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Geophysical Exploration Of the Dynamics and Evolution of the Solar System (GEODES) is led by Nicholas Schmerr, an associate professor in the Department of Geology, and Jacob Richardson, a research scientist in the Department of Astronomy at University of Maryland College Park. The multi-institutional team includes researchers from CalTech Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Eureka Scientific, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA Johnson Space Center, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, National Institute for Standards and Technology, Northern Arizona University, Planetary Science Institute, Southwest Research Institute, Stony Brook University, U.S. Geological Survey Flagstaff, University of Arizona, University of Maryland Baltimore County, University of Notre Dame, and the University of South Florida.

The GEODES team uses field studies on Earth to develop and test protocols for characterizing the evolution, stability, and safety of surfaces on the Moon, near-Earth asteroids, and martian moons Phobos and Deimos. The team conducts their research at a variety of field sites in the western U.S., including Lava Beds National Monument in northeastern California, the San Francisco Volcanic Field in northern Arizona, and the East Snake River Plain in southern Idaho. These sites are home to landscapes and geological features that resemble other rocky bodies in our solar system.

Astronauts on future missions to nearby moons and asteroids will need a detailed geological understanding of these foreign worlds to build structures, mine resources and ensure their own safety. Data derived from GEODES field expeditions, modeling efforts, and products are made available to the public in this data collection by our team.


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