Dr. Rene Laufer is associate research professor and head of the space science lab for the Baylor University Center for Astrophysics, Space Physics and Engineering Research (CASPER). He has research interests in the field of space science, space engineering and space missions, including: cosmic dust and plasma, in-situ resource utilization, lunar exploration, mission design and operations, planetary exploration, small satellites and systems engineering and project management.
Working with University of Texas (Austin) and University of Stuttgart, Germany, Laufer and colleagues are building a miniaturized space dust detector that will help satellites to evaluate the risk of damaging collisions for mitigation and avoidance. The palm-sized detector will be launched into orbit in 2013 as part of a satellite the University of Texas is building.
Laufer worked at the German Aerospace Center from 1993 to 2003 in the field of planetary exploration (missions: e.g. Cassini, Deep Space 1, Galileo, Mars Express, Mars Pathfinder). From 2003 to 2009 he was a research associate, lecturer and staff member at the Institute of Space Systems at the University of Stuttgart, before joining the CASPER faculty.
Laufer earned his bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering from TU Berlin, his master's degree from the International Space University in Strasbourg, France, and his doctoral degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Stuttgart.
To interview Laufer, contact Lori Fogleman, 254-710-6275, or the Office of Media Communications at (254) 710-1961.