Mark Lemmon is an atmospheric scientist at Texas A&M University. He was the lead scientist on the Phoenix SSI camera and participates in the day-to-day operations of the Mars Exploration Rover and Curiosity missions.
He says: "I am engaged in planetary exploration as a way to understand how atmospheres work in different conditions. Our exploration of the solar system uses robotic missions, astronomical observations, and laboratory and theoretical research. My focus is on missions of exploration and the theoretical analysis of data from those missions, supplemented by the occasional astronomical observation. I am involved in research on the atmospheres of several planets, but focus most of my attention on Mars and Saturn's moon, Titan."
On October 19, the Mars rovers — like their orbiting cousins — will become comet flyby missions. Comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) will pass within 140,000 km of Mars.
A Mars imaging scientist answers the question: who is the