Dr. David Carrier was responsible for the development and performance of lunar soilexperiments in support of the Apollo program at the NASA Manned Spacecraft Center inHouston. His activities included astronaut training, design of lunar surface experiments, andlaboratory testing of returned lunar soil. He told Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin how deep theywere going to sink into the lunar surface. Dr. Carrier was a member of the science support teamin Mission Control and a member of the Lunar Sample Preliminary Examination Team in theLunar Receiving Laboratory during each of the Apollo missions.
Since leaving NASA, a big chunk of Dr. Carrier’s professional career has been spent onterrestrial soils that are the complete opposite of lunar soil. That is, clay minerals saturated withwater, neither of which exist on the Moon. And, yet, the technical challenge has been the same:To accurately predict the density of the soil and thereby derive its physical properties. He is hereshown after a long day’s work testing a clay slurry related to the reclamation of a bauxite mine. This was in Brasil, in the middle of the Amazon jungle in the early 1980s. He has worked onconstruction and mining projects in the US and fourteen other countries on six continents.
He obtained his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate in civil engineering from theMassachusetts Institute of Technology. He has published many technical papers and lecturedextensively. He is one of the co-authors of theLunar Sourcebook.