The Planetary Studies Foundation (PSF) is an Illinois not-for-profit organization whose goal is to foster scientific literacy and to encourage interest in the sciences. Established
in 1989, PSF has grown to be a multi-faceted organization dealing with meteorite research and recovery, polar exploration, and science education. In the past fifteen years, PSF has become
internationally recognized for its contributions, thanks to the efforts of many of our officers and members.
PSF acquired a Starlab Portable
Planetarium in 1993 and since then has provided
basic planetarium astronomy shows to over 25,000 visitors. Our
volunteers have manned the large telescopes of the Karl G. Henize
Observatory at Harper College for its 10 years of operation, bringing a
close-up view of the heavens to over 20,000 visitors. Our speakers
and members have given countless talks at schools, community
centers, conventions and colloquia, bringing a better understanding
and appreciation of the universe. We have also extensively partnered
with the Community Consolidated School District 15, the second
largest K-12 school district in Illinois, on their Space Shuttle
15 space education program and on the Owen K. Garriott Discovery
PSF has sponsored and led several solar eclipse study expeditions, including to Mexico in 1991, locally in Illinois in 1994, and Aruba/Curacao Caribbean eclipse cruise in 1998, and to Turkey in 2000.
Meteorite study has been a cornerstone of our scientific inquiry. On Christmas Day 1995, Mrs. Violetta DuPont gifted the James M. DuPont Meteorite Collection, then the world's largest private collection, to the Planetary Studies Foundation for curating, scientific research, and for public education about the significance of meteorite science. PSF has displayed parts of the collection at Harper College, at the Elgin U-46 School District Planetarium, at the Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art, and to over one million visitors in a 2-year showing at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. Our meteorite specialists have led or sponsored international field teams to grow the DuPont Collection from 1031 meteorites to over 1350, making it one of the 10 largest public meteorite collections in the world! PSF, with the help of several research partnerships, has significantly extended its global recognition in the area of meteorite research.
PSF conducted three successful meteorite expeditions to Antarctica in 1998, 2000 and 2002. On Antarctica 2000, we provided support for a NASA researcher to extend his research into extremophile life forms, which may hold the key for finding life forms on other planets.
PSF is made possible by the generous contributions of loyal supporters and members. Our member base includes 250 members and is made up of astronauts, scientists, educators and members of the community. If you would like to find out more information about becoming a member, visit our Membership page.
Please visit our Milestones page to see a list of our major accomplishments in the last 16 years.