Mostly Credited As: Jennifer Heldmann
Birth Name: Jennifer Heldmann
Country Of Birth: USA
Jennifer Heldmann: Ph.D.: Planetary Scientist NASA AMES Research Center
Heldmann’s scientific research interests focus on studies of the Moon and Mars. Her Mars research focuses on studies of recent water on the Red Planet through spacecraft data analysis, numerical modeling, and fieldwork in Mars-analog environments such as the Outback of Australia, the Canadian High Arctic, the Atacama Desert, Spitsbergen, the Mojave Desert, and Antarctica. Her work focuses on martian and terrestrial gully features which can be indicative of geologically recent liquid water activity. Liquid water is especially important to understand climate, geology, and the potential for past and/or present life on Mars. She is also involved in planning for the future human exploration of Mars and has served on several MEPAG (Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group) special action teams for defining precursor activities needed to enable future human exploration of Mars. (e.g. Human Exploration of Mars Science Analysis Group, Mars-Forward Lunar Objectives Special Action Team, Analysis of the Precursor Measurements of Mars Needed to Reduce the Risk of the First Human Missions to Mars).
Heldmann also studies the Moon with a focus on improving our understanding of lunar volatile deposits. Such studies are important scientifically in terns of Solar System evolution and also are relevant for planning future human exploration of the Moon through the identification of materials that can be used for in situ resource utilization (ISRU). She recently served on the Science Team, Payload Team, and as the Observation Campaign Coordinator for NASA’s Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) mission to study the permanently shadowed regions of the lunar poles. LCROSS successfully impacted the Cabeus crater at the lunar south pole and confirmed the presence of water ice as well as numerous other volatile species on our Moon.