Ellis Miner: Mormon Scientist

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Ellis Miner Mormon Scientist

Ellis D. Miner is a retired planetary scientist who worked on missions to all eight planets in his four-decade long career with NASA in its jet propulsion laboratory.

Miner earned his bachelor’s degree in physics from Utah State University and his PhD in astrophysics from Brigham Young University. He started his career at NASA in the inner solar system with the Mariner 7, Mariner 8, and Mariner 9 missions to Mars. He also worked on Mariner 10 to Venus and Mercury. He was assistant project scientist for the Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 missions to the outer solar system, which provided remarkable images. He also worked on the Viking 1 and Viking 2 missions to Mars.

He served as science adviser for NASA educational efforts. He also publicized space science as press officer in the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society. He penned the book Uranus: The Planet, Rings, and Satellites and co-wrote Neptune and Planetary Ring Systems, Discover Stars & Planets, and Uranus. He retired in 2005.

Miner is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He and his wife, Beverly Miner, are the parents of seven children. Since his retirement, they have served as Church-service missionaries in the Los Angeles Family History Library.