Mars Space Flight Facility

At ASU's Mars Space Flight Facility, housed in the Moeur Building on the Tempe campus, scientists and researchers are using instruments on spacecraft on Mars to explore the geology and mineralogy of the Red Planet. These instruments include the Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) on NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter and the Emirates Mars Infrared Spectrometer (EMIRS) on the United Arab Emirates' Hope mission orbiter. Both instruments are led by principal investigator and Regents professor Philip Christensen.

Christensen also designed and led two Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometers (Mini-TES) on the Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity. A full-size model of the Opportunity rover, bedded on reddish-brown sand, dominates the building's lobby.

In addition to Mars missions, Christensen and his team designed and are leading the OSIRIS-REx Thermal Emission Spectrometer (OTES) for NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission to the asteroid Bennu, the Lucy Thermal Emission Spectrometer (L’TES) for NASA's Lucy mission to Jupiter's Trojan asteroids, and the Europa Thermal Emission Imaging System (E-THEMIS) for NASA's Europa Clipper mission.

A spinoff of controlling instruments at Mars is a geospatial information system (GIS) called JMARS, developed by the Mars Space Flight Facility. JMARS is an acronym that stands for Java Mission-planning and Analysis for Remote Sensing. It provides tools for planning and targeting observations and analyzing data for NASA scientists, instrument team members, students of all ages, and the general public. Besides Mars, the software also covers data for Earth and selected asteroids. JMARS is used in more than 65 countries and has more than 6,000 active users.

The Moeur Building includes the ASU Space Works Maker Lab which offers undergraduate STEM students hands-on training focused on team-based, authentic science and engineering projects that will build experience towards working within the space exploration industry. NASA's L'SPACE Academy (the Lucy Student Pipeline Accelerator and Competency Enabler) is co-located with Space Works and offers national, free, online, interactive program linked to NASA's Lucy mission. L'SPACE is open to all undergraduate STEM students attending US colleges and universities who are interested in pursuing a career with NASA or other space organizations.