Exploring Mars

Mastcam view from the Curiosity rover on sol 1589 looking from Vera Rubin ridge to the stratigraphy ahead (NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

We examine the biggest questions in Mars history. Why did a once-watery world become a cold desert? What processes control the evolution of past and present surface climate? Did Mars, like Earth, develop life and does that life still exist on Mars today? Current projects include:

  • Mars 2020: Co-I on Mastcam-Z and SHERLOC instruments exploring the geology of Jezero crater and aiding sample collection
  • MRO/CRISM and other remote sensing analyses of hydrated minerals in Mars ancient terrains
  • Mars Science Laboratory understanding volatile elements (H, Cl, S, C) in the rock record and 3D terrain visualization
  • Modeling evolution of Mars volatiles and climate change