Heather B. Franz on Mars

Heather Franz, research analyst, working on the SAM Development Model. Credit: NASA

Heather Franz recently featured on Astrobiology Magazine with her research on the ancient atmosphere of Mars. Franz and her colleagues studied chemical signatures in 40 martian meteorites and found that the atmospheres of Mars and Earth diverged very early on in the evolution of the Solar System. The paper was published in the journal Nature.

A piece of the martian meteorite Tissint frin Arizona State University. Credit: Photo by Laurence Garvie

Dr. Franz is based at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, where she works as a Research Scientist in the Planetary Environments Laboratory. Her background is in geology, and she is a member of the team behind the Sample Analysis at mars (SAM) suite on the Curiosity rover. Franz also spent 14 yeas working as a flight dynamics analyst at NASA GSFC, and has worked on numerous NASA missions.