Planetary Environments Laboratory (699) Home

Full View of Asteroid Vesta

Full View of Asteroid Vesta: As the Dawn spacecraft travels to its next destination, this mosaic synthesizes some of the best views the spacecraft had of the giant asteroid Vesta.

Welcome to the Planetary Environments Laboratory at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. We are located in Greenbelt, Maryland, just outside of Washington, DC, in NASA's first science center, where our scientists are part of the world's largest Earth and space science research organization. These pages will introduce you to our work exploring the environments throughout the Solar System. You will find information about our people and projects, along with scientific data and links to original publications.

Press Releases & Feature Stories

Odd Tilts Could Make More Worlds Habitable

Planets that lean one way, then change orientation within a short geological time might be surprisingly habitable, according to modeling by scientists affiliated with the NASA Astrobiology Institute.

MAVEN on Track to Carry out Science Mission

The MAVEN spacecraft and all of its science instruments have completed their initial checkout, and all are working as expected.

New Technique Could Search Space Dust for Life's Ingredients

Scientists at Goddard's Astrobiology Analytical Laboratory inspected tiny meteorite samples to look for the components of life. The method is also suitable for micrometeorites and interplanetary dust.

Curiosity Offers New Habitability Results and First Age Measurement on Mars

New findings suggest habitable conditions in Yellowknife Bay may have persisted for millions to tens of millions of years. Mineral analysis puts age of Cumberland rock at 3.86 to 4.56 billion years.
NASA meatball

NASA Highlights Mars, Ozone Hole, and the Sun at American Geophysical Union

NASA researchers will present new findings on a wide range of Earth and space science topics next week at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU).
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The Planetary Environments Laboratory studies the chemistry of atmospheres and surfaces of planets and their moons. We participate in all phases of planetary investigations, from defining and developing specialized instrumentation to analyzing, interpreting, distributing, and archiving data collected during flight missions. We provide a basis for planetary mission studies through a vigorous program of planetary analog research that includes laboratory simulations of planetary environments, geochemical and isotopic analysis, computational modeling of planetary atmospheres, and field studies of planetary analog sites.

Contact Us

Dr. Paul R Mahaffy
Chief [699]

General inquiries about the scientific programs at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center may be directed to the Office of Public Affairs at 1.301.286.8955.

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