Lunar Research Institute Founder and Director
President of the Board
Dr. Alan Binder is a Lunar and Planetary Scientist, a Spacecraft Systems and Design Engineer and a Mission Director with over 40 years of experience working in the NASA and European Space Programs. He was a Principal Investigator on the 1976 Viking Mars Lander Missions that made the first successful unmanned landings on Mars. He was the father, Principal Investigator, Manager and Mission Director of all phases of the $65 million, NASA sponsored Lunar Prospector Mission that was launched to the Moon on January 6, 1998 and conducted a 19-month orbital mapping mission of the Moon. Dr. Binder was also the Principal Investigator and Manager of the $4.4 million, Lunar Prospector Data Analysis program. This unmanned lunar mapping program started by Dr. Binder in 1989 as a philanthropic effort when he founded the Texas based, non-profit, tax exempt company, Lunar Exploration, Inc. (LEI), whose charter was to define, promote and find support for the Lunar Prospector Mission. This goal was reached in 1995 when NASA chose Lunar Prospector to be the first peer reviewed, competitively selected mission in its new, low cost Discovery Program of Lunar and Planetary Missions, after which, LEI was dissolved. Dr. Binder then formed LRI in Arizona to carry on with the flight and scientific phases of Lunar Prospector and to expand the research program beyond the limited charter of LEI. Dr. Binder taught and did lunar research for 10 years in Germany at the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg, the University of Kiel and the University of Muenster (he speaks German fluently and some Spanish). Dr. Binder has a BS in Physics and Mathematics from Northern Illinois University, a Ph.D. in Geology and Planetary Science from the University of Arizona and Habilitated (became qualified to be a Professor in the German University System) at the University of Kiel. He is a Member of the Board of Space Education Initiatives, Inc. Dr. Binder has authored and co-authored over 80 scientific papers in the open literature. He is also the author of Lunar Prospector: Against All Odds, the complete history of the Lunar Prospector Program, and Moonquake, a realistic science fiction story about the first Lunar Base.
Dr. Binder can be emailed at email@example.com