Michael J. S. Belton
||Belton Space Exploration Initiatives
||Deputy Principal Investigator
||Dr. Belton, President of Belton Space Exploration Initiatives, LLC, in Tucson, Arizona, and previously an astronomer at the National Optical Astronomy Observatories, is an expert in cometary physics and specializes in ground-based telescopic and space-based observations and interpretation. He has participated in the Mariner Venus/Mercury, Voyager, and Galileo flight missions. His current activities focus on preparations for the Deep Impact cometary missions. He has received numerous awards including the 1995 Gerard P. Kuiper Prize in Planetary Science, and asteroid 3498 Belton is named in recognition of his contributions to the field. He is active in the development of future missions to near-Earth objects with the purpose of laying the scientific basis for a defense against asteroids or comets that might catastrophically impact the Earth. As the Deputy PI for Deep Impact, Dr. Belton is responsible for the mission if the PI is not available.
Biographical details contained on these pages were correct during the Deep Impact mission which ended in 2006. Several scientists from Deep Impact are now working on related missions such as EPOXI and Stardust-NExT.