The goal of BASALT is to prepare for the human exploration of Mars by studying how humans and robots can perform science explorations in volcanic terrains. Key to this project is the high-fidelity scientific exploration and characterization of the physical and biological aspects of lava flows in Hawaii and Idaho and how humans can use a variety of instruments to characterize them and their habitability.
To achieve all of this, a large team has been assembled that includes scientists, operations and instrumentation experts, and active astronauts from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA Kennedy Space Center, NASA Ames Research Center, SETI Institute, BAER Institute, Wyle Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Purdue University, Leiden Measurement Technology, Idaho State University (ISU), Cornell University, and University of Hawaii at Hilo/PISCES.
LMT is bringing its expertise in instrumentation to the project and its personnel will oversee all aspects of advanced instrumentation being used for this project.
LMT is one of several organizations selected to be part of the Biological Analog Science Associated with Lava Terrains (BASALT) project, a four-year, $4.2M, NASA-funded project. Dr. Dralene Lim of the SETI Institute (Mountain View, CA) is the principle investigator of BASALT, which was selected as one of the seven NASA PSTAR-funded proposals out of a pool of forty-seven. LMT is proud to be part of this exciting project.