Katie Morgan

Research scientist and Mars 2020 deputy project scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Katie Stack Morgan is a research scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Deputy Project Scientist of the upcoming Mars 2020 Perseverance rover, and a participating scientist on the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover mission. She graduated with a B.A. in geology and astronomy from Williams College in 2008 and earned her M.Sc. and Ph.D. in geology from Caltech in 2011 and 2015, respectively. For her work on the Curiosity rover, she was named to the 2013 Forbes’ list of 30 under 30 and has earned several NASA Group Achievement Awards and a NASA Software of the Year award. Katie’s research focuses on the Martian sedimentary rock record, using orbiter and rover image data to understand the evolution of ancient surface processes on Mars. https://science.jpl.nasa.gov/people/StackMorgan/

Katie is speaking at

Platform: Zoom webinar CASW New Horizons in Science
October 19, 2020
4:00 pm - 4:30 pm


  • Nina Lanza (Speaker) Team lead, Space and Planetary Exploration, Los Alamos National Laboratory
  • Katie Morgan (Speaker) Research scientist and Mars 2020 deputy project scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Andrew Jones (Speaker) Freelance space journalist, SpaceNews and the Planetary Society
  • W. Wayt Gibbs (Moderator) New Horizons in Science program director, CASW


Watch the prerecorded talks for this session beginning on Oct. 12. (Video embargoed until 4:00 p.m. ET 10/19/20.) Then tune in here on Oct. 19 for live Q&A with the speakers. (Whova mobile app users, look for the YouTube link in the session description.)
Three new spacecraft blasted off for Mars this summer. Their arrival in February 2021 will open a new chapter of exploration of the Red Planet and the investigations into its ability to support life past and future, via human missions.

In this session, we'll hear first-hand from scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab and Los Alamos National Lab who worked on the new Mars Perseverance rover mission about how it will gather soil and rock samples for eventual return to Earth, transform carbon dioxide it finds on the surface into breathable oxygen, attempt the first controlled aircraft flights on another planet, and rove around a dry lake bed zapping rocks with lasers to search for biosignatures of ancient Martian microbes.

We'll also get details on Tianwen-1 ("Questions to Heaven"), which is on course to be China's first successful mission to Mars. The spacecraft will deploy an orbiter, lander, and rover to scan the planet for buried deposits of frozen water while also mapping the structure of its interior and ionosphere.

Meanwhile, the United Arab Emirates' Hope mission will track winds, weather, and giant duststorms over a full cycle of Martian seasons. This session will prepare us to cover the many Mars stories to come in 2021.

Presented by:
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