Ed Lu is an explorer whose quest is to map the unknown—whether by surveying the oceans at Liquid Robotics, leading Google Advanced Projects Team to map our neighborhoods, or his current work unveiling the secrets of the inner solar system with the Sentinel Mission. Ed co-founded the Sentinel Mission with Apollo 9 astronaut Rusty Schweickart. Ed currently serves as CEO.
A NASA Astronaut, Ed has flown three missions logging 206 days in space, to construct and live aboard the International Space Station. A graduate of Cornell, Ed earned a Ph.D. from Stanford, and has numerous commendations, including NASA’s highest honor: The Distinguished Service Medal.
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Social media links:
Twitter – Ed Lu: @astroedlu
Twitter – Sentinel Mission: @SentinelMission
Served as a NASA Astronaut for 12 years. He flew the Space Shuttle twice, the Russian Soyuz, and a 6 month tour on the International Space Station.
Served as a scientific advisor to the White House and NASA on space technology and policy issues.
Helped drive energy policy work for Google.org, the philanthropic arm of Google.
Active research scientist working in the fields of solar physics, astrophysics, plasma physics, and planetary science. He held positions at the High Altitude Observatory, the Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics, and the Institute for Astronomy.
Developed a number of new theoretical advances which have provided for the first time a basic understanding of the underlying physics of solar flares. He is also known as the co-inventor of the Gravity Tractor, a practical and controllable means of deflecting asteroids.
“The B612 Sentinel Space Telescope (E.T. Lu, H. Reitsema, J. Troeltzsch, and S. Hubbard),” New Space magazine, April 2013
“Faster, NASA, Faster,” New York Times op-ed, December 20, 2009
“Towing Asteroids with Gravitational Tractor,” Nature magazine, Vol. 438, November 10, 2005. (PDF)
“The Asteroid Tugboat,” Scientific American, November 2003. Russell L. Schweickart, Edward T. Lu, Piet Hut, and Clark Chapman. (PDF)
Lu flew on space shuttle mission STS-84 in 1997 as a Mission Specialist aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis to the Russian Mir space station. He flew as Payload Commander and Lead Spacewalker on Space Shuttle Atlantis on shuttle mission STS-106 to the International Space Station in 2000, in which he carried out a six-hour spacewalk to perform construction work on the International Space Station. Having been flight engineer on Soyuz TMA-2, just 9 weeks after the loss of Space Shuttle Columbia, Lu spent six months in space in 2003 as part of ISS Expedition 7, with cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko.
During the mission, Lu wrote Greetings Earthlings: letters home during his 6-month stay aboard the International Space Station.
Career after NASA
On August 10, 2007, Lu announced he was retiring from NASA to work at Google.
In June 2010, Lu left Google and worked out of the Sunfire Offices.
Starting in September 2011, Lu joined Liquid Robotics as Chief of Innovative Applications, where his work includes outreach to promote new applications for ocean science.
As of February 2012, Lu joined Hover Inc. as the Chief Technology Officer.
On June 28, 2012, Lu, with Apollo 9 Astronaut Rusty Schweickart and Dr. G. Scott Hubbard, Astronautics professor and Author from Stanford University launched the B612 Foundation to build and operate the first privately-funded deep space mission called Sentinel.