OUR Mission

Our mission is to promote and facilitate the open practice of planetary science and data analysis for professionals and amateurs by organizing events and conducting collaborative projects aimed at creating scientific, technical and educational resources, tools and data accessible to all.


OpenPlanetary started back in 2015 from an initial participants effort to stay connected and share information related to and beyond the ESA’s first Planetary GIS Workshop. It then continued during the 2nd USGS Planetary Data Workshop, and aggregated more people.

In 2018, we established as non-profit organisation in order to provide us with a legal framework to sustainably fund our community framework, projects and activities, and better serve the planetary science community as a whole.


OpenPlanetary is a community-driven organisation made of and intended for research and education professionals: scientists, engineers, designers, teachers and students, as well as space enthusiasts and citizen scientists - across all planetary science disciplines, missions, working groups, space agencies and institutions.


Membership is free and open to anyone willing to learn from and share with others, and contribute to the effort to develop our framework, projects, and activities. As member of OpenPlanetary you are entitled to:

Members are invited to attend and can vote during yearly general assembly meetings of the organisation.


We are a group of volunteers passionate about planetary data and open science. Together, we officially form the Board of Directors of the organisation. We lead and coordinate its activities and projects.

Nicolas Manaud

Co-Founder and President

Nicolas is an independant space science data consultant and user experience designer. He has previously worked over a decade as a scientific software developer and data analyst in support to ESA’s Solar System missions; science operations planning, data processing and archiving activities.

Angelo Pio Rossi

Co-founder and Treasurer

Angelo is a planetary geologist working at Jacobs University Bremen (DE), after having worked at the European Space Agency (ESTEC, NL) and the International Space Science Institute (Bern, CH). He serves as editor in chief for Planetary and Space science. He is involved in various mission experiments (MEX MARSIS, MEX HRSC, ExoMars CaSSIS) and he tries to help sharing science data and information openly, not just like in a close club, with secret (data) recipes.

Chase Million

Co-founder and Secretary

Chase is a scientist and software engineer with almost two decades of experience in spacecraft-based remote sensing and space mission support in planetary science and astronomy. He is an advocate for open and reproducible research and academic software development and has a particularly interested in research software archiving.

Trent Hare

Board Member

Trent is a cartographer and project manager at USGS Astrogeology Science Center, specialized in supporting GIS-based analyses, data set interoperability, creation of geospatial tools, cartographic representations and metadata.

Mario D'Amore

Board Member

Mario is a Physicist working at the German Aerospace Center/Planetary Research Dep./Planetary Spectroscopy Laboratory. Self-taught developer, ist main work is building data pipeline for space instruments and data analysis tools. He is adventuring in the Machine Learning field applied to Planetary Data. Actively involved in the ESA/BepiColombo mission for the MERTIS instrument. Loves tech and did some podcasting/blogging in its little spare time.

Alessandro Frigeri

Board Member

Alessandro is a researcher at the Institute for Astrophysics and Planetology of INAF in Rome, Italy. He is part of the scientific teams of spectrometers and subsurface radar sounders on ESA and NASA missions. He makes use, develops and advocates the use of GIS tools and methods in planetary research, working towards filling the gap between different disciplines involved in planetary sciences throughout digital maps. In 2018 he focuses his research on image/spectra processing ad use of git for planetary data processing.

Emily Law

Board Member

Emily is a Deputy Program Manager of Data Systems and Technology Program Office at Jet Propulsion Laboratory. For over 20 years, she has provided leadership and management in the architecture, development, technology and operations of highly distributed data intensive systems for planetary exploration and earth science. In addition to being the Deputy Program Manager, Emily also serves as the Planetary Data System Operations Manager and the Solar System Treks Project Manager. She has strong interest in promoting FAIR and advancing scientific visualization and analytics.

Jonathan McAuliffe

Board Member

Jonathan is Training and Simulation Manager at German Aerospace Center's Galileo Control Center near Munich, Germany. He has a background in planetary science and worked for over a decade with European Space Agency, mostly as an Operations Scientist for the BepiColombo mission to Mercury. He is passionate about developing tools, processes, and workflows that make working the data (not only scientific data) easier, faster and more fun. Over the years he's worked with a lot of coding languages and frameworks but if it can be done with Python... all the better.

Emily Lakdawalla

Board Member

Emily Lakdawalla is Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist at The Planetary Society, where she has worked since 2001 to advance public understanding of space and to share the wonder of scientific space exploration. She has been an administrator at the international space image processing discussion forum, unmannedspaceflight.com, since 2005. She is an internationally admired science communicator and educator. Her writing and image processing can be found at planetary.org, @elakdawalla on Twitter, in Sky and Telescope magazine, and in her book, The Design and Engineering of Curiosity, published by Springer-Praxis in 2018.

Michael Aye

Board Member

Michael is a Research Associate at the University of Colorado Boulder, in the Laboratory for Atmosphere and Space Physics. His planetary science experience reaches from building cameras for the Dawn mission, managing the building of the laser altimeter for the BepiColombo mission, recalibrating the Diviner thermal radiometer of the LRO mission and analyzing MRO HiRISE data for understanding seasonal phenomena at the poles of Mars, combining Citizen Science results with machine learning tools. Currently he is mainly working on analyzing Cassini image data of Saturn's rings to study material aggregation, while getting more involved in instrument and mission development. Since 2002 he is hooked on Python (v2.2) and uses it for basically all his science activities.

Andrea Nass

Board Member

Andrea is a cartography and GIS scientist at the Institute of Planetary Research at German Aerospace Center in Berlin. Her research topics and interests are the cartographic visualization as well as the availability and accessibility of planetary map information.

Myles Lewando

Board Member

Myles is a freelance GIS-focused web developer and designer by night and a learning technologist at the School of Geography and Planning at Cardiff University by day. Aside from cartography, Myles works with experimental interaction systems and digital learning, exploring technologies such as 3D and mixed reality, always with a preference for open source and open data.

Board of Advisors

We are advised by a Board of Advisors and active contributors:

Stéphane Erard
Angelo Zinzi
Mark Bentley
Todd King
Andrew Annex
Baptiste Cecconi
Stephan van Gasselt

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