Planetary Systems Branch (Code SST)

Observational, theoretical, and experimental research on the origin and evolution of planetary systems
Hubble observations that discovered rings of Uranus

Hubble observations that discovered rings of Uranus

How common are planetary systems around nearby stars? Which conditions are necessary for planet formation? Are there other Earth-like planets capable of harboring life? What forms of life can be sustained in different physical and chemical environments?

Solar nebula models have revolutionized conceptions of solar system formation

Solar nebula models have revolutionized conceptions of solar system formation

We have world-class expertise in planetary geology and geophysics, planetary atmospheres and climate, and planetary disks and rings.

Solar nebula models have revolutionized conceptions of solar system formation.

Our scientists are at the very forefront of many observational and theoretical studies.

Extensive Mars research efforts include global circulation modeling of the atmosphere, and detailed studies of the geology, chemistry and mineralogy of surface materials.

Ames scientists also provide science and engineering leadership in sub-surface exploration, with a demonstrated capability in developing and testing drills.

Branch scientists conduct a large array of Mars analog field campaigns in arid sites such as Antarctica, the Atacama desert in Chile, California’s Mojave desert, and the Rio Tinto region of Spain, making critical tests of technologies and practices that will be integrated into future missions.

Branch scientists are conducting science and engineering concept studies for future missions including Mars Scout concepts like the Mars Polar Drill and Mars Meteorology Orbiter.

 

 

MARTE Drilling and Sampling System

MARTE Drilling and Sampling System

 


Instruments such as the Mars Oxidant Analyzer (MOI) for the ESA 2011 ExoMars Mission show that we have an international reputati

Instruments such as the Mars Oxidant Analyzer (MOI) for the ESA 2011 ExoMars Mission show that we have an international reputat

SST participation in current and future Mars Missions

SST participation in current and future Mars Missions

SST

SST

SST2

SST2

Deep Impact mission graph

Ground-based observations by our scientists helped to make the Deep Impact mission a success and led to three papers in Science

The Planetary Systems Branch is primarily in N245, with some laboratory facilities in N239.

Chief: Dr. Jeff Hollingsworth
Email: Jeffery.L.Hollingsworth@nasa.gov

Assistant Chief: Sandra Owen
Email: Sandra.Owen@nasa.gov

Front Office: 650-604-5524

 Highlights

Student Poster Competition

First place award in Student Poster Competition at NASA’s Exploration Science Forum

The 2016 first place award winner for NASA’s Exploration Science Forum Student Poster Competition (hosted annually by NASA’s Solar System Science and Exploration Research Virtual Institute in July) was Yasvanth Poondla, a graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin for his poster titled “Modeling the LCROSS impact plume photodissociation and sublimation of water".

SMD weekly Highlight

Ames Space Scientists contribute to NASA’s Annual Exploration Science Forum

NASA Ames Space Scientists contributed multiple presentations to the annual NASA Exploration Science Forum sponsored by the Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI).

SS weekly highlight

The NASA Ames NAI team participates in the Chickasaw Nation Aeronautics and Space Academy (CNASA)

On June 7th and 8th, Drs. Partha Bera and Gustavo Cruz-Diaz, of the NASA Ames NAI (NASA Astrobiology Institute) CAN 7 team, participated in the Chickasaw Nation Aeronautics and Space Academy (CNASA), held in Ada, OK. 

NASA Ames organizes joint NASA - National Park Service Community Day in Idaho

NASA Ames organizes joint NASA - National Park Service Community Day in Idaho

The NASA Ames-led field projects titled FINESSE (Field Investigations to Enable Solar System Science & Exploration, PI J. Heldmann) and BASALT (Biologic Analog Science Associated with Lava Terrains, PI D.

Syndicate content