Portrait of Anthony Colaprete

Anthony Colaprete

VIPER Project scientist and principal investigator of the Near Infrared Volatile Spectrometer Subsystem, or NIRVSS, instrument

Education: University of Colorado, doctorate degree in astrophysical, planetary, and atmospheric science
Hometown: Boulder, Colorado
What inspired you to join NASA? My father worked on the Apollo program as an engineer, so I was always inspired by space exploration. In college I fell in love with modeling complex systems, such as planetary environments. Finally, I discovered instrument development – building the tools that help us explore other planets. While working on my dissertation I got to use NASA mission data and then I knew that I eventually needed to join NASA.
Favorite hobby/recreation: Fishing, hiking, rockhounding, martial arts, and occasional oil painting.

Anthony Colaprete is a planetary research scientist at NASA's Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley. He has developed a range of flight instruments and has conducted basic research on planetary atmospheres and volatiles – substances like water that easily vaporize. When he first joined NASA, he worked in the Mars general circulation modeling group at Ames, and he went on to serve as the principal investigator and payload manager for the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, or LCROSS, mission, which discovered water ice in the Moon’s Cabeus Crater. Second only to his family, the success of the LCROSS mission is Tony’s pride and joy.