EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY
Internal Research Fellow (PostDoc) Lunar Samples, Research and Application
ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands
The appointee will do research using lunar samples and materials to produce new scientific results and provide data and lessons-learned to inform the preparation of ESA’s exploration programme. He/she will also support the maintenance and implementation of a Lunar Science, Research & Applications Plan (see below).
Research will be done which results in new and novel scientific results, published in peer-reviewed journals. Areas of particular interest are those which yield information having implications for: the origins, abundance and distribution of water on the Moon; potential resources (e.g. water, oxygen, metals) of lunar regolith, the physical properties of lunar regolith; approaches to handling, excavating and processing lunar regolith; sample curation and handling. An important aspect of the Fellowship will be the use of scientific and technical insights obtained through working with samples to support the definition of new and improved engineering approaches to working with lunar and Martian samples and materials on future exploration missions, both in situ and sample-return.
Samples will be obtained through proposals to appropriate authorities for access and through cooperation with research groups with existing research activities in this area. This may include new proposals for samples, involvement in ongoing activities and engagement in existing ESA activities and proposals. Activities may be with institutional and/or international partners. Work may also involve working with, and supporting, the development and characterisation of new and existing simulants and standards.
It is expected that most of the laboratory-based research will be performed using facilities found at ESTEC subject to agreement with laboratory management. For available facilities, see for example:
Facilities associated with other ESA centres may also be considered, as may those based at other institutions where relevant and accessible, e.g.: