Oral histories in meteoritics and planetary science—XVI: Donald D. Bogard


E-mail: derek.sears@nasa.gov


Abstract– Donald D. Bogard (Don, Fig. 1) became interested in meteorites after seeing the Fayetteville meteorite in an undergraduate astronomy class at the University of Arkansas. During his graduate studies with Paul Kuroda at Arkansas, Don helped discover the Xe decay products of 244Pu. After a postdoctoral period at Caltech, where he learned much from Jerry Wasserburg, Peter Eberhardt, Don Burnett, and Sam Epstein, Don became one of a number of young Ph.D. scientists hired by NASA’s Manned Spacecraft Center to set up the Lunar Receiving Laboratory (LRL) and to perform a preliminary examination of Apollo samples. In collaboration with Oliver Schaeffer (SUNY), Joseph Zähringer (Max Planck, Heidelberg), and Raymond Davis (Brookhaven National Laboratory), he built a gas analysis laboratory at JSC, and the noble gas portion of this laboratory remained operational until he retired in 2010. At NASA, Don worked on the lunar regolith, performed pioneering work on cosmic ray produced noble gas isotopes and Ar-Ar dating, the latter for important insights into the thermal and shock history of meteorites and lunar samples. During this work, he discovered that the trapped gases in SNC meteorites were very similar to those of the Martian atmosphere and thus established their Martian origin. Among Don’s many administrative accomplishments are helping to establish the Antarctic meteorite and cosmic dust processing programs at JSC and serving as a NASA-HQ discipline scientist, where he advanced peer review and helped create new programs. Don is a recipient of NASA’s Scientific Achievement and Exceptional Service Medals and the Meteoritical Society’s Leonard Medal.

Figure 1.

Figure 1.

 Donald Bogard.