David Heather

Project Scientist


Main Research Fields

My research areas encompass planetary geology and remote sensing, particularly on the Moon, and include questions regarding: geological mapping, morphology, lunar volcanism and volcanic history, impact cratering and lunar stratigraphy, volatiles, habitability, and ISRU. I use multispectral mapping, spectroscopy and analysis of planetary image data in support of my research.

I am interested in understanding the mineralogical and morphological chracteristics of the lunar surface, and  how they have changed and evolved over time.  In particular, I am interested in the history of lunar volcanism and how this has shaped the Moon as we see it today.

For the upcoming PROSPECT mission, I am also interested in exploring the composition, distribution and role of volatiles in the near lunar surface, and the characterisation/selection of sites for future human and robotic exploration, particularly with respect to in-situ resource utilisation.


Planetary geology & remote sensing: Moon, surface mineralogy, volcanism, impact cratering, planetary mapping, volatiles, habitability, ISRU

Ongoing collaborations

    ESA/ESAC, ES: Sebastien Besse - lunar volcanism and mineralogical mapping.

    University of Lancaster, UK: L. Wilson - application of remote sensing data to the volcanic history of Marius Hills.

Project/mission at ESA

PROSPECT - The Package for Resource Observation and in-Situ Prospecting for Exploration, Commercial exploitation and Transportation (PROSPECT) is a package to access and assess potential resources on the Moon and to prepare technologies that may be used to extract these resources in the future.

Planetary Archives Scientist: current / past involvement in science archiving of data from PROSPECT, Rosetta, Mars Express, Venus Express, ExoMars, Huygens, Chandrayaan-1, BepiColombo, SMART-1, Giotto