Planetary Systems Branch (SST) Overview
The overall research effort in the Planetary Systems Branch is directed at acquiring new, fundamental knowledge about the origins of stars and planetary systems and life itself. These studies are an integral part of NASA's overarching thrust in Astrobiology. Principal research programs include studies of the formation of stars and planets and the early history of the solar system, studies of planetary atmospheres and climate, investigation of the dynamics of planetary disks and rings, work on problems associated with the Martian surface including resource utilization and environments for the origin of life, and other programs (chiefly theoretical) involving stellar and planetary dynamics, radiative processes in stars and the interstellar medium, and investigation of the physical and chemical conditions in molecular clouds and star formation regions. Scientists in the branch also support NASA flight missions through participation on various mission science teams. The primary product of the Branch is new knowledge about the nature of the universe, presented and published in the open literature.
Chief, Planetary Systems Branch (SST)