Dr. Ben Corbin is Research Staff Member at the IDA Science and Technology Policy Institute (STPI). He earned his Ph.D. in Space Systems Engineering and Master’s degrees in Aeronautics and Astronautics and Earth and Planetary Sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. At STPI, Ben and his colleagues serve the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President as well as other executive branch agencies and departments like NASA, DHS, and NSF. In his two years at STPI, Ben has worked on a wide range of projects including private space stations, trends in small satellite capabilities, planetary defense strategies, quantum technologies assessments, critical infrastructure security and resilience, and position, navigation, and timing policy.
Ben’s research background touches on a variety of subjects related to space exploration. His doctoral research was on the design and evaluation of distributed satellites and how to leverage the emergent capabilities of distributed satellites in space science missions, while his masters’ research studied ultraviolet emissions of hydrogen in the upper atmospheres of Venus and Jupiter. His side research projects have included concept studies for shared human and robotic missions to Mars orbit and asteroid detection, deflection, and mitigation strategies. In addition, he has designed and built hardware for research on flame speed gas dynamics, sounding rocket telescopes, plasma ramjet thrusters, and small satellites.
Ben has jumped out of perfectly good airplanes 51 times, has flown 35 parabolas on microgravity research flight campaigns, and has traveled over 20,000 miles on motorcycles.