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    The Exobiology Branch at National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Ames Research Center (ARC) is currently seeking interested applicants for the position of a Research Physical Scientist. The Research Physical Scientist conducts research that emphasizes the conception and development of flight instruments that are suitable for detecting evidence of life, including extant life, and/or identifying and characterizing habitable environments beyond Earth.

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    Research includes instrument concepts and technologies with application that address following categories of biosignatures and/or habitable planetary environments: remotely detectable features on planetary surfaces (photosynthetic pigments, fluvial surface features, atmospheric composition, etc.), characteristic temporal changes in global planetary properties (e.g. seasonally-mediated respiration and biomass cycles), biogenic atmospheric gases; in-situ detectable features such as cellular and extracellular morphologies, biogenic fabrics in rocks, bio-organic molecular structures, chirality, biogenic minerals, biogenic stable isotope patterns in minerals and organic compounds, redox active species, bio-available energy sources and gradients.

    Research entails instrument technology such as x-ray diffraction and fluorescence, fluorescence imaging microscopy, raman, ultraviolet, and infrared spectroscopy, biopolymer sequencing, polarimetry, electrochemical methods, capillary electrophoresis, microfluidics, or others related to habitability determination and biosignature identification. The position acts as an investigator and assists in field campaigns to investigate processes and develops instrumentation requirements that are relevant to the exploration of other worlds, e.g., Mars, Europa or exoplanets.

    The Research Physical Scientist contributes to the development and deployment of instrumentation for NASA missions, including testing potential spaceflight instrumentation in controlled laboratory and relevant analog environments, and to the development of crucial testbeds for real-time problem solving. Supports research and instrument concept proposals in response to research opportunities and publishes research results in national and international peer-reviewed scientific journals with an emphasis on instrument development concepts suitable for the identification of biosignatures and/or habitable environments relevant to Astrobiology.

    Travel Required

    Occasional travel - Travel may be required for training or other work-related duties

    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/508618500. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.