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Laboratory News

Paul Mahaffy Named Director of the Solar System Exploration Division

12.11.2015
Paul Mahaffy has been named the new Director of Goddard’s Solar System Exploration Division. Paul served for nearly 10 years as Chief of the Planetary Environments Laboratory, leading this group’s study of planetary atmospheres and surface environments with emphases on the modeling of atmospheres and surface environments, advanced instrument development, the study of terrestrial planetary analogs, and the development of space-qualified instruments. Paul is currently Principal Investigator of the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) investigation on the Curiosity rover and of the Neutral Gas and Ion Mass Spectrometer (NGIMS) on the MAVEN Mars orbiter. He previously participated in a wide range of planetary missions, including those to Jupiter, Saturn, comets, and the moon.
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Overview

The Planetary Magnetospheres Laboratory conducts research on solar system magnetic fields, solar system radio astronomy, and planetary dust, exosphere, and plasma environments. The Laboratory also develops new concepts for autonomous space research and operations through external partnerships.

Presently, the Laboratory is developing four in-house flight instruments for planetary, heliophysics, and military applications. Funded research includes investigations of the Sun (STEREO), Mercury(MESSENGER), Earth(RBSP), the Moon (NLSI, ETDP), Mars (MAVEn), Jupiter (Juno), and Saturn (Cassini).

Magnetometers developed at the Laboratory have flown to the Moon and every planet in the solar system at least once, and sometimes multiple times across different missions. Radio astronomy research targets the planets, the Sun, and their space environments and is partnered through international collaborations.

Contact Us

Christa A Kronser
301.286.0966
Administrative Assistant [695]
                                                                                                                                                                                        
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