'Nathan Bridges Dune' on Mars Honors Former LPI Intern
A rippled linear dune of dark Martian sand, "Nathan Bridges Dune," dominates this full-circle panorama from the Mast Camera (Mastcam) of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover. This dune was one research stop of the rover mission's campaign to investigate active Martian dunes.
The feature was informally named in 2017 in memory of Nathan Bridges (1966-2017), a planetary scientist who was a leader of the Curiosity team's dune campaign. Bridges was an integral part of multiple Mars missions and instrument teams. He was also an associate research professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Johns Hopkins University, where he taught a class and advised graduate students.
While an undergraduate student at the University of Colorado, Bridges was selected as a member of the Lunar and Planetary Institute’s summer intern program in 1988. He then went on to earn a B.A. in geology from the University of Colorado in 1989, an M.S. in geology from Arizona State University in 1992, and a Ph.D. in geology from the University of Massachusetts in 1997. He spent 12 years at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, before joining APL’s Planetary Exploration (SRE) Group in 2009.
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