Paul Mahaffy is the Chief of the Atmospheric Experiments 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.
Positions and Appointments
PI Sample Analysis at Mars Instrument Suite for the 2009 Mars Science Laboratory
NASA Headquarters management of Planetary Instrument Definition and Development Program (PIDDP)
Galileo Probe CoI -isotopic and compositional analysis of the deep Jovian atmosphere
CONTOR Neutral Gas and Ion Mass Spectrometer PI (with H. Niemann/GSFC)
Principal Investigator, Chemical Analysis of Released Gas Experiment (CHARGE) on the
Champollion Surface Science Package of the NASA New Millennium Mission to
the surface of a comet (canceled by NASA July 1999)
Service on numerous boards and panels such as Mars Surface Laboratory Science
Definition Team, Mars Synthesis Science Definition Team, Mars Strategic Roadmap
Federal Advisory Committee
Selection Board for numerous NASA mission, instruments, and R&A programs
Theme leader for GSFC Astrobiology Node - Evolution of Organics in Planetary Systems
PI on several MIDP, PIDDP, ASTID projects
CoI and organics lead on Arctic Mars Analog Svalbard Expedition (Andrew Steele, PI)
PhD. 1977, Iowa State University (Physical Chemistry Major)
B.S. 1972, Dordt College (Cum Laude, Chemistry Major, Mathematics Minor)
Mahaffy, P.R., Exploration of the Habitability of Mars: Development of Analytical Protocols for Measurement of Organic Carbon on the 2009 Mars Science Laboratory, accepted for publication in Space Science Reviews (2007).
Atreya, S., P.R. Mahaffy, and Ah-San Wong, Methane and related trace species on Mars: Origin, loss, implications for life, and habitability, Planetary and Space Science 55, 358-369 (2006).
Benna, M.; Mahaffy, P. R., New multi-fluid MHD model of comet 26P/Grigg-Skjellerup: Extrapolation to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, Geophysical Research Letters, 33, L10103, 2006.
Buch, A.; Glavin, D. P.; Sternberg, R.; Szopa, C.; Rodier, C.; Navarro-González, R.; Raulin, F.; Cabane, M.; Mahaffy, P. R., A new extraction technique for in situ analyses of amino and carboxylic acids on Mars by gas chromatography mass spectrometry, Planetary and Space Science, 54, 1592-1599 (2006).
D.P. Glavin, H.J. Cleaves, A. Buch, M. Schubert, A. Aubrey, J.L. Bada and P.R. Mahaffy, Sublimation extraction coupled with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry: A new technique for future in situ analyses of purines and pyrimidines on Mars Planetary and Space Science, 54, 1584-1591 (2006).
Mahaffy, P.R., Intensive Titan Exploration Begins, Science 308, 969 - 970 (2005).
Benna, M. and P.R. Mahaffy, A Multiscale Central Difference Scheme Applied to Magnetohydrodynamic Simulations of Cometary Atmospheres, The Astrophysical Journal 617, 656-666 (2004).
Cabane, M.; Coll, P.; Szopa, C.; Israël, G.; Raulin, F.; Sternberg, R.; Mahaffy, P.; Person, A.; Rodier, C.; Navarro-Gonzàlez, R.; Niemann, H.; Harpold, D.; Brinckerhoff, W., Did life exist on Mars? Search for organic and inorganic signatures, one of the goals for "SAM" (sample analysis at Mars) Advances in Space Research, 33, 2240-2245 (2004).
Owen, T., Mahaffy, P.R., Niemann, H.B., Atreya, S., and Wong, M., Protosolar Nitrogen, Astrophysical Journal Letters, 553(1), L77-L79, 2001.
Owen, T., Mahaffy, P.R., Niemann, H.B., Atreya, S., and Wong, M., Protosolar Nitrogen, Astrophysical Journal Letters, 553(1), L77-L79, 2001
Mahaffy, P.R., H. B. Niemann, A. Alpert, S. K.Atreya, J. Demick, T. M. Donahue, D. N. Harpold, and T. C. Owen, Noble Gas Abundance and Isotope Ratios in the Atmosphere of Jupiter from the Galileo Probe Mass Spectrometer, JGR Planets 105, 15061 - 15071 (2000).
Mahaffy, P.R., ”Mass Spectrometers Developed for Planetary Missions” in Laboratory Astrophysics and Space Research, P. Ehrenfreund, H. Kochan, Krafft, V. Pirronello (eds.) Kluwer 355-376, (1998).
Mahaffy, P.R., T.M. Donahue, S.K.Atreya, T.C.Owen, and H.B.Niemann, "Galileo Probe Measurements of D/H and 3He/4He in Jupiter's Atmosphere", Space Sciences Reviews and in the ISSI volume Primordial Nuclei and Their Galactic Evolution 84, 251-263 eds. R. von Steiger et al. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht (1998).