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Phil Metzer

Dr. Philip Metzger received his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Central Florida in 2005. Dr. Metzger is a planetary scientist at the University of Central Florida, and senior research physicist at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, where he founded and leads the Granular Mechanics and Regolith Operations Laboratory with a focus on researching planetary and small body environments, developing technology for space mining. He performs research related to solar system exploration: predicting how rocket exhaust interacts with extraterrestrial soil, investigating the mechanics of soil, characterizing lunar and martian soil simulants, modeling the migration of volatiles on airless bodies. He leads the Agency’s work in rocket blast effects for human-class missions. He has participated in architecture studies for the Lunar Architecture Team, the Mars Architecture Team and the Lunar Exploration Analysis Group. He is also leading projects to develop extraterrestrial excavators, regolith conveyance technologies, dust-tolerant quick disconnects, lunar/martian landing pads, and other surface systems technology. He co-founded NASA’s biannual Workshop on Granular Materials in Lunar and Martian Exploration and was selected as Kennedy Space Center’s Scientist/Engineer of the Year for 2011.