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.

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.

Benoît Seignovert


Benoît is a data scientist working at the University of Nantes (Osuna), specialised in planetary remote sensing instruments data acquisition and processing, and orbital navigation.

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.

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.

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.

Matt Brealey

Board Member

Matt is an freelance developer and product designer, specialising in creating 2D & 3D processing pipelines and applications for the Visual Effects and Design industries. He has recently been investigating how to apply these techniques to space data processing, to increase accessibility for both the general public and for planetary scientists. He created and maintains AreoBrowser (a web-app for viewing Martian terrain in 3D) and is currently exploring the use of VR to more easily explore and cross-reference multiple datasets.

Mark Wieczorek

Board Member

Mark is a research director at the Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur (CNRS). His research focuses on using geophysical data (topography, gravity, and magnetic fields) and remotely sensed geochemical data to decipher the interior structure and geologic evolution of the terrestrial planets and moons. He was a co-investigator of the orbiting SMART-1 and Chandrayaan-1 X-ray fluorescence spectrometers, and NASA's lunar gravity mapping mission GRAIL. In addition to his work with the Moon, he is a co-investigator associated with NASA's geophysical mission to Mars, Insight, NASA's mission to Psyche, and the laser altimeters on ESA's BepiColombo mission to Mercury and JUICE mission to Ganymede. He was the leader of the Planetary and Space Sciences group at the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris from 2012 to 2016, and he was the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Geophysical Research Planets from 2011 to 2015.

Sehajpal Singh


Sehajpal is PhD student at Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, specialised in impact of volatile ices in Martian Climate using modelling and data analysis.

Julia Maia


Julia is postdoctoral researcher at DLR, Berlin, specialised in interior structure and geodynamical evolution of terrestrial planets.

Christian Tai Udovicic


Christian is a postdoctoral researcher at University of Hawai’i, specialised in airless body remote sensing and computational models of physical processes.

Indhu Varatharajan


Indhu is a postdoctoral researcher at Stony Brook University, NY, specialised in laboratory spectroscopy, modeling, and ML for qualitative-quantitative planetary surface mineralogy.

Former Board Members and Advisors

Many thanks to our former members of the OP Board of Directors and advisors.

Angelo Pio Rossi
Emily Law
Myles Lewando
Andrea Nass
Emily Lakdawalla
Jérôme Gasperi

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