Dynamic Response of the Environments at Asteroids, the Moon, and moons of Mars

Picture of Andrew Jordan

Andrew Jordan

1. What is your role on the DREAM2 team?

I study how energetic particles from the Sun and from supernovae electrically charge lunar soil. I do this by analyzing spacecraft data and creating computer models to use the data to predict the strength of the electric fields in the soil.

2. What about DREAM2 do you find most interesting? Most challenging?

I enjoy the team's breadth: we cover a range of skills and interests. Some team members are expert computer programmers, others are skilled data analysts, and many are both. That breadth also makes it challenging to stay on top of what everyone is doing.

3. Were you a part of the original DREAM team, funded through the NASA Lunar Science Institute? If so, what was your favorite science result?

Yes, I was a part of the original DREAM team. My favorite result was one that I was able to be part of: showing that the unexpected presence on the Moon of H2 mixed in with water ice could be explained by galactic cosmic rays converting some of the ice into H2. It's still unclear whether this is the major process or just an important part. There is still so much about our nearest neighbor in space - the Moon - that we don't yet understand, and being able to study it is exciting.

4. What other NASA programs or missions have you participated in?

I am also a member of the team that runs and uses the Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER), which is on NASA.s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO).

5. What kind/level of education do you have?

Ph.D. in astronomy from Boston University and B.S. in physics from Calvin College.

6. What advice do you have for students who want to work for NASA or on NASA-related research?

The work requires a rich mix of skills, like doing science, doing math, reading, writing, speaking, designing diagrams, organizing, and scheduling. It's important to develop as many of these kinds of skills as you can, because you'll likely need them all.

7. What are your favorite things to do outside of work?

I love being with my wife and daughter and, when I get the chance, reading.