Scientific Colloquium
October 1, 2014


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