Kevin Peter Hand, Ph.D.

Project Scientist, Pre-Phase A Europa Lander Mission Concept, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of TechnologyKevin Peter Hand, Ph.D.’s Website

Kevin Peter Hand is a planetary scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. His research focuses on the origin, evolution and distribution of life in the solar system with an emphasis on Jupiter’s moon, Europa. His work involves both theoretical and laboratory research on the physics and chemistry of icy moons in the outer solar system. He served as co-chair for NASA’s Europa Lander Science Definition Team and is the project scientist for pre-phase-A of the Europa lander mission. From 2011 to 2016, he served as deputy chief scientist for solar system exploration at JPL. He served as a member of the National Academies’ Committee on Astrobiology and Planetary Sciences. His work has brought him to the dry valleys of Antarctica, the sea ice near the North Pole, the depths of the Earth’s oceans, and to the glaciers of Kilimanjaro. Hand was a scientist onboard James Cameron’s 2012 dive to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, and he was part of a 2003 IMAX expedition to hydrothermal vents in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. In total, he has made nine dives to the bottom of the ocean. In 2011, he was selected as a National Geographic Explorer. Hand earned his Ph.D. from Stanford University and bachelor’s degrees from Dartmouth College.

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