Planetary Science

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Planetary Science research


SSAI scientists and engineers contribute to various sectors in the Planetary Sciences. Specifically, aside from SSAI’s involvement in the engineering aspects of the Artemis program, the company aids in scientific research in support of it, as well.

Most important is the investigation of the presence of water on the Moon. Contrary to the previous understanding of the Moon we formed some decades ago, recent missions have revealed that water is quite abundant there in its frozen form.

There are vast bodies of primeval ice that are trapped in craters near the Moon’s South Pole, but there is also mineralization ice trapped in the crystalline structure of various minerals. This water undergoes a complex cycle of sublimation and recrystallization driven by the extreme thermal variations occurring on the Moon’s surface. SSAI is deeply interested in the study and analysis of these aspects.

Another focal point of SSAI’s involvement in planetary sciences is the Martian atmosphere. Specifically, there is interest in Mars model intercomparison and on Mars Observing System Simulation Experiments (OSSEs) for Mars. A Mars OSSE framework would allow an informed design of an optimal observing system network for Mars to enable, in the future, real-time weather forecast capabilities on Mars.

Projects funded by NASA contracts:

[This section will contain details on projects funded by NASA contracts (SAMDA, ESES, HBG)]

Principal Investigator-led projects:

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"Detection of exospheric trANsport and Dust for the Exploration of Lunar Ice and OxidatioN" is a project for the study of the lunar water.

Principal Investigator Dr. Guillaume Gronoff got his PhD from the Université Joseph Fourier in Grenoble (France). His specialty is the impact of energetic particles on planetary atmospheres, which led him to study the impact of cosmic rays and other particles on Titan, Mars, Venus, etc.

SSAI support for NASA missions:

[This section will contain about SSAI support for NASA Planetary Science missions]

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