Patrick Michel

Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) • Director of Research

Dr. Michel is an international expert of asteroids born in the famous village Saint-Tropez in France. He is Director or Research (PhD) at CNRS (French Scientific Research National Center) and leads the team TOP (Theories & Observations in Planetology) of the Lagrange laboratory at the Côte d’Azur Observatory (Nice, France). With more than 110 publications in international peer-review journals, he develops numerical simulations of the impact process between asteroids and of asteroid surface behaviors in conditions that are very different than those on Earth. He is the lead scientist of the space mission project Hera, the European component of the AIDA project in collaboration with ESA and NASA, which aims at performing the first test of deflection of a potentially hazardous asteroid in 2022 and the first investigation of a binary asteroid and impact outcome in 2026. He is co-Investigator of two asteroid sample return space missions, Hayabusa2 (JAXA) and OSIRIS-REx, launched in 2014 and 2016, respectively, which are currently visiting their asteroid target (2018-2020). He is also involved in the Phobos sample return MMX project (JAXA) and in the asteroid Phaeton fly-by and dust characterization DESTINY+ mission (JAXA). He is the lead Editor of the book Asteroids IV (University of Arizona Press, 2015), which reviews the current knowledge on asteroids. He is the President of the Near-Earth Object Working Group of the International Astronomical Union, he belongs to the Science Program Committee of the French space agency CNES, and to the Steering Committee of the International Asteroid Warning Network (IAWN). He was awarded the NASA Silver Achievement Medal, the Carl Sagan Medal by the Division of Planetary Science of the American Astronomical Society for Excellence in Public Communication in Planetary Science, the Prize Paolo Farinella 2013 for his contribution to our understanding of the collisional process, the Prize Young Researcher of the French Society of Astronomy and Astrophysics (SF2A) and the asteroid (7561) Patrickmichel is named after him.