J. L. Heldmann's research while affiliated with Mountain View College and other places

Publications (130)

Article
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We report 3 years of data from one meteorological and three smaller stations in University Valley, a high-elevation (1677 m) site in the Dry Valleys of Antarctica with extensive dry permafrost. Mean air temperature was -23.4°C. Summer air temperatures were virtually always < 0°C and were consistent with the altitude lapse rate and empirical relatio...
Article
Basaltic eruptive fissures of the Great Rift and surroundings on the eastern Snake River Plain of Idaho, USA, and selected volcanic features in Hawai’i, Iceland and northern Africa were surveyed for their relevancy as planetary analogs. Evaluated during field investigations and in satellite imagery for structures, physiography, and geologic setting...
Article
Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) impacted the Cabeus crater near the lunar South Pole on 9 October 2009 and generated an impact plume. The hydroxyl (OH) band strength observations obtained from the LCROSS mission are explained with the help of numerical modeling of the impact plume. We provide different models of OH productio...
Article
We have developed the first experimental methodology to create a volcanic spatter pile using molten basalt. This method permits reproduction of thermal conditions that yield the wide variety of spatter morphologies observed in nature. The morphology of the clasts is most strongly controlled by the time the clast spends above the glass transition te...
Article
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Landscapes on either side of the martian topographic dichotomy bear distinct soil chemistry, but the processes associated with this distinction remain poorly understood. Here, correlation of soil chemistry at global to regional scales is examined with multivariate analysis of Gamma‐Ray Spectrometer chemical maps and the Thermal Emission Spectromete...
Article
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Human explorers on the surface of Mars will have access to a far wider array of scientific tools than previous crewed planetary exploration missions, but not every tool will be compatible with the restrictions of this exploration. Spectrometers on flyby, orbital, and landed missions are currently used to determine the composition and mineralogy of...
Article
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The articles associated with this Special Collection focus on the NASA BASALT (Biologic Analog Science Associated with Lava Terrains) Research Program, which aims at answering the question, "How do we support and enable scientific exploration during human Mars missions?" To answer this the BASALT team conducted scientific field studies under simula...
Article
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Field research target regions within two basaltic geologic provinces are described as Earth analogues to Mars. Regions within the eastern Snake River Plain of Idaho and the Big Island of Hawaii, the United States, provinces that represent analogues of present-day and early Mars, respectively, were evaluated on the basis of geologic settings, rock l...
Article
To investigate the thermal conditions of spatter eruptions on Earth, other planets, and moons we measured and categorized the physical characteristics of clasts in spatter deposits in Southern Idaho, USA. Physical characteristics of clasts, such as aspect ratio and degree of welding, are influenced by the style of eruption, distance from the vent,...
Article
Physical and compositional measurements are made at the ~ 7 km-long (~ 2200 years B.P.) Kings Bowl basaltic fissure system and surrounding lava field in order to further understand the interaction of fissure-fed lavas with phreatic explosive events. These assessments are intended to elucidate the cause and potential for hazards associated with phre...
Article
The Antarctic Dry Valleys represent a unique environment where it is possible to study dry permafrost overlaying an ice-rich permafrost. In this paper, two opposing mechanisms for ice table stability in University Valley are addressed: i) diffusive recharge via thin seasonal snow deposits and ii) desiccation via salt deposits in the upper soil colu...
Article
We present the concept of using a variant of a Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) Dragon space capsule as a low-cost, large-capacity, near-term, Mars lander (dubbed “Red Dragon”) for scientific and human precursor missions. SpaceX initially designed the Dragon capsule for flight near Earth, and Dragon has successfully flown many ti...
Poster
Chemical variations in volcanic rocks are indicative of past and present geologic conditions. One non-destructive method for studying the composition of rocks is x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF). With recent advances in XRF technology, portable XRF (pXRF) instruments are now commercially available and provide rapid turnaround of critical in-si...
Article
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A major knowledge gap exists on how eruptive compositions of a single martian volcanic province change over time. Here we seek to fill that gap by assessing the compositional evolution of Elysium, a major martian volcanic province. A unique geochemical signature overlaps with the southeastern flows of this volcano, which provides the context for th...
Article
Lunar impact melt deposits have unique physical properties. They have among the highest observed radar returns at S-Band (12.6 cm wavelength), implying that they are rough at the decimeter scale. However, they are also observed in high-resolution optical imagery to be quite smooth at the meter scale. These characteristics distinguish them from well...
Article
This study compares the relations between solar radiation and air and ground temperatures in the Quartermain Mountains of the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica with those in ice-free Victoria Land and Arctic Canada. The surface offset is near 0°C at all sites in the Quartermain Mountains and other sites in coastal Victoria Land, whereas the thermal...
Article
Studies of lunar polar volatile deposits are of interest for scientific purposes to understand the nature and evolution of the volatiles, and also for exploration reasons as a possible in situ resource to enable long term human exploration and settlement of the Moon. Both theoretical and observational studies have suggested that significant quantit...
Article
The Mojave Volatiles Prospector (MVP) project is a science-driven field program with the goal of producing critical knowledge for conducting robotic exploration of the Moon. Specifically, MVP focuses on studying a lunar mission analog to characterize the form and distribution of lunar volatiles. Although lunar volatiles are known to be present near...
Conference Paper
Mapping lava flow textures and interpreting their emplacement conditions is crucial to understanding the eruptive history of basaltic volcanoes. While textural classifications like a’a and pahoehoe are clear, there are many intermediate textures along the spectrum that are much more challenging to classify objectively. This creates potential confus...
Article
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We used a field excursion to the West Clearwater Lake Impact structure as an opportunity to test factors that contribute to the decisions a remote field team (for example, astronauts conducting extravehicular activities (EVA) on planetary surfaces) makes while collecting samples for return to Earth. We found that detailed background on the analytic...
Article
Ground ice has been observed in small fresh craters in the vicinity of the Viking 2 lander site (48°N, 134°E). To explain these observations, current models for ground ice invoke levels of atmospheric water of 20 precipitable micrometers - higher than observations. However, surface frost has been observed at the Viking 2 site and surface water fros...
Article
The “ponds” on asteroid (433) Eros are fine-grained deposits approximating flat ( quasi-equipotential) surfaces with respect to local topographic depressions (e.g., craters) in spacecraft images. These ponds are discussed in the context of laboratory simulation experiments, crater-related ponded and pitted deposits observed on Mars and Vesta, terre...
Article
The LCROSS (Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite) impacted the Cabeus crater near the lunar South Pole on 9 October 2009 and created an impact plume that was observed by the LCROSS Shepherding Spacecraft. Here we analyze data from the ultraviolet–visible spectrometer and visible context camera aboard the spacecraft. We use these data to c...
Article
The King's Bowl phreatic crater in Idaho, formed when lava encountered water, is explored as a planetary analog using the distribution of ejecta blocks.
Article
The Mojave Volatiles Project was a robotic lunar analog test aimed at maturing instrument and operational approaches for a future landed mission.
Article
TextureCam (automated pixel classification method) was applied to Groundcam images from the Mojave Volatiles Prospector mission to determine the terrain type.
Article
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Here, we revisit the impactites of the West Clearwater Lake impact structure following a 2014 expedition; the first field study of this structure for 40 years.
Article
The Mojave Volatiles Prospector (MVP) project is a science-driven field program to conduct a study of the Mojave desert as a lunar polar rover analog mission.
Article
We tested xGDS in the Mojave Volatiles Prospector (MVP) simulated lunar rover field test. Testing showed real time science operations are enabled by xGDS.
Article
In situ resource utilization (ISRU) may one day enable long duration lunar missions. But the efficacy of such an approach greatly depends on (1) physical and chemical makeup of the resource, and (2) the logistical cost of exploiting the resource. Establishing these key strategic factors requires prospecting: the capability of locating and character...
Article
The scientific information collected and evaluated using the Near-Infrared Volatile Spectrometer System (NIRVSS) during the 2012 In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) field campaign, exhibits variations related to differing surface materials and presence of volatiles during both rover traverses and auger activities demonstrating the promise of using...
Article
Recent discoveries of water on Vesta, and new ideas conserning energetic events and volatile surfaces, we suggest that fluidization have formed the Eros ponds.
Article
We use the physical and morphological properties of impact melt and ejecta deposits of impact craters to probe fluids on differentiated bodies.
Article
Abstract Midlatitude ground ice on Mars is of significant scientific interest for understanding the history and evolution of ice stability on Mars and is relevant for human exploration as a possible in situ resource. For both science and exploration, assessing the astrobiological potential of the ice is important in terms of (1) understanding the p...
Article
The high elevation valleys of the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica are the only locations on Earth known to contain dry permafrost. The Dry Valleys are a hyper-arid polar desert environment and above 1500 m elevation, air temperatures do not exceed 0 °C and thus, similarly to Mars, liquid water is largely absent and instead the hydrologic cycle is...
Article
This study investigates the origin and age of ground ice in the uppermost 1 m of permafrost in University Valley, one of the upper valleys in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica. In contrast to other regions in the MDV, mean daily air and soil temperatures at the coring sites are always below 0 �C, which allows for unique cryogenic processes to o...
Article
We report on 475 measurements of depth to ice-cemented ground in four high-elevation valleys of the Quartermain Mountains, McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. These valleys have pervasive ice-cemented ground, and the depth to ice-cemented ground and the ice composition may be indicators of climate change. In University Valley, the measured depth to ic...
Article
The occurrence of dry permafrost overlying ice-rich permafrost is unique to the Antarctic Dry Valleys on Earth and to the high latitudes of Mars. The stability and distribution of this ice are poorly understood and fundamental to understanding the Antarctic climate as far back as a few million years. Polygonal patterned ground is nearly ubiquitous...
Article
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Abstract The search for evidence of life on Mars is the primary motivation for the exploration of that planet. The results from previous missions, and the Phoenix mission in particular, indicate that the ice-cemented ground in the north polar plains is likely to be the most recently habitable place that is currently known on Mars. The near-surface...
Article
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The RESOLVE analog mission simulation in Hawai'i accomplished all major goals for a lunar polar volatiles mission.
Article
We identify specific science and exploration investigations that can be enabled through a Mars flyby mission on a private spacecraft.
Article
Future human exploration of the Moon will likely rely on in situ resource utilization (ISRU) to enable long duration lunar missions. Prior to utilizing ISRU on the Moon, the natural resources (in this case lunar volatiles) must be identified and characterized, and ISRU demonstrated on the lunar surface. To enable future uses of ISRU, NASA and the C...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper presents preliminary observations on the distribution and nature of ground ice in University Valley located in the Quartermain Mountains of the McMurdo Dry Valleys. University Valley lies in the ultraxerous soil zone characterized by extreme cold and aridity. Shallow coring and excavations in 2009 and 2010 documented widespread ice-cemen...
Conference Paper
We describe a semi-autonomous Vertical Take Off & Landing Unpiloted Air Vehicle, capable of flying over surface features on Mars that may be evidence of extant surface water flow and that are located in challenging terrain.
Article
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We will discuss the feasibility of using a minimally-modified variant of a SpaceX Dragon capsule as a low-cost, large-capacity, near-term, Mars lander for scientific and human-precursor missions.
Article
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Strategically selected terrestrial analogs will provide an innovative and cost-effective environment in which to test both near- and mid- to longer-term technological and operational development requirements.
Article
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Buried snowpack deposits are found within the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica, which offers the opportunity to study these layered structures of sand and ice within a polar desert environment. Four discrete buried snowpacks are studied within Pearse Valley, Antarctica, through in situ observations, sample analyses, O-H isotope measurements and nu...
Article
Human exploration of Mars will merge science and human exploration goals. Mid-latitude ice is an in situ resource for human exploration and is a scientifically rich target. We outline a precursor mission at an ice-rich site in Amazonis Planitia.
Article
We describe the rationale for a simple, first, low-cost Mars sample return mission, which collects local samples and returns them to Earth within a single launch opportunity. The samples will answer key questions for human and science exploration.
Article
Full-text available
NASA’s LCROSS (Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite) mission was designed to explore the nature of previously detected enhanced levels of hydrogen near the lunar poles. The LCROSS mission impacted the spent upper stage of the launch vehicle into a permanently shadowed region of the lunar surface to create an ejecta plume. The resultant im...
Article
The Lunar Crater Observation Sensing Satellite (LCROSS), an accompanying payload to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission (Vondrak et al. 2010), was launched with LRO on 18 June 2009. The principle goal of the LCROSS mission was to shed light on the nature of the materials contained within permanently shadowed lunar craters. These Permanen...
Article
We developed a set of criteria to rank landing sites for a Mars lander mission to study permafrost. We ranked sites based on the presence of polygonal ground, rock density and landing dangers seen in HiRISE images. An optimal landing site was found.
Article
Instrumentation to study snowpack in situ was deployed in Lassen Volcanic National Park (LVNP), California, in an area of deep seasonal snow accumulation and known snow algal bloom recurrence. included in the instrumentation were 11 temperature sensors, evenly spaced up to 2 m above the ground, which provided (1) temperature data within the snowpac...
Data
Buried snowpack deposits are found within the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica, which offers the opportunity to study these layered structures of sand and ice within a polar desert environment. Four discrete buried snowpacks are studied within Pearse Valley, Antarctica, through in situ observations, sample analyses, O-H isotope measurements and nu...
Article
Desert Research and Technology Studies (Desert RATS) is a multi-year series of hardware and operations tests carried out annually in the high desert of Arizona on the San Francisco Volcanic Field. These activities are designed to exercise planetary surface hardware and operations in conditions where long-distance, multi-day roving is achievable, an...
Article
A comprehensive field training curriculum was developed and tested during the 2006, 2008, 2009, and 2010 National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Spaceward Bound missions at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS). The curriculum was developed to train teachers and students in fundamentals of Moon and Mars analog station operations, log...
Article
The high elevation Dry Valleys of Antarctica provide a unique location for the study of permafrost distribution and stability. In particular, the extremely arid and cold conditions preclude the presence of liquid water, and the exchange of water between the ice-cemented ground and the atmosphere is through vapour transport (diffusion). In addition,...
Article
We discuss properties of the lunar exosphere based on analyses of UV-visual spectrometer (VSP) (260--650 nm) data collected from the 1-degree nadir field-of-view, which narrowed in on the persistently shadowed region (PSR) of Cabeus as the spacecraft descended towards the surface. The LCROSS Mission consisted of a ~2000 kg Centaur impactor and a sh...