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    The Science & Exploration Directorate, Solar System Exploration Division, Astrochemistry Laboratory (Code 691) is seeking a scientist focused on the studies of planetary, cometary, and interstellar ice photo- and radiation chemistry as well as photo- and radiation-chemical interactions with minerals on airless bodies in the solar system.

    As identical vacancies are identified, additional selections may be made.

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    Vacant research positions may be filled at one of several grade levels depending upon the scientific impact of the person selected. A review may be required to determine the appropriate grade level of the position and supplemental materials may be required from the selectee. Please keep this in mind when indicating the lowest grade you will accept.

    As Research Space Scientist, specializing in Planetary Studies, you will study of the mechanism of chemical change and space weathering, and of chemical and spectral features, of icy moon surfaces, comets, Pluto, the Moon, asteroids, and interstellar solids.

    You will plan and conduct experiments, expert technical reviews of precedent-setting studies, research and analyzes data, interprets results, and prepares reports/manuscripts of findings related to reactions and abundances of extraterrestrial organic compounds related to astrobiology and cosmochemistry. Conduct laboratory spectroscopic studies of ices and minerals. Apply findings in the development of national guidance or directives. Recommend inclusion or modifications to existing guidelines, protocols and directives. Ensure application of the latest state-of-the-art technology and keeps abreast of current developments in related research areas to determine applicability to the study of icy and airless bodies.

    Plan and coordinate scientific research projects in unexplored areas where new techniques and approaches are needed. Recognized as an expert in the field of radiation science and astrochemistry.

    Develop, review, and provide recommendations for proposed research requirements, expected results, and budgetary estimates. Analyze and consolidate research approaches and resource requirements for interdisciplinary research programs in the areas of ice and mineral chemistry. Establish methods and procedures to significantly enhance scientific understanding of the formation and evolution of planetary systems. Provide expert guidance to management for strategic planning and program development in areas such as space science, life science, and earth science.

    Conduct and lead research studies that isolate and define unknown conditions, resolve critical problems, address fundamental questions in cometary and other icy-body chemistry that have previously gone unanswered or constrained advancement of scientific knowledge or theory, and require the development of new research methods and techniques.

    Serve as a technical expert in photo- and radiation chemistry, astrochemistry, and molecular astrophysics. Originate and establish unique methods and applications that provide innovative solutions to complex issues inherent in the study of comets, icy moons, the Moon, asteroids, and other airless bodies, including interstellar solids.

    Serve as a technical expert in laboratory-generated analogs for remote observation and spectroscopy. Interpret or direct analysis of the data returned from ongoing/planned NASA missions with a strong spectroscopic component (e.g., SOFIA, Spitzer, or JWST), as well as for defining instrumentation protocols and capabilities for future mission planning, such as space weathering, comet or asteroid studies, Europa, Enceladus, Pluto, or chemical processing of the lunar surface.

    Develop original concepts, new techniques, establish new protocols and standards, validate and initialize new studies that improve scientific understanding of the molecular composition of planetary objects and their impact on the formation and evolution of the solar system. Write algorithms and establish protocols that result in more accurate laboratory studies of radiation-chemical alterations and the origins of the solar system. The new concepts or techniques are of material significance in solving important scientific problems, and in answering critical scientific questions that are unprecedented or have novel and unique aspects.

    Plan and conduct experiments, analyze data, interpret results, and prepare reports/manuscripts of findings. Design or direct the development of unique or leading-edge technology, instrumentation, or systems to meet specific scientific or mission requirements.

    Supervisory status


    Promotion Potential


    Who May Apply

    This job is open to…

    U.S. citizens and U.S. nationals

    Questions? This job is open to 1 group.

This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/487185400. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.