Planetary Science AT ESTEC



Several members of the Science Faculty at ESTEC carry out research in the field of planets, with emphasis on the use of data from ExoMars 2016, Mars Express, Venus Express, Cassini-Huygens, Chandrayaan-1, and Smart-1, as well as from other relevant facilities. Investigations related to the preparation of the Bepi-Colombo, ExoMars 2022 and JUICE missions are also supported.

See also:

Our research includes the following topics:

  • Planetary surfaces (Moon, Mars, Mercury), including mapping, geology, spectroscopy, petrology, impact craters, stability of ices, sample return and astrobiology.
  • Planetary magnetism (Moon, Mercury).
  • Planetary atmospheres, ionospheres, magnetospheres, solar wind interactions (Mercury, Venus, Mars, giant planets).

If you are interested in the ESA trainee programme, research fellowship and/or in scientific collaborations, you will find below a list of planetary scientists to contact:




Individual web page

Johannes Benkhoff Mercury science, stability of ices X
Bernard Foing Mars, Moon, planetary geology, astrobiology, instrumentation X
Dave Heather Moon, planetary geology, remote sensing, surface mineralogy, volcanism X
Hans Huybrighs Europa, Galilean moons, moon-magnetopshere interactions, plumes  
Detlef Koschny Work with the ExoMars 2020 Close-Up Imager X
Elliot Sefton-Nash Mars, Moon, Phobos, Planetary geology and remote sensing, MMX, ExoMars 2022 X
Hakan Svedhem Planetary atmospheres  
Dmitri Titov Planetary atmospheres  
Jorge Vago Mars, ExoMars 2022, astrobiology  
Olivier Witasse Aeronomy, Mars, Phobos, JUICE X
Joe Zender Mercury science X




This web page is managed by Olivier Witasse at ESTEC.

To contact any person by email, please use  first.last at  or