|Jeffrey R. Barnes,
Professor in the College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences at
OSU has been involved in a number of NASA missions since Viking,
including Mars Orbiter, Mars Pathfinder, Mars Climate Orbiter, and
now ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter.
The past decade has been an
extremely active one for Mars exploration with Mars Global
Surveyor, Mars Odyssey, Phoenix, Mars Express, and the Mars
Reconnaissance Orbiter. The coming decade promises to be a very
active one as well.
The Mars Science
Laboratory (MSL) is scheduled to launch late this year for its
nominal one Mars Year mission on the surface. MSL is a very large
rover, which will explore Gale Crater and its central mound with a
highly sophisticated array of instruments.
engineering for MSL involved intensive atmospheric modeling
studies that ultimately demonstrated that the system was
sufficiently robust to allow a low-risk landing at any one of the
four candidate landing sites
|It will pioneer a new
entry, descent, and landing (EDL) system that involves roughly
horizontal controlled flight and a final "sky crane" system to
lower the rover onto the surface, ready to operate.
The OSU Mars atmospheric modeling
group played a key role in these studies over the last 4 years.
Once on the surface MSL will be able to go significantly beyond
the Mars Exploration Rovers in searching for possible evidence of
habitability and life, past and present.
||Following MSL, the MAVEN mission will be launched in 2013 to carry
out studies focused on the upper atmosphere of Mars and the escape
of gases from that region.
In 2016, a joint U.S.-European era
of Mars exploration will commence with the launch of the ExoMars
Trace Gas Orbiter mission. This mission is targeted at the study
of methane in the Mars atmosphere, a possible indicator of
biological activity, as well as other atmospheric constituents.
|Finally, in 2018 NASA and ESA will
collaborate on a rover mission designed to cache samples for a
future sample return mission.
Dr Barnes graduated from Iowa State University in 1975 with a B.S.
in Physics. Received an M.S. in Planetary Sciences from the
California Institute of Technology in 1977. Worked on the Viking
Mission at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 1977. Received a Ph.D.
at the University of Washington in 1983 in Atmospheric Sciences,
with a dissertation on studies of the Mars atmosphere.
After being a Post-Doc at NASA-Ames
Research Center, went to OSU as an Assistant Professor in 1984.
His research involves modeling of the Mars atmosphere at a wide
range of scales and analysis of spacecraft data.
His web page can be found at: