Dan Durda is a Fellow and a former member of the Board of Trustees of the International Association of Astronomical Artists. His space art has appeared in numerous magazines, web news stories, and books and has been internationally exhibited. He has co-authored a book, published numerous articles popularizing planetary science and human exploration of space, and has appeared in over 70 nationally-broadcast television science documentaries. Durda is the 2015 recipient of the American Astronomical Society’s Division for Planetary Sciences Carl Sagan Medal “for excellence in public communication in planetary science”.
Dr. Durda is a Principal Scientist in the Department of Space Studies of the Southwest Research Institute’s Boulder Colorado office. He has more than twenty years of experience researching the collisional and dynamical evolution of main-belt and near-Earth asteroids, Vulcanoids, Kuiper belt comets, and interplanetary dust. Dr. Durda has extensive experimental experience in hypervelocity impact studies, has logged time in over a dozen types of aircraft including the F/A-18 Hornet and the F-104 Starfighter, and has spent over 110 minutes of time in zero-gravity conducting experiments on NASA’s KC-135 Reduced Gravity Research Aircraft.
A finalist in the 2004 NASA astronaut selection, Durda is one of three SwRI payload specialists who will fly on multiple suborbital spaceflights with Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin.