    Sigma Pi Sigma (National Physics Honor Society) Physics Achievement Award (1963)

    Selected Publications

    Refereed

    Collier, M. R., R. R. Vondrak, R. P. Hoyt, et al. M. A. Mesarch, W. M. Farrell, J. W. Keller, P. E. Clark, N. E. Petro, and K.-J. Hwang. 2016. "Tethered lunar subsatellites for multipoint and low altitude measurements." Acta Astronautica, 128: 464-472 [10.1016/j.actaastro.2016.07.047]

    Keller, J., N. Petro, and R. Vondrak. 2016. "The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission – Six years of science and exploration at the Moon." Icarus, 273: 2-24 [10.1016/j.icarus.2015.11.024]

    Stubbs, T. J., W. M. Farrell, J. S. Halekas, et al. J. K. Burchill, M. Collier, M. I. Zimmerman, R. R. Vondrak, G. T. Delory, and R. F. Pfaff. 2014. "Dependence of lunar surface charging on solar wind plasma conditions and solar irradiation." Planetary and Space Science, 90: 10-27 [10.1016/j.pss.2013.07.008]

    Vondrak, R. R. 2012. "Introduction to special section on Results of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission." J. Geophysical Research-Planets, 117: [10.1029/2012JE004298]

    Hurley, D., D. Lawrence, D. Bussey, et al. R. R. Vondrak, R. Elphic, and G. Gladstone. 2012. "Two-dimensional distribution of volatiles in the lunar regolith from space weathering simulations." Geophys. Res. Lett., 39: 9 [10.1029/2012GL051105]

    Stubbs, T. J., D. A. Glenar, M. R. Collier, et al. W. M. Farrell, J. S. Halekas, G. T. Delory, and R. R. Vondrak. 2011. "On the role of dust in the lunar ionosphere." Planet Sp Sci, 59 (13): 1659-1664.

    Glenar, D. A., T. J. Stubbs, J. E. McCoy, and R. R. Vondrak. 2011. "A Reanalysis of the Apollo Light Scattering Observations, and Implications for Lunar Exospheric Dust." Planet Sp Sci, 59 (14): 1695-1707.

    Collier, M., H. K. Hills, T. J. Stubbs, et al. J. S. Halekas, G. T. Delory, J. R. Espley, W. M. Farrell, and R. R. Vondrak. 2011. "Lunar Surface Electric Potential Changes Associated with Traversals of the Terrestrial Bow Shock." Planet. Sp. Sci., 59 (14): 1727-1743.

    Farrell, W. M., T. J. Stubbs, J. S. Halekas, et al. R. M. Killen, G. T. Delory, M. Collier, and R. R. Vondrak. 2010. "Anticipated electrical environment within permanently shadowed lunar craters." Journal of Geophysical Research, 115 (E3): E03004 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1029/2009JE003464]

    Vondrak, R., J. Keller, G. Chin, and J. Garvin. 2010. "Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO): Observations for Lunar Exploration and Science." Space Science Reviews, 150: 7 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1007/s11214-010-9631-5]

    Farrell, W. M., T. J. Stubbs, G. T. Delory, et al. R. R. Vondrak, M. R. Collier, J. S. Halekas, and R. P. Lin. 2008. "Concerning the dissipation of electrically charged objects in the shadowed lunar polar regions." Geophysical Research Letters, 35: 19104 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1029/2008GL034785]

    Farrell, W. M., T. J. Stubbs, J. S. Halekas, et al. G. T. Delory, M. R. Collier, R. R. Vondrak, and R. P. Lin. 2008. "Loss of solar wind plasma neutrality and affect on surface potentials near the lunar terminator and shadowed polar regions." Geophysical Research Letters, 35: 05105 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1029/2007GL032653]

    Stubbs, T. J., R. R. Vondrak, and W. M. Farrell. 2007. "A dynamic fountain model for dust in the lunar exosphere." Proc Dust Plan Systems, SP-643: 185–190.

    Farrell, W. M., T. J. Stubbs, R. R. Vondrak, G. T. Delory, and J. S. Halekas. 2007. "Complex electric fields near the lunar terminator: The near-surface wake and accelerated dust." Geophysical Research Letters, 34: 14201 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1029/2007GL029312]

    Stubbs, T. J., J. S. Halekas, W. Farrell, and R. Vondrak. 2007. "Lunar surface charging: a global perspective using Lunar Prospector data." Proc Dust Plan Systems, SP-643: 181–184.

    Stubbs, T. J., R. R. Vondrak, W. M. Farrell, and M. R. Collier. 2007. "Predictions of dust concentrations in the lunar exosphere." Journal of Astronautics, 28: 166–167 [Full Text (Link)] [ 1000-1328]

    Crider, D., R. Killen, and R. Vondrak. 2006. "Ice on the Moon and Mercury." Advances in Geosci, 3: 93-102.

    Stubbs, T. J., R. R. Vondrak, and W. M. Farrell. 2006. "A dynamic fountain model for lunar dust." Advances in Space Research, 37: 59 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1016/j.asr.2005.04.048]

    Aksnes, A., J. Stadsnes, N. Østgaard, et al. G. A. Germany, K. Oksavik, R. R. Vondrak, A. Brekke, and U. P. Løvhaug. 2006. "Height profiles of the ionospheric electron density derived using space-based remote sensing of UV and X ray emissions and EISCAT radar data: A ground-truth experiment." Journal of Geophysical Research, 111: 02301 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1029/2005JA011331]

    Stubbs, T. J., R. R. Vondrak, N. Østgaard, J. B. Sigwarth, and L. A. Frank. 2005. "Simultaneous observations of the auroral ovals in both hemispheres under varying conditions." Geophysical Research Letters, 32: 03103 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1029/2004GL021199]

    Aksnes, O. Amm, J. Stadsnes, et al. N. Ostgaard, G. Germany, R. Vondrak, and I. Sillanpaa. 2005. "Ionospheric conductances derived from satellite measurements of auroral UV and X-ray emissions, and ground-based electromagnetic data: A comparison.." Ann Geophys, 23: 343-358.

    Amm, 0., A. Aksnes, J. Stadsnes, et al. N. Østgaard, R. R. Vondrak, G. A. Germany, G. Lu, and A. Viljanen. 2005. "Mesoscale ionospheric electrodynamics of omega bands determined from ground-based electronmagnetic and satellite optical observation." Annales Geophysicae, 23: 325-342.

    Aksnes, A., O. Amm, J. Stadsnes, et al. N. Østgaard, G. A. Germany, R. R. Vondrak, and I. Sillanpää. 2005. "Ionospheric conductances derived from satellite measurements of auroral UV and X-ray emissions, and ground-based electromagnetic data: a comparison." Annales Geophysicae, vol 23, Issue 2, pp343-358, 23: 343 [Full Text (Link)] [10.5194/angeo-23-343-2005]

    Amm, O., A. Aksnes, J. Stadsnes, et al. N. Østgaard, R. R. Vondrak, G. A. Germany, G. Lu, and A. Viljanen. 2005. "Mesoscale ionospheric electrodynamics of omega bands determined from ground-based electromagnetic and satellite optical observations." Annales Geophysicae, vol 23, Issue 2, pp325-342, 23: 325 [Full Text (Link)] [10.5194/angeo-23-325-2005]

    Aksnes, J. Stadsnes, G. Lu, et al. A. Richmond, N. Ostgaard, T. Rosenberg, D. Detrick, G. Germany, R. Vondrak, and M. Schulz. 2004. "Effects of energetic electrons on the electrodynamics in the ionosphere, ." Annales Geophysicae, 22: 475.

    Aksnes, A., J. Stadsnes, G. Lu, et al. N. Østgaard, R. R. Vondrak, D. Detrick, T. Rosenberg, G. Germany, and M. Schulz. 2004. "Effects of energetic electrons on the electrodynamics in the ionosphere." Annales Geophysicae, vol 22, Issue 2, pp475-496, 22: 475 [Full Text (Link)] [10.5194/angeo-22-475-2004]

    Sætre, C., J. Stadsnes, H. Nesse, et al. A. Aksnes, S. M. Petrinec, C. A. Barth, D. N. Baker, R. R. Vondrak, and N. Østgaard. 2004. "Energetic electron precipitation and the NO abundance in the upper atmosphere: A direct comparison during a geomagnetic storm." Journal of Geophysical Research, 109: 09302 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1029/2004JA010485]

    Ostgaard, N., D. Detrick, T. Rosenberg, et al. R. R. Vondrak, H. Frey, S. Mende, S. Haland, and J. Stadsnes. 2003. "High-latitude dayside energetic precipitation and IMF Bz rotations." J Geophys Res, 108 (A4): 8013 [ doi:10.1029/2002JA009350]

    Crider, D. H., and R. R. Vondrak. 2003. "Space weathering of ice layers in lunar cold traps." Advances in Space Research, 31: 2293 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1016/S0273-1177(03)00530-1]

    Crider, D. H., and R. R. Vondrak. 2003. "Space weathering effects on lunar cold trap deposits." Journal of Geophysical Research Planets, 108: 5079 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1029/2002JE002030]

    Aksnes, A., J. Stadsnes, J. Bjordal, et al. N. Ostgaard, R. Vondrak, and E. . 2002. "Instantaneous ionospheric global conductance maps during an isolated substorm." Ann Geophysicae, 20: 1181.

    Crider, D. H., and R. R. Vondrak. 2002. "Hydrogen migration to the lunar poles by solar wind bombardment of the moon." Advances in Space Research, 30: 1869 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1016/S0273-1177(02)00493-3]

    Østgaard, N., R. R. Vondrak, J. W. Gjerloev, and G. Germany. 2002. "A relation between the energy deposition by electron precipitation and geomagnetic indices during substorms." Journal of Geophysical Research (Space Physics), 107 (A9): 1246 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1029/2001JA002003]

    Østgaard, N., G. Germany, J. Stadsnes, and R. R. Vondrak. 2002. "Energy analysis of substorms based on remote sensing techniques, solar wind measurements, and geomagnetic indices." Journal of Geophysical Research (Space Physics), 107 (A9): 1233 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1029/2001JA002002]

    Aksnes, A., J. Stadsnes, J. Bjordal, et al. N. Østgaard, R. R. Vondrak, D. L. Detrick, T. J. Rosenberg, G. A. Germany, and D. Chenette. 2002. "Instantaneous ionospheric global conductance maps during an isolated substorm." Annales Geophysicae, vol 20, Issue 8, pp1181-1191, 20: 1181 [Full Text (Link)] [10.5194/angeo-20-1181-2002]

    Ostgaard, N., J. Stadsnes, J. Bjordal, et al. G. Germany, R. R. Vondrak, G. K. Parks, S. A. Cummer, D. L. Chenette, and J. G. Pronko. 2001. "Auroral electron distributions derived from combined UV and X-ray emissions." J Geophys Res, 106 (26): 81-90.

    Østgaard, N., J. Stadsnes, J. Bjordal, et al. G. A. Germany, R. R. Vondrak, G. K. Parks, S. A. Cummer, D. L. Chenette, and J. G. Pronko. 2001. "Auroral electron distributions derived from combined UV and X-ray emissions." Journal of Geophysical Research, 106: 26081 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1029/2001JA000031]

    Ostgaard, N., J. Stadsnes, J. Bjordal, and R. Vondrak. 2000. "Global x-ray emission during an isolated substorm – a case study." J Atmosph Solar Terr Phys, 62: 889-900.

    Ostgaard, N., J. Stadsnes, J. Bjordal, and R. R. Vondrak. 2000. "The cause of the localized maximum of x-ray emission in the morning sector - a comparison with electron measurements." J Geophys Res, 105: 869-883.

    Cummer, S. A., R. R. Vondrak, N. Østgaard, et al. J. Stadsnes, J. Bjordal, D. L. Chenette, M. J. Brittnacher, G. K. Parks, J. B. Sigwarth, and L. A. Frank. 2000. "Global multispectral auroral imaging of an isolated substorm." Geophysical Research Letters, 27: 637 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1029/1999GL003678]

    Crider, D., and R. R. Vondrak. 2000. "The solar wind as a possible source of lunar polar hydrogen deposits." Journal of Geophysical Research, 105: 26773 [Full Text (Link)]

    Ostgaard, N., J. Stadsnes, J. Bjordal, et al. R. Vondrak, S. Cummer, D. Chenette, G. Parks, M. Brittnacher, and D. McKenzie. 1999. "Global scale electron precipitation features seen in UV and X-rays during substorms." J Geophys Res, 104: 10191-10204.

    Vondrak, R. 1998. "Multiscale objectives of the Geospace Multiprobes." Physics of Space Plasmas, 15: 331-336.

    Kelly, J., C. Heinselman, J. Vickrey, and R. Vondrak. 1995. "The Sondrestrom Radar and accompanying ground-based instrumentation." Space Science Reviews, 71: 797-813.

    Robinson, R., D. Chenette, D. Datlowe, et al. T. Schumaker, R. Vondrak, P. Bythrow, T. Potemra, J. Sharber, and D. Winningham. 1995. "Field-aligned currents associated with spatially periodic X-ray structures in the morning side auroral oval." J Geophys Res, 100: 23945-23952.

    Imhof, W., K. Spear, and R. R. Vondrak. 1995. "The Polar Ionospheric X-ray Imaging Experiment (PIXIE)." Space Science Reviews, 71: 385-408.

    Cladis, J., W. Francis, and R. Vondrak. 1994. "Transport toward Earth of ions sputtered from the Moon's surface by the solar wind." J Geophys Res, 99: 53-64.

    Robinson, R., and R. R. Vondrak. 1994. "Validation of remote sensing of the atmospheric effects of auroral particle fluxes." Space Science Reviews, 69: 331-407.

    Winningham, D., D. Chenette, and R. Vondrak. 1993. "The UARS Particle Environment Monitor." J Geophys Res, 98: 10649-10666.

    Vickrey, J., R. Vondrak, and S. Matthews. 1981. "The diurnal and latitudinal variation of auroral ionospheric conductivity." J Geophys Res, 86: 65.

    de la Beaujardiere, O., R. Vondrak, R. Heelis, W. Hanson, and R. Hoffman. 1981. "Auroral arc electrodynamic parameters measured by AE-C and the Chatanika radar." J Geophys Res, 86: 4671-4685.

    Sears, R., and R. R. Vondrak. 1981. "Luminosity and ionization profile variations during a pulsating aurora." J Geophys Res, 86: 6853-6859.

    Fontheim, E., R. Ong, R. Roble, et al. H. G. Mayr, M. Baron, W. Hoegy, V. Wickwar, R. R. Vondrak, and J. Ionson. 1978. "Effect of anomalous transport coefficients on the thermal structure of the storm time auroral ionosphere." J Geophys Res, 83 (A10): 4831-4836 [10.1029/JA083iA10p04831]

    Vondrak, R. R., and R. Sears. 1978. "Comparison of incoherent-scatter radar and photometric measurements of the energy distribution of auroral electrons." J Geophys Res, 83: 1665.

    Basler, R., G. Johnson, and R. Vondrak. 1977. "Antenna concepts for interstellar search systems." Radio Science, 12: 845.

    de la Beaujardiere, O., R. Vondrak, and M. Baron. 1977. "Radar observations of electric fields and currents associated with auroral arcs." J Geophys Res, 82: 5051.

    Vondrak, R. 1977. "Upper limit to gas emission from lunar transient phenomena sites." Physics Earth Planet Interiors, 14: 293.

    Vondrak, R. R., and M. Baron. 1976. "Radar measurements of the latitudinal variation of auroral ionization." Radio Science, 11: 939.

    Benson, J., J. W. Freeman, H. K. Hills, and R. R. Vondrak. 1975. "Bow shock protons in the lunar environment." The Moon, 14: 19.

    Vondrak, R. R. 1975. "Model of Birkeland currents associated with an auroral arc." J Geophys Res, 80: 4011.

    Vondrak, R. R. 1975. "Observations of Birkeland currents at auroral latitudes." Rev Geophys Space Phys, 13: 243.

    Medrano, R. A., C. J. Bland, J. W. Freeman, H. K. Hills, and R. R. Vondrak. 1975. "The solar cosmic ray 'square-wave' of August 1972." J Geophys Res, 80: 1735.

    Vondrak, R. R. 1974. "Atmospheric spreading of protons in auroral arcs." J Geophys Res, 79: 280.

    Vondrak, R. R. 1974. "Creation of an artificial lunar atmosphere." Nature, 248: 657.

    Lindeman, R. A., R. R. Vondrak, J. W. Freeman, and C. W. Snyder. 1974. "The interaction between an impact-produced neutral gas cloud and the solar wind at the lunar surface." J Geophys Res, 79: 2287.

    Freeman, J. W., J. , H. K. Hills, and R. R. Vondrak. 1973. "Observations of water vapor ions at the lunar surface." The Moon, 8: 115.

    Vondrak, R., H. Anderson, and R. Spiger. 1971. "Rocket-based measurement of particle fluxes and currents in an auroral arc." J Geophys Res, 76: 31 [ 7701]

    Cloutier, P., H. Anderson, R. Park, et al. R. R. Vondrak, R. Spiger, and B. Sandel. 1970. "Detection of geomagnetically aligned currents associated with an auroral arc." J Geophys Res, 75 (13): 2595.

    Brief Bio

    Dr. Richard R. Vondrak is a Consultant for Lunar Science and Exploration in the Solar System Exploration Division at the NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD. He received his bachelor's degree in physics from the University of California at Berkeley in 1966 and his doctorate in space physics and astronomy from Rice University in 1970. His doctoral research was a rocket-borne measurement of electrical currents in the aurora borealis, which was followed by a postdoctoral research position in Stockholm, Sweden. He returned to Rice University in 1971 for a research position in lunar science, and worked in the Apollo Science Operations Center during the last three Apollo missions. He then joined the Stanford Research Institute for research in ionospheric and magnetospheric physics. Later he joined the Space Sciences Laboratory at the Lockheed Palo Alto Research Laboratory, ultimately becoming the Director of Space Physics.

    In 1995 he became the Chief of the Laboratory for Extraterrestrial Physics at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in Greenbelt, Maryland, responsible for research and flight projects in heliophysics, planetary science, astrochemistry, and astrobiology. In 2004 he served as the first Director of the Robotic Lunar Exploration Program at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC. In 2005 he organized the Solar System Exploration Division at GSFC, with responsibility for research and instrument development for a wide range of solar system objects, and was its first Director. He also served as the Project Scientist for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, responsible for the scientific performance of the mission. In 2013 he retired and became a part-time consultant to GSFC.

    Dr. Vondrak is the recipient of the prestigious Presidential Award for Meritorious Senior Executives, as well the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, the NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal, 29 NASA Group Achievement Awards, and many other awards. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and a member of several other professional societies. He has served on numerous advisory committees for NASA, other government agencies, universities, and international organizations.

    His primary research interests are in lunar science, including lunar volatiles and the interaction of the solar wind with the Moon, and in space plasma physics, particularly the electrodynamics of the aurora. He has published more than 130 papers in scientific and technical journals, edited two books, and presented more than 300 papers at national or international scientific conferences.
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    Selected Publications

    Refereed

    Collier, M. R., R. R. Vondrak, R. P. Hoyt, et al. M. A. Mesarch, W. M. Farrell, J. W. Keller, P. E. Clark, N. E. Petro, and K.-J. Hwang. 2016. "Tethered lunar subsatellites for multipoint and low altitude measurements." Acta Astronautica 128 464-472 [10.1016/j.actaastro.2016.07.047]

    Keller, J., N. Petro, and R. Vondrak. 2016. "The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission – Six years of science and exploration at the Moon." Icarus 273 2-24 [10.1016/j.icarus.2015.11.024]

    Stubbs, T. J., W. M. Farrell, J. S. Halekas, et al. J. K. Burchill, M. Collier, M. I. Zimmerman, R. R. Vondrak, G. T. Delory, and R. F. Pfaff. 2014. "Dependence of lunar surface charging on solar wind plasma conditions and solar irradiation." Planetary and Space Science 90 10-27 [10.1016/j.pss.2013.07.008]

    Vondrak, R. R. 2012. "Introduction to special section on Results of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission." J. Geophysical Research-Planets 117 [10.1029/2012JE004298]

    Hurley, D., D. Lawrence, D. Bussey, et al. R. R. Vondrak, R. Elphic, and G. Gladstone. 2012. "Two-dimensional distribution of volatiles in the lunar regolith from space weathering simulations." Geophys. Res. Lett. 39 9 [10.1029/2012GL051105]

    Stubbs, T. J., D. A. Glenar, M. R. Collier, et al. W. M. Farrell, J. S. Halekas, G. T. Delory, and R. R. Vondrak. 2011. "On the role of dust in the lunar ionosphere." Planet Sp Sci 59 (13): 1659-1664

    Glenar, D. A., T. J. Stubbs, J. E. McCoy, and R. R. Vondrak. 2011. "A Reanalysis of the Apollo Light Scattering Observations, and Implications for Lunar Exospheric Dust." Planet Sp Sci 59 (14): 1695-1707

    Collier, M., H. K. Hills, T. J. Stubbs, et al. J. S. Halekas, G. T. Delory, J. R. Espley, W. M. Farrell, and R. R. Vondrak. 2011. "Lunar Surface Electric Potential Changes Associated with Traversals of the Terrestrial Bow Shock." Planet. Sp. Sci. 59 (14): 1727-1743

    Farrell, W. M., T. J. Stubbs, J. S. Halekas, et al. R. M. Killen, G. T. Delory, M. Collier, and R. R. Vondrak. 2010. "Anticipated electrical environment within permanently shadowed lunar craters." Journal of Geophysical Research 115 (E3): E03004 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1029/2009JE003464]

    Vondrak, R., J. Keller, G. Chin, and J. Garvin. 2010. "Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO): Observations for Lunar Exploration and Science." Space Science Reviews 150 7 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1007/s11214-010-9631-5]

    Farrell, W. M., T. J. Stubbs, G. T. Delory, et al. R. R. Vondrak, M. R. Collier, J. S. Halekas, and R. P. Lin. 2008. "Concerning the dissipation of electrically charged objects in the shadowed lunar polar regions." Geophysical Research Letters 35 19104 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1029/2008GL034785]

    Farrell, W. M., T. J. Stubbs, J. S. Halekas, et al. G. T. Delory, M. R. Collier, R. R. Vondrak, and R. P. Lin. 2008. "Loss of solar wind plasma neutrality and affect on surface potentials near the lunar terminator and shadowed polar regions." Geophysical Research Letters 35 05105 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1029/2007GL032653]

    Stubbs, T. J., R. R. Vondrak, and W. M. Farrell. 2007. "A dynamic fountain model for dust in the lunar exosphere." Proc Dust Plan Systems SP-643 185–190

    Farrell, W. M., T. J. Stubbs, R. R. Vondrak, G. T. Delory, and J. S. Halekas. 2007. "Complex electric fields near the lunar terminator: The near-surface wake and accelerated dust." Geophysical Research Letters 34 14201 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1029/2007GL029312]

    Stubbs, T. J., J. S. Halekas, W. Farrell, and R. Vondrak. 2007. "Lunar surface charging: a global perspective using Lunar Prospector data." Proc Dust Plan Systems SP-643 181–184

    Stubbs, T. J., R. R. Vondrak, W. M. Farrell, and M. R. Collier. 2007. "Predictions of dust concentrations in the lunar exosphere." Journal of Astronautics 28 166–167 [Full Text (Link)] [ 1000-1328]

    Crider, D., R. Killen, and R. Vondrak. 2006. "Ice on the Moon and Mercury." Advances in Geosci 3 93-102

    Stubbs, T. J., R. R. Vondrak, and W. M. Farrell. 2006. "A dynamic fountain model for lunar dust." Advances in Space Research 37 59 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1016/j.asr.2005.04.048]

    Aksnes, A., J. Stadsnes, N. Østgaard, et al. G. A. Germany, K. Oksavik, R. R. Vondrak, A. Brekke, and U. P. Løvhaug. 2006. "Height profiles of the ionospheric electron density derived using space-based remote sensing of UV and X ray emissions and EISCAT radar data: A ground-truth experiment." Journal of Geophysical Research 111 02301 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1029/2005JA011331]

    Stubbs, T. J., R. R. Vondrak, N. Østgaard, J. B. Sigwarth, and L. A. Frank. 2005. "Simultaneous observations of the auroral ovals in both hemispheres under varying conditions." Geophysical Research Letters 32 03103 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1029/2004GL021199]

    Aksnes, O. Amm, J. Stadsnes, et al. N. Ostgaard, G. Germany, R. Vondrak, and I. Sillanpaa. 2005. "Ionospheric conductances derived from satellite measurements of auroral UV and X-ray emissions, and ground-based electromagnetic data: A comparison.." Ann Geophys 23 343-358

    Amm, 0., A. Aksnes, J. Stadsnes, et al. N. Østgaard, R. R. Vondrak, G. A. Germany, G. Lu, and A. Viljanen. 2005. "Mesoscale ionospheric electrodynamics of omega bands determined from ground-based electronmagnetic and satellite optical observation." Annales Geophysicae 23 325-342

    Aksnes, A., O. Amm, J. Stadsnes, et al. N. Østgaard, G. A. Germany, R. R. Vondrak, and I. Sillanpää. 2005. "Ionospheric conductances derived from satellite measurements of auroral UV and X-ray emissions, and ground-based electromagnetic data: a comparison." Annales Geophysicae, vol 23, Issue 2, pp343-358 23 343 [Full Text (Link)] [10.5194/angeo-23-343-2005]

    Amm, O., A. Aksnes, J. Stadsnes, et al. N. Østgaard, R. R. Vondrak, G. A. Germany, G. Lu, and A. Viljanen. 2005. "Mesoscale ionospheric electrodynamics of omega bands determined from ground-based electromagnetic and satellite optical observations." Annales Geophysicae, vol 23, Issue 2, pp325-342 23 325 [Full Text (Link)] [10.5194/angeo-23-325-2005]

    Aksnes, J. Stadsnes, G. Lu, et al. A. Richmond, N. Ostgaard, T. Rosenberg, D. Detrick, G. Germany, R. Vondrak, and M. Schulz. 2004. "Effects of energetic electrons on the electrodynamics in the ionosphere, ." Annales Geophysicae 22 475

    Aksnes, A., J. Stadsnes, G. Lu, et al. N. Østgaard, R. R. Vondrak, D. Detrick, T. Rosenberg, G. Germany, and M. Schulz. 2004. "Effects of energetic electrons on the electrodynamics in the ionosphere." Annales Geophysicae, vol 22, Issue 2, pp475-496 22 475 [Full Text (Link)] [10.5194/angeo-22-475-2004]

    Sætre, C., J. Stadsnes, H. Nesse, et al. A. Aksnes, S. M. Petrinec, C. A. Barth, D. N. Baker, R. R. Vondrak, and N. Østgaard. 2004. "Energetic electron precipitation and the NO abundance in the upper atmosphere: A direct comparison during a geomagnetic storm." Journal of Geophysical Research 109 09302 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1029/2004JA010485]

    Ostgaard, N., D. Detrick, T. Rosenberg, et al. R. R. Vondrak, H. Frey, S. Mende, S. Haland, and J. Stadsnes. 2003. "High-latitude dayside energetic precipitation and IMF Bz rotations." J Geophys Res 108 (A4): 8013 [ doi:10.1029/2002JA009350]

    Crider, D. H., and R. R. Vondrak. 2003. "Space weathering of ice layers in lunar cold traps." Advances in Space Research 31 2293 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1016/S0273-1177(03)00530-1]

    Crider, D. H., and R. R. Vondrak. 2003. "Space weathering effects on lunar cold trap deposits." Journal of Geophysical Research Planets 108 5079 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1029/2002JE002030]

    Aksnes, A., J. Stadsnes, J. Bjordal, et al. N. Ostgaard, R. Vondrak, and E. . 2002. "Instantaneous ionospheric global conductance maps during an isolated substorm." Ann Geophysicae 20 1181

    Crider, D. H., and R. R. Vondrak. 2002. "Hydrogen migration to the lunar poles by solar wind bombardment of the moon." Advances in Space Research 30 1869 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1016/S0273-1177(02)00493-3]

    Østgaard, N., R. R. Vondrak, J. W. Gjerloev, and G. Germany. 2002. "A relation between the energy deposition by electron precipitation and geomagnetic indices during substorms." Journal of Geophysical Research (Space Physics) 107 (A9): 1246 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1029/2001JA002003]

    Østgaard, N., G. Germany, J. Stadsnes, and R. R. Vondrak. 2002. "Energy analysis of substorms based on remote sensing techniques, solar wind measurements, and geomagnetic indices." Journal of Geophysical Research (Space Physics) 107 (A9): 1233 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1029/2001JA002002]

    Aksnes, A., J. Stadsnes, J. Bjordal, et al. N. Østgaard, R. R. Vondrak, D. L. Detrick, T. J. Rosenberg, G. A. Germany, and D. Chenette. 2002. "Instantaneous ionospheric global conductance maps during an isolated substorm." Annales Geophysicae, vol 20, Issue 8, pp1181-1191 20 1181 [Full Text (Link)] [10.5194/angeo-20-1181-2002]

    Ostgaard, N., J. Stadsnes, J. Bjordal, et al. G. Germany, R. R. Vondrak, G. K. Parks, S. A. Cummer, D. L. Chenette, and J. G. Pronko. 2001. "Auroral electron distributions derived from combined UV and X-ray emissions." J Geophys Res 106 (26): 81-90

    Østgaard, N., J. Stadsnes, J. Bjordal, et al. G. A. Germany, R. R. Vondrak, G. K. Parks, S. A. Cummer, D. L. Chenette, and J. G. Pronko. 2001. "Auroral electron distributions derived from combined UV and X-ray emissions." Journal of Geophysical Research 106 26081 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1029/2001JA000031]

    Ostgaard, N., J. Stadsnes, J. Bjordal, and R. Vondrak. 2000. "Global x-ray emission during an isolated substorm – a case study." J Atmosph Solar Terr Phys 62 889-900

    Ostgaard, N., J. Stadsnes, J. Bjordal, and R. R. Vondrak. 2000. "The cause of the localized maximum of x-ray emission in the morning sector - a comparison with electron measurements." J Geophys Res 105 869-883

    Cummer, S. A., R. R. Vondrak, N. Østgaard, et al. J. Stadsnes, J. Bjordal, D. L. Chenette, M. J. Brittnacher, G. K. Parks, J. B. Sigwarth, and L. A. Frank. 2000. "Global multispectral auroral imaging of an isolated substorm." Geophysical Research Letters 27 637 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1029/1999GL003678]

    Crider, D., and R. R. Vondrak. 2000. "The solar wind as a possible source of lunar polar hydrogen deposits." Journal of Geophysical Research 105 26773 [Full Text (Link)]

    Ostgaard, N., J. Stadsnes, J. Bjordal, et al. R. Vondrak, S. Cummer, D. Chenette, G. Parks, M. Brittnacher, and D. McKenzie. 1999. "Global scale electron precipitation features seen in UV and X-rays during substorms." J Geophys Res 104 10191-10204

    Vondrak, R. 1998. "Multiscale objectives of the Geospace Multiprobes." Physics of Space Plasmas 15 331-336

    Kelly, J., C. Heinselman, J. Vickrey, and R. Vondrak. 1995. "The Sondrestrom Radar and accompanying ground-based instrumentation." Space Science Reviews 71 797-813

    Robinson, R., D. Chenette, D. Datlowe, et al. T. Schumaker, R. Vondrak, P. Bythrow, T. Potemra, J. Sharber, and D. Winningham. 1995. "Field-aligned currents associated with spatially periodic X-ray structures in the morning side auroral oval." J Geophys Res 100 23945-23952

    Imhof, W., K. Spear, and R. R. Vondrak. 1995. "The Polar Ionospheric X-ray Imaging Experiment (PIXIE)." Space Science Reviews 71 385-408

    Cladis, J., W. Francis, and R. Vondrak. 1994. "Transport toward Earth of ions sputtered from the Moon's surface by the solar wind." J Geophys Res 99 53-64

    Robinson, R., and R. R. Vondrak. 1994. "Validation of remote sensing of the atmospheric effects of auroral particle fluxes." Space Science Reviews 69 331-407

    Winningham, D., D. Chenette, and R. Vondrak. 1993. "The UARS Particle Environment Monitor." J Geophys Res 98 10649-10666

    Vickrey, J., R. Vondrak, and S. Matthews. 1981. "The diurnal and latitudinal variation of auroral ionospheric conductivity." J Geophys Res 86 65

    de la Beaujardiere, O., R. Vondrak, R. Heelis, W. Hanson, and R. Hoffman. 1981. "Auroral arc electrodynamic parameters measured by AE-C and the Chatanika radar." J Geophys Res 86 4671-4685

    Sears, R., and R. R. Vondrak. 1981. "Luminosity and ionization profile variations during a pulsating aurora." J Geophys Res 86 6853-6859

    Fontheim, E., R. Ong, R. Roble, et al. H. G. Mayr, M. Baron, W. Hoegy, V. Wickwar, R. R. Vondrak, and J. Ionson. 1978. "Effect of anomalous transport coefficients on the thermal structure of the storm time auroral ionosphere." J Geophys Res 83 (A10): 4831-4836 [10.1029/JA083iA10p04831]

    Vondrak, R. R., and R. Sears. 1978. "Comparison of incoherent-scatter radar and photometric measurements of the energy distribution of auroral electrons." J Geophys Res 83 1665

    Basler, R., G. Johnson, and R. Vondrak. 1977. "Antenna concepts for interstellar search systems." Radio Science 12 845

    de la Beaujardiere, O., R. Vondrak, and M. Baron. 1977. "Radar observations of electric fields and currents associated with auroral arcs." J Geophys Res 82 5051

    Vondrak, R. 1977. "Upper limit to gas emission from lunar transient phenomena sites." Physics Earth Planet Interiors 14 293

    Vondrak, R. R., and M. Baron. 1976. "Radar measurements of the latitudinal variation of auroral ionization." Radio Science 11 939

    Benson, J., J. W. Freeman, H. K. Hills, and R. R. Vondrak. 1975. "Bow shock protons in the lunar environment." The Moon 14 19

    Vondrak, R. R. 1975. "Model of Birkeland currents associated with an auroral arc." J Geophys Res 80 4011

    Vondrak, R. R. 1975. "Observations of Birkeland currents at auroral latitudes." Rev Geophys Space Phys 13 243

    Medrano, R. A., C. J. Bland, J. W. Freeman, H. K. Hills, and R. R. Vondrak. 1975. "The solar cosmic ray 'square-wave' of August 1972." J Geophys Res 80 1735

    Vondrak, R. R. 1974. "Atmospheric spreading of protons in auroral arcs." J Geophys Res 79 280

    Vondrak, R. R. 1974. "Creation of an artificial lunar atmosphere." Nature 248 657

    Lindeman, R. A., R. R. Vondrak, J. W. Freeman, and C. W. Snyder. 1974. "The interaction between an impact-produced neutral gas cloud and the solar wind at the lunar surface." J Geophys Res 79 2287

    Freeman, J. W., J. , H. K. Hills, and R. R. Vondrak. 1973. "Observations of water vapor ions at the lunar surface." The Moon 8 115

    Vondrak, R., H. Anderson, and R. Spiger. 1971. "Rocket-based measurement of particle fluxes and currents in an auroral arc." J Geophys Res 76 31 [ 7701]

    Cloutier, P., H. Anderson, R. Park, et al. R. R. Vondrak, R. Spiger, and B. Sandel. 1970. "Detection of geomagnetically aligned currents associated with an auroral arc." J Geophys Res 75 (13): 2595

                                                                                                                                                                                            
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