The Catholic University of America

Richard Starr

The Catholic University of America/NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Current Position

Research Associate Professor, Department of Physics, The Catholic University of America

Relevant Experience

1985 to Present – Research Associate Professor, Department of Physics, Catholic University

1980 to 1985 – Senior Research Associate, Department of Physics, Catholic University

1978 to 1980 – NRC Postdoctoral Fellow, National Bureau of Standards


B.S., Physics 1972, New York University

M.S., Physics 1974, University of Illinois

Ph.D., Physics 1978, University of Illinois

Professional History

Richard Starr is a Research Associate Professor in the Physics Department at The Catholic University of America and has been funded through NASA grants to conduct X-ray, gamma-ray, and neutron studies at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD since 1980.  He has developed instrumentation for balloon and space flight missions in the fields of solar physics, astrophysics and planetary physics.  He has worked on such flight programs as the GRS for Mars Observer, the X-Ray/Gamma-Ray Spectrometer (XGRS) for the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous Shoemaker (NEAR) mission, the Russian Mars ’96 GRS, the X-Ray Spectrometer for the Clark mission, and the GRS instrument suite on the Mars Odyssey mission.  He is currently working on two flight missions: as the X-Ray Spectrometer instrument scientist and participating scientist for the Mercury MESSENGER mission, and as a co-investigator on the Lunar Exploration Neutron Detector (LEND) which is part of the science payload on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.  Dr. Starr is co-author of more than 60 papers in refereed journals.

NASA Group Achievement Awards

Mars Observer payload Development/GRS - NEAR Shoemaker Mission Team - Mars Odyssey Project Team - Mars Odyssey Project GRS Team - MESSENGER Mission Team - Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Team


Selected Publications

Evans, L. G., R. C. Reedy, R. D. Starr, K. E. Kerry, and W. V. Boynton, Analysis of Gamma-Ray Spectra by Mars Odyssey, J. Geophys. Res., 111, E03S04, doi:10.1029/2005JE002657.

W. V. Boynton, G. J. Taylor, L. G. Evans, R. C. Reedy, R. Starr, D. M. Janes, K. E. Kerry, D. M. Drake, K. J. Kim, R. M. S. Williams, M. K. Crombie, J. M. Dohm, V. Baker, A. E. Metzger, S. Karunatillake, J. M. Keller, H. E. Newsom, J. R. Arnold, J. Bruckner, P. A. J. Englert, O. Gasnault, A. L. Sprague, I. Mitrofanov, S. W. Squyres, J. I. Trombka, L. d’Uston, H. Wanke, and D. K. Hamara, Concentration of H, Si, Cl, K, Fe, and Th in the low- and mid-latitude regions of Mars,  J. Geophys. Res. 112 E12S99, doi:10.1029/2007JE002887 (2007).

W. V. Boynton, A. L. Sprague, S. C. Solomon, R. D. Starr, L. G. Evans, W. C. Feldman, J. I. Trombka, and E. A. Rhodes, MESSENGER and the Chemistry of Mercury’s Surface, Space Sci Rev 131, Issue 1-4, pp. 85-104 (2007).