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Planetary science at Jacobs University


Planetary Science research at Jacobs University concentrates on the Terrestrial Planets, particularly Mars, as well as their Earth analogues.

Research areas for Planetary Geoscience include various aspects of Comparative Planetology, such as: aeolian, fluvio-lacustrine, glacial, fluid escape processes, impact cratering and the study of Terrestrial (geological) analogues for better interpreting space-based data and planning future exploration.
Planetary geologic mapping, (Big) data discovery, access and analysis for planetary science are also covered.

Jacobs University is also a member of the EuroPlanet Society.


Current projects

Europlanet H2024 Research Infrastructure

The Europlanet 2024 Research Infrastructure (RI) provides free access to the world’s largest collection of planetary simulation and analysis facilities, data services and tools, a ground-based observational network and programme of community support activities.
The project is funded through the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme and runs for four years from February 2020 until January 2024.

The participation of Jacobs University to the Europlanet H2024 Research Infrastructure includes overseeing VA activities and co-leading the GMAP, follow-up infrastructure activity form PLANMAP.

Planmap H2020 Space

Geologic mapping is a key element of planetary exploration for mission planning, orbital and rover reconnaissance, and target selection for in-situ analysis and sample return, as well as for understanding the formation and evolution of planetary surfaces. The PLANMAP project ( aims at produce high-level, standardized geological maps of the Moon, Mars, and Mercury. Jacobs University co-leads the project.

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Explore H2020 Space

The EXPLORE project gathers experts from different science domains and technological expertises to develop new tools that will enable and promote the explotiation of space science data. Jacobs University is present supporting Lunar science data exploitation.

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Neanias H2020

European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) program faces the challenge of developing an agile, fit-for-purpose and sustainable service offering that can satisfy the evolving needs of the scientific community by stimulating the design and prototyping of novel innovative digital services. NEANIAS (Novel EOSC Services for Emerging Atmosphere, Underwater & Space Challenges) is an ambitious project that comprehensively addresses the challenges set out in the ‘Roadmap for EOSC’ foreseen actions. Jacobs University is developing planetary surface science services within NEANIAS/EOSC.

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ESA Daedalus mission element study

Jacobs University is involved in the mission element study Daedalus (Descent And Exploration in Deep Autonomy of Lava Underground Structures) .The goal of this mission is to explore hazardous and extreme environments using a compact spherical robot device equipped with a 3D LiDAR, stereo camera vision, and locomotion subsystem as well as additional auxilary housekeeping sensors. It is designed specifically with the aim of investigating underground lava tubes on the moon or on other extraterrestial domains, i.e. asteroids or planets, where high autonomy is necessary. By creating a 3D modell of the insides of those lava tubes the robot identifies potential geologic resources and characterizes environmental properties of these subsurface corridors.

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ESA Miracles science support

Jacobs University supports the Science Team for in-scenario and out-of-scenario preparation activities of the ETNA ARCHES/MIRACLES, building upon ESA Analog.


Past projects

  • Europlanet H2020 Research Infrastructure: JacobsUni contributed to the Europlanet H2020 Research Infrastructure mainly through VESPA
  • EarthServer / EarthServer 2 ( Planetserver): JacobsUni also provided the Planetary science component of the FP7 EarthServer and H2020 EarthServer-2 projects is PlanetServer.
  • ESA Analog-1 science support: JacobsUni supported the Geology and Science Support for the ESA Analog-1 campaign elements (Lanzarote & Valkenburg)

Planetary scientists at JacobsUni:



Dr. Angelo Pio Rossi
Professor of Earth and Planetary Science
Department of Physics & Earth Sciences
Jacobs University Bremen gGmbH | Campus Ring 1 | D-28759 Bremen
Tel: +49 421 200-3153
Fax: +49 421 200-3229
Email: an.rossi [at]