Dr. Aditi Pandey
Dr. Aditi Pandey is an analytical chemist, material scientist, and geochemist specializing in the study of Mars analog and simulant materials. She received her Ph.D. in Soil Chemistry from Texas A&M University. As part of her Ph.D., she collaborated with the Mars group from the Astromaterials Research and Exploration (ARES) division at NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC). Her work with the Mars group focused on developing characterization methods targeting short-range ordered non-crystalline and nano-crystalline materials relevant to Mars. She applied her expertise in laboratory and synchrotron-based X-ray and electron spectro-microscopic techniques to decipher the chemistry, mineralogy, and atomic structure of geologically transient phases in Mars analog materials. Her scientific contributions include developing chemical extraction procedures for quantifying short-range ordered materials from heterogeneous samples and characterizing nano-scale atomic structures using synchrotron-based X-ray absorption analysis.
Additionally, Pandey was a member of the interdisciplinary group funded by the Texas A&M President's Excellence Fund, wherein she developed sustainable regolith-based composite materials and tested them for 3D printing structures. Her work on soil-based composite development follows the NASA objectives for sustainable long-term human space exploration via In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU).
She was the science principal investigator of the recently funded Solar System Workings (SSW) proposal co-written with Dr. Elizabeth Rampe, under which she plans to study the effects of temperature on the synthesis of sulfate minerals to constrain the aqueous history of sulfate-bearing units on Mars. As part of the Mars mission-enabling scientists, her postdoctoral research will facilitate the interpretation of the real-time analysis by the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover, Curiosity in the Gale Crater.