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Craddock, Bob

Geologist

Positions

Mars geology; lunar geology; fluvial processes; geomorphic analyses and quantitative modeling

Geographic Focus

Professional Biography

  • As a geologist at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum, Bob provided the first compelling evidence that rainfall occurred on early Mars, supporting the idea that Mars once had a warm and wet climate potentially suitable for life.  He has also demonstrated how Phobos and Deimos formed by a giant impact, which is now the accepted paradigm.  Bob has conducted extensive Mars analog studies on the basaltic landscapes of Hawaii and fieldwork on the linear dunes in the Australian Outback.  In 2017, he led an international scientific expedition across the northern Simpson Desert, an effort that has not been accomplished since 1939.  In 2017, Bob was recognized by the American Geological Union as one of the most influential scientists in the last 25 years. 

     

    Bob has worked with the Smithsonian Institution’s Department of Space History where he has aided curators by obtaining new historic artifacts for the National Collection, such as the Mars Pathfinder Lander and the Clementine spacecraft.  He has also documented the history of the Smithsonian’s manned and unmanned spacecraft collection, including the Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia and Lunar Module 2.  In 2003, his book on the Apollo 11 mission was awarded 1st prize for Best Educational Resource by the American Association of Museums.  Bob has also received teaching appointments at some of the world’s most prestigious universities, including the University of Paris and the National University of Mexico (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México).  His writings and career have also been the inspiration for a few science fiction characters, most notable the geologist Ann Clayborne in Kim Stanley Robinson’s Red Mars trilogy. 

     

Public Biography

  • As a geologist at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum, Bob provided the first compelling evidence that rainfall occurred on early Mars, supporting the idea that Mars once had a warm and wet climate potentially suitable for life.  He has also demonstrated how Phobos and Deimos formed by a giant impact, which is now the accepted paradigm.  Bob has conducted extensive Mars analog studies on the basaltic landscapes of Hawaii and fieldwork on the linear dunes in the Australian Outback.  In 2017, he led an international scientific expedition across the northern Simpson Desert, an effort that has not been accomplished since 1939.  In 2017, Bob was recognized by the American Geological Union as one of the most influential scientists in the last 25 years. 

     

    Bob has worked with the Smithsonian Institution’s Department of Space History where he has aided curators by obtaining new historic artifacts for the National Collection, such as the Mars Pathfinder Lander and the Clementine spacecraft.  He has also documented the history of the Smithsonian’s manned and unmanned spacecraft collection, including the Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia and Lunar Module 2.  In 2003, his book on the Apollo 11 mission was awarded 1st prize for Best Educational Resource by the American Association of Museums.  Bob has also received teaching appointments at some of the world’s most prestigious universities, including the University of Paris and the National University of Mexico (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México).  His writings and career have also been the inspiration for a few science fiction characters, most notable the geologist Ann Clayborne in Kim Stanley Robinson’s Red Mars trilogy.