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Profile: Dr Mahesh Anand

Dr Mahesh Anand

The Open University, Department of Physical Sciences

Mahesh is a Reader in Planetary Science and Exploration in the School of Physical Sciences at The Open University. 


Mahesh's research is about understanding the origin and evolution of water and other associated volatiles in the Solar System. In order to address these questions, he leads a team of researchers comprising of PhD students, postdocs and international collaborators to analyse samples from Moon, Mars and asteroids for their elemental and isotopic composition using modern analytical instrumentation. In particular, his work on Moon rocks returned by all 6 Apollo missions have transformed our understanding of the history of water in the lunar interior. His research findings are making significant contributions towards informing various lunar exploration missions being planned by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Chinese National Space Agency (CNSA).

Apart from his scientific research, he has coordinated the UK-node of NASA Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI) since its inception in 2009, and led the establishment of an annual European Lunar Symposium (ELS). He also serves on several ESA committees and the European Space Sciences Committee (ESSC) in his capacity as a leading expert in Europe in the field of lunar sample science. He also led a Topical Team for ESA on the exploitation of local planetary materials that brought together planetary scientists and material scientists to evaluate the resource potential of the Moon. The work of this team was instrumental in generating significant momentum in the European science and industry communities which resulted in an enhanced level of activity in the area of In-Situ Resource Utilisation (ISRU) of the Moon as evidenced by a highly successful recent workshop at ESA which he helped to co-organise.


His work is closely connected to OU teaching in the field of Earth and Planetary Sciences. The highly successful Moons MOOC, the second level planetary science module S283, and the postgraduate module S818, all include significant contents based around our scientific understanding of the Moon and Apollo missions.

Public Engagement

He is passionate about communicating science to the wider audience and stakeholders and has hosted summer interns from schools and universities as well as organised dedicated public events such as the Moon Night event in Dec 2017. He has also written for The Conversation and have been involved in producing various media outputs associated with my lunar science activities.

Academic advisor for: 8 Days: To the Moon and Back, Inside the Bank of England

Dr Mahesh Anand's activities

Browse 9 OpenLearn items Dr Mahesh Anand has worked on

Dr Mahesh Anand's Research & Publications

Sungwoo Lim et al. (2019-07-17) Understanding of microwave heating behaviour of lunar regolith and simulants, In Lunar ISRU 2019 Workshop
Ana Černok et al. (2019) Shock‐induced microtextures in lunar apatite and merrillite, In Meteoritics and Planetary Science 6(54), Wiley
Sungwoo Lim et al. (2019-05-23) Microwave heating experiment of lunar simulant (JSC-1A) using a bespoke industrial microwave apparatus, In European Lunar Symposium (ELS) 2019
Hannah Sargeant et al. (2019) Experimental Development and Testing of the Ilmenite Reduction Reaction for a Lunar ISRU Demonstration with ProSPA, In 50th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference
E. K. Gibson et al. (2019) Apollo Virtual Microscope Collection: Lunar Minaeralogy and Petrology of Apollo Rocks, In 50th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference
Thomas James Barrett et al. (2019) Investigating magmatic processes in the early Solar System using the Cl isotopic systematics of eucrites, In Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Joshua F. Snape et al. (2018-11-15) Ancient volcanism on the Moon: Insights from Pb isotopes in the MIL 13317 and Kalahari 009 lunar meteorites, In Earth and Planetary Science Letters(502)
Shannon Stockdale et al. (2018-09-21) Cooling rates of chondrules from diffusion profiles in relict olivine grains, In European Planetary Science Congress 2018

Browse Dr Mahesh Anand 's latest research on Open Research Online