Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration


Team Western at the Tunnunik impact crater.

Team Western at the Tunnunik impact crater. Image credit: Cassandra Beauchamp

Western University considers Planetary Science and Exploration to be among its Signature Research Areas. Established in 2008, the Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration (CPSX) hosts more than 50 researchers, representing the faculties of Science, Engineering and Social Science. CPSX scholars, engaged in research in the broad areas of planetary science and exploration and in particular on five major themes; Earth Observation, Monitoring and Protection; Exploration Technologies; Planetary Processes; Planetary Materials and Galactic and Stellar Processes, are acknowledged as leaders on campus, in Canada and abroad, with publications in high-profile journals, such as Nature and Science; numerous national and international awards; and over $40 million in research funding. 

Computer simulation: formation of a giant protoplanet on a stable orbit resulting from fragmentation of a protostellar disk. Image credit: Shantanu Basu

Simulation of the formation of a giant protoplanet. Image credit: Shantanu Basu

Beyond Western, the CPSX has established a leadership role nationally, establishing, leading or participating in research networks and collaborative initiatives including: the Canadian Lunar Research Network (CLRN), a member of the NASA Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI); the Canadian Astrobiology Network (CAN), a member of the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI); the NSERC CREATE Program in Technologies and Techniques for Earth and Space Exploration; and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA)-funded Astromaterials Training and Research Opportunities (ASTRO) Pilot Cluster, which have enabled collaborations between CPSX researchers and those at 12 other Canadian universities. We also run, or contribute to, several field sitesspace missions, and analogue missions. As a leading Canadian centre, the CPSX strives not only to produce high quality research and researchers but also to make sure that it can continue to do so in years to come. The vision for CPSX is to strengthen and grow the Canadian space community through inspiring and training the next generation of scientists and engineers. 

Multi-disciplinary research is the hallmark of the scientific drive toward discovery in the 21st century. CPSX research reflects the collaborative nature of scholarship today. Find out more about our research projects. And, if you are a space-interested scientist or engineer, join the Canadian hub for planetary science and space exploration research and make space history happen with us.