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Dr. Paul R Mahaffy


Dr. Paul R Mahaffy

  • Chief , Planetary Environments Laboratory
  • 301.614.6379 | 301.614.6406
  • Mail Code: 699
  • Greenbelt , MD 20771
  • Employer: NASA
  • Brief Bio

    Paul Mahaffy is the Chief of the Planetary Environments Laboratory in the Solar System Exploration Division at NASA Goddard. He has participated for many years at Goddard Space Flight Center in study of planetary atmospheres and development of space qualified instrumentation. His main research interests are: (1) Planetary science, especially chemical and isotopic composition of planetary atmospheres and comets, (2) Advanced instrument development for organic and light isotope analysis in planetary targets, and (3) Analog studies for martian and cometary materials including both laboratory and field work.

    Current Projects

    Mission participation

    Paul Mahaffy is the Principal Investigator (PI) on the Sample Analysis at Mars Instrument Suite on the Curiosity Rover currently operating on the surface of Mars. He is also PI on the Neutral Gas and Ion Mass Spectrometer on the MAVEN Mars orbiter mission on its way to Mars and the PI on the Neutral Mass Spectrometer on the LADEE mission that recently finished a very successful mission in lunar orbit exploring the tenuous lunar exosphere. One of his past career highlights was studying the atmosphere of Jupiter using data from a mass spectrometer on the Galileo Probe as it parachuted down into that atmosphere and sent its data back to Earth.

    Recent refereed publications

    P.R. Mahaffy and 26 CoAuthors, The imprint of atmospheric evolution in the D/H of Hesperian clay minerals on Mars, Science 23, 412-414 (2015).

    P.R. Mahaffy and P. Conrad, Volatile and Isotopic Imprints of Ancient Mars, Elements 11, 51 (2015).

    C.R. Webster, P.R. Mahaffy and 29 CoAuthors, Mars methane detection and variability at Gale crater, Science 23, 415-417 (2015).

    C. Freissinet, D. Glavin, P.R. Mahaffy and other CoAuthors, Organic molecules in the Sheepbed Mudstone, Gale Crater, Mars, accepted, Journal of Geophysical Research (2015).

    H. Franz and several CoAuthors including P.R. Mahaffy, Reevaluated Martian Atmospheric Mixing Ratios from the Mass Spectrometer on the Curiosity Rover, accepted Planetary and Space Science (2015).

    J. Stern and several CoAuthors including P.R. Mahaffy, Evidence for indigenous nitrogen in sedimentary and aeolian deposits from the Curiosity rover, accepted, Journal of the National Academy of Sciences (2015).

    Y. Chen, P. Mahaffy, V. Holmes, J. Burris, P. Morey, K.K. Lehmann, B Sherwood Lollar, G. Lacrampe-Couloume, T.C. Onstott, Near infrared cavity ring-down spectroscopy for isotopic analyses of CH4 on future Martian surface missions, Planetary and Space Science 105, 117 (2015).

    R.C. Elphic, G.T. Delory, B. Hine, P.R. Mahaffy, M. Horanyi, A. Colaprete, M. Benna, S.K. Noble, The Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer Mission, Space Science Review, 185, 3, (2015).

    H. Franz and several CoAuthors including P.R. Mahaffy, Analytical Techniques for Retrieval of Atmospheric Composition with the Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer of the Sample Analysis at Mars Instrument Suite on Mars Science Laboratory, accepted by Planetary and Space Sciences (2014).

    P.R. Mahaffy and 35 CoAuthors, The Neutral Gas and Ion Mass Spectrometer on the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission, Space Science Reviews, DOI 10.1007/s11214-014-0091-1 (2014).

    P.R. Mahaffy and 35 CoAuthors, The Neutral Mass Spectrometer on the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer Mission, DOI: 10.1007/s11214-014-0043-9 (2014).

    McAdam, Amy C.; Franz, Heather B.; Sutter, Brad; Archer, Paul D.; Freissinet, Caroline; Eigenbrode, Jennifer L.; Ming, Douglas W.; Atreya, Sushil K.; Bish, David L.; Blake, David F.; Bower, Hannah E.; Brunner, Anna; Buch, Arnaud; Glavin, Daniel P.; Grotzinger, John P.; Mahaffy, Paul R.; McLennan, Scott M.; Morris, Richard V.; Navarro-González, Rafael; Rampe, Elizabeth B.; Squyres, Steven W.; Steele, Andrew; Stern, Jennifer C.; Sumner, Dawn Y.; Wray, James J., Sulfur-bearing phases detected by evolved gas analysis of the Rocknest aeolian deposit, Gale Crater, Mars, Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 119, 373 (2014).

    Paul D. Archer, Heather B. Franz, Brad Sutter, Ricardo D. Arevalo Jr., Patrice Coll, Jennifer L. Eigenbrode, Alberto G. Fairen, Daniel P. Glavin, John J. Jones, Laurie A. Leshin, Paul R. Mahaffy, Amy C. McAdam, Christopher P. McKay, Douglas W. Ming, Richard V. Morris, Rafael Navarro-Gonzalez, Paul B. Niles, Alex Pavlov, Steven W. Squyres, Jennifer Claire Stern, Andrew Steele, James J. Wray, Abundances and implications of volatile-bearing species from Evolved Gas Analysis of the Rocknest aeolian bedform, Gale Crater, Mars, JGR Planets, 119, 237 (2014).

    Pavlov, A. A., Pavlov, A. K., Ostryakov, V. M., Vasilyev, G. I., Mahaffy, P., & Steele, A. (2014). Alteration of the carbon and nitrogen isotopic composition in the Martian surface rocks due to cosmic ray exposure. Journal of Geophysical Research (Planets), 119, 1390-1402.

    Paul R. Mahaffy, Christopher R. Webster, Sushil K. Atreya, Heather Franz, Michael Wong, Pamela G. Conrad, Dan Harpold, John J. Jones, Laurie A. Leshin, Heidi Manning, Tobias Owen, Robert O. Pepin, Steven Squyres, Melissa Trainer and the MSL Science Team, Abundance and Isotopic Composition of Gases in the Martian Atmosphere from the Curiosity Rover, Science 343 (2013).

    J. P. Grotzinger, D. Y. Sumner, L. C. Kah, K. Stack, S. Gupta, L. Edgar, D. Rubin, K. Lewis, J. Schieber, N. Mangold, R. Milliken, P. G. Conrad, D. DesMarais, J. Farmer, K. Siebach, F. Calef, J. Hurowitz, S. M. McLennan, D. Ming, D. Vaniman, J. Crisp, A. Vasavada, K. S. Edgett, M. Malin, D. Blake, R. Gellert, P. Mahaffy, R. C. Wiens, S. Maurice, J. A. Grant, S. Wilson, R. C. Anderson, L. Beegle, R. Arvidson, B. Hallet, R. S. Sletten, M. Rice, J. Bell, J. Griffes, B. Ehlmann, R. B. Anderson, T. F. Bristow, W. E. Dietrich, G. Dromart, J. Eigenbrode, A. Fraeman, C. Hardgrove, K. Herkenhoff, L. Jandura, G. Kocurek, S. Lee, L. A. Leshin, R. Leveille, D. Limonadi, J. Maki, S. McCloskey, M. Meyer, M. Minitti, H. Newsom, D. Oehler, A. Okon, M. Palucis, T. Parker, S. Rowland, M. Schmidt, S. Squyres, A. Steele, E. Stolper, R. Summons, A. Treiman, R. Williams, A. Yingst, M. S. Team, A Habitable Fluvio-Lacustrine Environment at Yellowknife Bay, Gale Crater, Mars. Science, (December 9, 2013, 2013).

    D. W. A. Ming, P.D; Glavin,D.P.; Eigenbrode,J.L.;Franz,H.B.; Sutter,B.; Brunner,A.E.;Stern,J.C.; Freissinet,C.; McAdam,A.C.; Mahaffy,P.R.; Cabane,M.; Coll,P.; Campbell,J.L.; Atreya,S.K.; Niles,P.B.; Bell,J.F.; Bish,D.L.; Brinckerhoff,W.B.; Buch,A.; Conrad,P.G.; Des Marais,D.J.; Ehlmann,B.L.;Fairén,A.G.; Farley,K.; Flesch,G.J.; Francois,P.; Gellert,R.; Grant,J.A.; Grotzinger,J.P.; Gupta,S.; Herkenhoff,K.E.; Hurowitz,J.A.; Leshin,L.A.; Lewis,K.W.; McLennan,S.M.; Miller,K.E.; Moersch,J.; Morris,R.V.; Navarro-González,R.; Pavlov,A.A.; Perrett,G.M.; Pradler,I.; Squyres,S.W.; Summons,R.E.; Steele,A.; Stolper,E.M.; Sumner,D.Y.; Szopa,C.; Teinturier,S.; Trainer,M.G.; Treiman,A.H.; Vaniman,D.T.; Vasavada,A.R.; Webster,C.R.; Wray,J.J.; Yingst,R.A.; MSL Science Team., Volatile and Organic Compositions of Sedimentary Rocks in Yellowknife Bay, Gale crater, Mars. Science Express 342, (2013).

    Atreya, Sushil K.; Trainer, Melissa G.; Franz, Heather B.; Wong, Michael H.; Manning, Heidi L. K.; Malespin, Charles A.; Mahaffy, Paul R.; Conrad, Pamela G.; Brunner, Anna E.; Leshin, Laurie A.; Jones, John H.; Webster, Christopher R.; Owen, Tobias C.; Pepin, Robert O.; Navarro-González, R., Primordial argon isotope fractionation in the atmosphere of Mars measured by the SAM instrument on Curiosity and implications for atmospheric loss, Geophysical Research Letters, 40, 5605-5609 (2013).

    Wong, M.H., S.K. Atreya, P.N. Mahaffy, H.B. Franz, C. Malespin, M.G. Trainer, P.G. Conrad, H.L.K. Manning, R.O. Pepin, R.H. Becker, C.P. McKay, T.C. Owen, R. Navarro-González, J.H. Jones, B.M. Jakosky, A. Steele (2013) Isotopes of nitrogen on Mars: Atmospheric measurements by Curiosity's mass spectrometer. Geophysical Research Letters, in press, DOI: 10.1002/2013GL057840.

    K. A. M. Farley, C.; Mahaffy, P.; Grotzinger, J.; Vasconcelos,P.; Milliken, R.; Malin, M.; Edgett, K.; Pavlov,A.; Jurowitz, J.; Grant, J.; Miller, H.; Arvidson, R.; Beegle, L.; Calef, F.; Conrad, P.; Eietrich, W.E.; Eigenbrode, J.; Gellert, R.; Gupta, S.; Hamilton, V.; Hassler, D.; Lewis, K.; McLennan, S.; Ming, D.; Navarro-Gonzalez, R.;Schwenzer, S.; Stolper, E.;Sumner, D.; Vaniman, D.; Vasavada, A.; Williford, K.; Wimmer-Schweingruber, R.F.; MSL Science Team, In-situ Radiometric and Exposure age Dating of the Martian surface. Science Magazine 342, (2013).

    Sittler, E. C.; Cooper, J. F.; Hartle, R. E.; Paterson, W. R.; Christian, E. R.; Lipatov, A. S.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Paschalidis, N. P.; Coplan, M. A.; Cassidy, T. A.; Richardson, J. D.; Fegley, B.; Andre, N., Plasma ion composition measurements for Europa, Planetary and Space Science 88, 26-41 (2013).

    C. R. M. Webster, P.R.; Flesch, G.J.; Niles, P.B.; Jones, J.H.; Leshin, L.A.; Atreya, S.K.; Stern, J.; Christensen, L.C.; Owen, T.; Franz, H.; Pepin, R.O.; Steele, A.; MSL Science Team, Isotope Ratios of H, C, and O in CO2 and H2O of the Martian Atmosphere. Science 341, 3 (2013).

    L.A. Leshin, P.R. Mahaffy, C.R. Webster, M. Cabane, P. Coll, P.G. Conrad, P.D. Archer, Jr., S.K. Atreya, A.E. Brunner, A. Buch, J.L. Eigenbrode, G.J. Flesch, H.B. Franz, C. Freissinet, D.P. Glavin, A.C. McAdam, K.E. Miller, D.W. Ming, R.V. Morris, R. Navarro-González, P.B. Niles, T. Owen, R.O. Pepin, S. Squyres, A. Steele, J.C. Stern, R.E. Summons, D. Sumner, B. Sutter, C. Szopa, S. Teinturier, M.G. Trainer, J.J. Wray, J.P. Grotzinger and the MSL Science Team, Volatile, Isotope and Organic Analysis of Martian Fines with the Mars Curiosity Rover, Science, 341, id. 1238937 (2013).

    Daniel P. Glavin, Caroline Freissinet, Kristen E. Miller, Jennifer L. Eigenbrode, Anna E. Brunner, Arnaud Buch, Brad Sutter, Doug P. Archer, Jr., Sushil K. Atreya, William B. Brinckerhoff, Michel Cabane, Patrice Coll, Pamela G. Conrad, David Coscia, Jason P. Dworkin, Heather B. Franz, John P. Grotzinger, Laurie A. Leshin, Mildred G. Martin, Christopher McKay, Douglas W. Ming, Rafael Navarro-González, Alexander Pavlov, Andrew Steele, Roger E. Summons, Cyril Szopa, Samuel Teinturier, and Paul R. Mahaffy, JGR Planets, final revisions submitted July 2013.

    Chris R. Webster, Paul R. Mahaffy, Sushil K. Atreya, Gregory J. Flesch, Kenneth A. Farley, and the MSL Science Team, Low Upper Limit to Methane Abundance on Mars. Science 342, 355 (2013)Doi 10.1126/Science.1242902.

    Bishop, Janice L., Franz, Heather B., Goetz, Walter, Blake, David F., Freissinet, Caroline, Steininger, Harald, Goesmann, Fred, Brinckerhoff, William B., Getty, Stephanie, Pinnick, Veronica T., Mahaffy, Paul R., Dyar, M. Darby, Coordinated analyses of Antarctic sediments as Mars analog materials using reflectance spectroscopy and current flight-like instruments for CheMin, SAM and MOMA, Icarus, 224, 309-325 (2013).

    D. F. Blake, R. V. Morris, G. Kocurek, S. M. Morrison, R. T. Downs, D. Bish, D. W. Ming, K. S. Edgett, D. Rubin, W. Goetz, M. B. Madsen, R. Sullivan, R. Gellert, I. Campbell, A. H. Treiman, S.M. McLennan, A. S. Yen, J. Grotzinger, D. T. Vaniman, S. J. Chipera, C. N. Achilles, E. B. Rampe, D. Sumner, P-Y Meslin, S. Maurice, O. Forni1, O. Gasnault, M. Fisk, M. Schmidt, P. Mahaffy, L. A. Leshin, D. Glavin, A. Steele, C. Freissinet, R. Navarro-González, R. A. Yingst, L. C. Kah, N. Bridges, K. W. Lewis,T. F. Bristow, J. D. Farmer, J. A. Crisp, E. M. Stolper, D. J. Des Marais, P. Sarrazin and the MSL Science Team, Curiosity at Gale crater, Mars: Characterization and analysis of the Rocknest sand shadow, Science, accepted (2013).

    Stern, Jennifer C.; McAdam, Amy C.; Ten Kate, Inge L.; Bish, David L.; Blake, David F.; Morris, Richard V.; Bowden, Roxane; Fogel, Marilyn L.; Glamoclija, Mihaela; Mahaffy, Paul R.; Steele, Andrew; Amundsen, Hans E. F., Isotopic and geochemical investigation of two distinct Mars analog environments using evolved gas techniques in Svalbard, Norway, Icarus, 224, 297-308 (2013).

    Heather B. Franz, Melissa G. Trainer, Michael H. Wong, Heidi L. K. Manning, Jennifer C. Stern, Paul R. Mahaffy, Sushil K. Atreya, Pamela G. Conrad, Dan N. Harpold, Laurie A. Leshin, Charles A. Malespin, Christopher P. McKay,J. Thomas Nolan,Eric Raaen, Analytical Techniques for Retrieval of Atmospheric Gas Abundances and Isotope Ratios Measured by the Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer of the Sample Analysis at Mars Instrument Suite on Mars Science Laboratory, Submitted to Space Science Review (2013).

    A. C. McAdam, H. Franz, P. Archer, Jr., C. Freissinet, B. Sutter, J. L. Eigenbrode, Daniel P. Glavin, S. Atreya, D. Bish, D. Blake, H. Bower, A. Brunner, J. Grotzinger, P. R. Mahaffy, D. Ming, R. Morris, R. Navarro-Gonzalez, E. Rampe, S. Squyres, A. Steele, J. Stern, J. Wray, Evidence for sulfur-bearing phases in Martian soil fines from SAM volatile analyses at Rocknest, in preparation for submission to JGR Planets (2013).

    Stalport, F.; Glavin, D. P.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Bish, D.; Blake, D.; Coll, P.; Szopa, C.; Buch, A.; McAdam, A.; Dworkin, J. P.; Mahaffy, P. R.: The influence of mineralogy on recovering organic acids from Mars analogue materials using the derivatization experiment on the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite. Planet Space Sci 2012, 67, 1-13.

    Pavlov, A. A.; Vasilyev, G.; Ostryakov, V. M.; Pavlov, A. K.; Mahaffy, P.: Degradation of the organic molecules in the shallow subsurface of Mars due to irradiation by cosmic rays. Geophys Res Lett 2012, 39, 13202.

    P.R. Mahaffy, Christopher R.Webster, Michel Cabane, Pamela G. Conrad, Patrice Coll, Sushil K. Atreya, Robert Arvey, Michael Barciniak, Mehdi Benna, Lora Bleacher,William B. Brinckerhoff, Jennifer L. Eigenbrode, Daniel Carignan, Mark Cascia, Robert A. Chalmers, Jason P. Dworkin, Therese Errigo, Paula Everson, Heather Franz, Rodger Farley, Steven Feng, Gregory Frazier, Caroline Freissinet, Daniel P. Glavin, Daniel N. Harpold, Douglas Hawk,
    Vincent Holmes, Christopher S. Johnson, Andrea Jones, Patrick Jordan, James Kellogg, Jesse Lewis, Eric Lyness, Charles A. Malespin, David K. Martin, John Maurer, Amy C. McAdam, Douglas McLennan, Thomas J. Nolan, Marvin Noriega, Alexander A. Pavlov, Benito Prats, Eric Raaen, Oren Sheinman, David Sheppard, James Smith, Jennifer C. Stern, Florence Tan, Melissa Trainer, Douglas W. Ming, Richard V. Morris, John Jones, Cindy Gundersen, Andrew Steele, James Wray, Oliver Botta, Laurie A. Leshin, Tobias Owen, Steve Battel, Bruce M. Jakosky, Heidi Manning, Steven Squyres, Rafael Navarro-González, Christopher P. McKay, Francois Raulin, Robert Sternberg, Arnaud Buch, Paul Sorensen, Robert Kline-Schoder, David Coscia, Cyril Szopa, Samuel Teinturier, Curt Baffes, Jason Feldman, Greg Flesch, Siamak Forouhar, Ray Garcia, Didier Keymeulen, Steve Woodward, Bruce P. Block, Ken Arnett, Ryan Miller, Charles Edmonson, Stephen Gorevan, Erik Mumm, The Sample Analysis at Mars Investigation and Instrument Suite, Space Science Reviews DOI 10.1007/s11214-012-9879-z (2012).

    Grotzinger, J. P.; Crisp, J.; Vasavada, A. R.; Anderson, R. C.; Baker, C. J.; Barry, R.; Blake, D. F.; Conrad, P.; Edgett, K. S.; Ferdowski, B.; Gellert, R.; Gilbert, J. B.; Golombek, M.; Gómez-Elvira, J.; Hassler, D. M.; Jandura, L.; Litvak, M.; Mahaffy, P.; Maki, J.; Meyer, M.; Malin, M. C.; Mitrofanov, I.; Simmonds, J. J.; Vaniman, D.; Welch, R. V.; Wiens, R. C.: Mars Science Laboratory Mission and Science Investigation. Space Sci Rev 2012, 170, 5-56.

    Conrad, P. G.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Von der Heydt, M. O.; Mogensen, C. T.; Canham, J.; Harpold, D. N.; Johnson, J.; Errigo, T.; Glavin, D. P.; Mahaffy, P. R.: The Mars Science Laboratory Organic Check Material. Space Sci Rev 2012, 170, 479-501.

    S. K. Atreya, O. Witasse, V. F. Chevrier, F. Forget, P. R. Mahaffy, P. B. Price, . . . R. W. Zurek. Methane on Mars: Current observations, interpretation, and future plans Preface. Planetary and Space Science 59(2-3), 133-136 (2011).

    Webster, C. R.; Mahaffy, P. R.: Determining the local abundance of Martian methane and its’ 13C/12C and D/H isotopic ratios for comparison with related gas and soil analysis on the 2011 Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission. Planet Space Sci 2011, 59, 271-283.

    D. H. Atkinson, T. R. Spilker, K. Reh, S. K. Atreya, T. S. Balint, R. Beebe, . . . P. Mahaffy (2010). Exploring Saturn With Shallow Probes. Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society. 42: 1007.

    H. L. K. Manning, I. L. Ten Kate, S. J. Battel and P. R. Mahaffy. Electric discharge in the Martian atmosphere, Paschen curves and implications for future missions. Advances in Space Research 46, 1334-1340 (2010).

    S. A. Getty, I. L. ten Kate, S. H. Feng, W. B. Brinckerhoff, E. H. Cardiff, V. E. Holmes, . . . P. Mahaffy, D. P. Glavin. Development of an evolved gas-time-of-flight mass spectrometer for the Volatile Analysis by Pyrolysis of Regolith (VAPoR) instrument. International Journal of Mass Spectrometry 295(3), 124-132 (2010).

    S. A. Getty, O. Auciello, A. V. Sumant, X. P. Wang, D. P. Glavin and P. R. Mahaffy. Characterization of Nitrogen-Incorporated Ultrananocrystalline Diamond as a Robust Cold Cathode Material. Micro- and Nanotechnology Sensors, Systems, and Applications Ii 7679 (2010).

    R. C. Elphic, G. T. Delory, E. J. Grayzeck, A. Colaprete, M. Horanyi, P. Mahaffy, . . . J. S. Salute. The Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE): New Mission, Longstanding Questions. LPI Contributions 1595, 22 (2010).

    P. R. Mahaffy, Geochemical News, Sample Analysis at Mars: Developing Analytical Tools to Search for a Habitable Environment on the Red Planet 121 (2009).

    A. Buch, R. Sternberg, C. Szopa, C. Freissinet a,b, C. Garnier, El J. Bekri,
    C. Rodier, R. Navarro-Gonza´lez, F. Raulin, M. Cabane, M. Stambouli, D.P. Glavin, P.R. Mahaffy, Development of a gas chromatography compatible Sample Processing System (SPS) for the in-situ analysis of refractory organic matter in martian soil: preliminary results, Advances in Space Research 43, 143-151 (2009).

    Getty, Stephanie A., Li, Mary, Hess, Larry, Costen, Nick, King, Todd T., Roman, Patrick A., Brinckerhoff, William B., Mahaffy, Paul R., “Integration of a carbon nanotube field emission electron gun for a miniaturized time-of-flight mass spectrometer,” Proceedings of the SPIE 7318, 731816 (2009)

    Coustenis, A., and many CoAuthors including Mahaffy, P.R., TandEM: Titan and Enceladus mission, Experimental Astronomy: 23(3), 893 (2009).

    B. Marty, T. Guillot, A. Coustenis, N. Achilleos, Y. Alibert, S. Asmar, . . . J. Zarnecki. Kronos: exploring the depths of Saturn with probes and remote sensing through an international mission. Experimental Astronomy 23, 947-976 (2009).

    Mahaffy, P.R., Exploration of the Habitability of Mars: Development of Analytical Protocols for Measurement of Organic Carbon on the 2009 Mars Science Laboratory, Space Science Reviews, 135, 255 (2008).

    Wong, M. H., J.I. Lunine, S.K. Atreya, T. Johnson, P.R. Mahaffy, T. C. Owen, and T. Encrenaz, Oxyten and Other Volatiles in the Giant Planets and Their Satellites, in Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry, Vol 68, 219-246 (2008).

    Ten Kate, I.L., Canham, J.S., Conrad, P. G, Errigo, T., Katz, I, and Mahaffy, P.R., Impact of Terrestrial Contamination on Organic Measurements from the Mars Science Laboratory, Astrobiology 8, 571-582 (2008).


    PhD. 1977, Iowa State University (Physical Chemistry Major)
    B.S. 1972, Dordt College (Cum Laude, Chemistry Major, Mathematics Minor)

    Professional Societies

    American Society of Mass Spectrometry American Chemical Society American Vacuum Society American Geophysical Union AAA/Division of Planetary Sciences Geochemical Society , 1999 - Present

    Professional Service

    National Research Council Decadal Study Mars Panel (2009-2010)
    Instrument Technology Capabilities Roadmap team (2004-2005)
    Neptune New Visions Orbiter with Deep Probe Study (2003-2005)
    Mars Organic Contamination Science Steering Group (2003-2004) (chair)
    Mars Strategic Roadmap Federal Advisory committee (2004-2005)
    Entry Probe Working Group (2003, 2003)
    Mars Planning Science Synthesis Group (2002,2003)
    MIDP Review Panel (2003)
    Mars Icy Samples Study Team (2003)
    Mars Science Laboratory Project and Science Working Group (2002, 2003)
    Planetary Instrument Definition and Development Panel (2002)
    Technology Assessment for Solar System Exploration, 2002
    New Frontiers Jupiter Mission Assessment (2002)
    New Frontiers Comet Nucleus Sample Return Assessment (2002)
    Planetary Atmospheres Selection Panel (2001)
    Mars Smart Lander Science Definition Team (2001)
    Planetary Instrument Selection Panel (1997)
    New Millenium Deep Space 1 Science Team Selection Board (1997)
    Surveyor Lander Selection Team (1995)
    Near Earth Astroid Science Team Selection (1994)
    Cassini Ion and Neutral Mass Spectrometer Facility Instrument Definition Team (1991)
    Cosmic Dust Collection Facility Review Board (1990)


    John C. Lindsay Memorial Award (2014)
    Maryland Chemist of the Year Award (American Chemical Society – 2013)
    Robert C. Boumann Award for Mission Success (2011).
    Sample Analysis at Mars Experiment Team Award (2010).
    IRAD Innovator of the Year Team Award (2007).
    New Business Capture Award (2005).
    GSFC Special Act Award (2004).
    GSFC Special Achievement Award (2000).
    Galileo Probe Mass Spectrometer Experiment Team Award (1996)
    Galileo Probe Mass Spectrometer Team Centerwide Group Achievement Award (1996)
    NASA/Goddard/Laboratory for Atmospheres, Technical Achievement Award (1988)
    Galileo Probe Mass Spectrometer, Special Service Award (1990)
    Pullman Scholar Award (1968-1972)
    Argonne National Laboratory Study Grant Award (1972)
    Dordt College Scholarship Award (1968-1972)
    Procter and Gamble Scholarship (1972-1973)
    American Chemical Society Outstanding Chemistry Major (1972).

    Brief Bio

    Paul Mahaffy is the Chief of the Planetary Environments Laboratory in the Solar System Exploration Division at NASA Goddard. He has participated for many years at Goddard Space Flight Center in study of planetary atmospheres and development of space qualified instrumentation. His main research interests are: (1) Planetary science, especially chemical and isotopic composition of planetary atmospheres and comets, (2) Advanced instrument development for organic and light isotope analysis in planetary targets, and (3) Analog studies for martian and cometary materials including both laboratory and field work.

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