Welcome to my blog site! I have the good fortune to travel the world for work and pleasure, meeting people from all walks of life. I have had a passion for all things geology and space since I was 5 years old. My areas of specialty is the study of meteorites, asteroids, cosmochemistry, and rocky-planet formation with an emphasis in petrology and geochemistry. My research bridges geology, planetary sciences and astrophysics. It is also founded in space missions.
I am also an explorer of Space, Time, and the Human experience, which I do so in specific ways. First, I am the founding Chair and Professor of the Department of Geology at Rowan University.
Second, I am a member of two asteroid sample return space missions, OSIRIS-REx and Hayabusa2. For OSIRIS-REx, I am also an upper manager of the science team and am the first in history to hold the title of Mission Sample Scientist.
Finally, I am human, obviously, and as thus have diverse experiences, many of which I will be sharing with you through this website. I hope you enjoy exploring my site, learning about me and my life and, most importantly, my science and through that process the general nature of science (mainly, but not limited to natural/physical) and scientists.
2 August 2021: I am in Japan, currently a Visiting Professor at the Graduate School of the University of Tokyo. While in Japan, I will be observing and participating in the analysis of the sample of asteroid Ryugu returned by the Hayabusa2 spacecraft, which is currently being analyzed in ernest. I arrived on 23 June 2021, went into self-quarantine, and then have been working at the Univeristy and traveling Japan to different analytical laboratories for the analysis or return Ryugu samples! It’s been an adventure for sure. The two images above were taken in Hokkaido University in Sapporo, Japan, in the laboratory of my colleague and friend Distinguished Professor Yorimoto. We spent a day working on samples and having many discussions. It was awesome! It has been really hot, even in Sapporo also known as land of snow in the winter, where it was 35C when I visited. Tokyo has been like that for days on end. Stay tuned for more from me about my crazy adventure in science during a pandemic.
Arrival at Bennu gif!
Closure of SRC with TAGSAM collect head locked into place! The event took place on 28 October 2020!
TAGSAM collection head ‘leaking’ particles of Bennu post-collection, 22 October 2020.
19 November 2020: We did it! OSIRIS-REx collected a sample on 20 October 2020 and wow did it collect! We penetrated the surface about 48 cm and it seems the collection head was totally packed. In fact, as we articulated the arm towards the cameras to image the TAGSAM (Touch and Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism) head, we imaged particles escaping from the collector! We canceled the Sample Mass Movement (SMM) event and stowed the sample one week ahead of schedule.
13 September 2020: It’s been a long time since I have updated this site. OSIRIS-REx is healthy and we will be collecting a sample in a little over a month. Our two practice maneuvers were highly successful. Since the pandemic of COVID 19 hit, life has been interesting. Please stay tuned for more posts in the near future and I hope you are all well!
17 July 2019: Since 12 June 2019, OSIRIS-REx has successfully entered into Orbital B and has successfully be moving to complete the new mapping campaign. One of the major emphases of orbit B will be to look for additional particle ejection events from OSIRIS-REx, an active, type B asteroid. In addition, OLA will take extensive data of the surface of Bennu–a first in the history of small, rocky-body exploration.
31 December 2018: OSIRIS-REx successfully maneuvered into orbit around asteroid Bennu. Bennu is the smallest Solar System body to ever be orbited by a spacecraft.
12 December 2018: We announced the detection of hydrated minerals on the surface of asteroid Bennu, just as was predicted by the team (and others) before arrival! We also predicted the shape correctly, thanks to Mike Nolan and others. So exciting.
16 November 2018: OSIRIS-REx image of target asteroid Bennu!
Watch the PBS News Hour short on OSIRIS-REx!
Through my video blog, I share the experiences of my exploration of space and time and, of course, the greatest practice of them all, the human experience known as life. Sometimes we have a lot of fun making the video blogs!
Check out my last video blog here
For all previous video blogs, please see my the blog section of this website.
Welcome to Science Unbound, my podcast. The podcast was renamed from Harold C. Connolly Jr. in January of 2021. A major reason for the change to the podcast title is to better reflect a new emphasis focused on the subject of the integration of science into our lives and the importance of that integration. The podcast subject matter and the many interviews are an expression of my own life experiences. In this podcast we explore how science, and thus scientists, is not performed in a social/cultural/economic vacuum through interviews and discussions with friends and colleagues. My guests and I talk about their life experiences in the sciences and engineering, exploring space and time, and the cultural systems along with aspects of their personal lives that influence the production and philosophy of science. Through these podcasts we show how no conflict exists between science and any other area of life or academic disciplines. The sciences are performed by people, and herein is what we explore, experiences and the sciences.
To listen to my Podcasts, click here.