Explorations of space and terrestrial processes help further our understanding of the universe in which we live. Scientific challenges regarding the nature of the Earth, the solar system, the galaxy, and beyond are addressed by utilizing techniques in both physical and life sciences.
Research areas include studying the nature of the Martian surface, the causes and mitigation of ozone depletion and global warming in Earth's atmosphere, the search for life in and the nature and evolution of the universe - all vital issues related to NASA's mission.
Scientists conduct theoretical and experimental studies leading to new missions. They are engaged in the development of new instrumentation and in the analysis of data, publishing new scientific knowledge, and in the communication of that knowledge to the general public.
Approximately 20% of JPL scientists are embedded in other organizations - and their work may be found here.
"Habitability of Hydrocarbon Worlds: Titan and Beyond" is an interdisciplinary and highly synergistic research effort combining experimental, theoretical, and observational work involving 17 Co-Investigators and 10 Collaborators from 16 institutions in the US and abroad. Our goal is to address a key question in astrobiology of the solar system: What habitable environments exist on Titan and what resulting potential biosignatures should we look for?
The Roman Space Telescope, a NASA observatory to launch in 2025, will investigate dark energy, dark matter, exoplanets (planets of stars) and infrared astrophysics. JPL is responsible for the coronagraph, a major technology demonstration that will directly observe exoplanets.
Planned to launch in December 2023 from Antarctica, ASTHROS will spend about three weeks drifting on air currents above the icy southern continent and achieve several firsts along the way. ASTHROS observes far-infrared light, or light with wavelengths much longer than what is visible to the human eye. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages ASTHROS for NASA.