I am a planetary scientist, and I work at the Planetary Science Institute
. I received my Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame in 2007. My interest in Mars began as an undergraduate at the University of Hawaii. For my senior thesis, I investigated the aureole deposits around Olympus Mons. I study the composition, structure, and evolution of the Moon, asteroids, and other planetary bodies. I apply my knowledge toward developing strategies for human and robotic exploration of the Solar System. I support #FirstStepMoon for safe and practical human exploration of planetary surfaces. Below are two of many reasons why the Moon is the logical place to start; but I do emphasize it is just the start
- The benefit of extracting resources from the Moon that will be used to build and power the vehicles that will take us to Mars. It takes almost three times as much fuel to escape Earth's gravity as it does to get to Mars and land. Launching these resources from the Moon's much lower gravity well drastically reduces the consumption.
- Before going into space we test components and systems, and astronauts practice procedures and maneuvers, at increasing levels meant to move ever closer to simulating the rigors of space. With human habitation of Mars as an end goal, the next logical step is to testing and practicing in the inhospitable lunar environment. Mastery of the Moon makes Mars' only challenge its distance.
I have joined this forum because I do want us to go to Mars, and I think we can do it in my lifetime. It is time to start preparing for human habitation of Mars now. I bring my knowledge about preparing for lunar exploration, habitation, and in situ resource utilization (ISRU) to this discussion.