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Planetary Science


Planetary Science News

Full Steam Ahead Podcast Episode 86 – Asteroid Research
Purdue University‘s connection to space exploration doesn’t stop with astronauts. Former NASA employee, and current assistant professor, Dr. Michelle Thompson is passionate about studying asteroid samples, and is in the middle of some incredible research on some samples that were recently returned to earth. On the latest episode of Full Steam Ahead: A Podcast About Purdue, FOX59’s Adam Bartels talks with Thompson about her research, her passion behind it, as well as its importance, her involvement with the Hayabusa2 science team, and more!

Water World: Arizona Scientists on New Evidence, Questions About Life on Mars
Dr. Mike Sori, assistant professor in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at Purdue University, is cited in this article about water and the possibility of life on Mars.

Asteroid explorer collects first samples thought to be rich in organic compounds; a Purdue scientist will be among the first to study
A fireball lit up the Australian sky in the first week of December, as Japan’s Hayabusa2 asteroid explorer sent a capsule containing pieces of nearby asteroid Ryugu down to the Earth’s surface. The capsule and its cargo were met with international cheers, including those of Michelle Thompson, a Purdue scientist who will be one of the first researchers in the world to study the samples. Thompson, professor of planetary sciences, was recruited to the Hayabusa2 science team to study the composition and molecular structure of materials returned from the asteroid.

Purdue scientist reflects on her passion for studying Mars’ geology, landscape
As NASA's rover clears the halfway point to the red planet, Purdue News discusses Briony Horgan's role in the Rover Perseverance's Journey. She grew up in Portland, Oregon, where, enjoying the mountains and volcanoes that surrounded the region, she developed a love of geology. A long-standing interest in space made Horgan realize she wasn’t confined to study rocks simply on Earth.

EAPS PhD student using earthly examples to explore Mars earns two awards
In the far reaches of the Earth, Brad Garczynski searches for answers to the questions of Mars.  Garczynski is a PhD Student studying planetary science at the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences at Purdue University.  His research takes him to places like Lake Salda in southwestern Turkey which scientists are using as an analog for the Jezero crater on Mars.  He is also a student collaborator on the Mastcam-Z instrument and Mars 2020 science team.  Because of Garczynski’s work with planetary science at Purdue, he has recently been awarded both the Indiana Space Grant Consortium (INSGC) Fellowship and the NASA Astrobiology Early Career Collaboration Award.


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