Margarita "Mars" Marinova

Deepworker Pilot

Margarita Marinova

Expertise: Planetary Surfaces
Affiliation: NASA Ames Research Center - Space Sciences Division; BAER Institute
B.Sc. - Aeronautics and Astronautics, MIT
M.Sc. - Planetary Science, Caltech
Ph.D. - Planetary Science, Caltech


Margarita's main research interests are in characterizing extreme environments, and understanding the surface of Mars. She received her bachelor's degree in Aeronautics and Astronauts at MIT in 2003, consequently working at EADS in Munich, Germany on rocket propulsion engines. She then worked at NASA Ames Research Center in California on understanding extreme environments and the limits of habitability for Earth life. Margarita received her PhD in Planetary Science from Caltech in 2010, where she examined planetary-scale impacts and their implications for the early history of Mars and the solid Solar System planets. Her research interests focus on understanding interesting processes and features on Mars through simulations and field measurements. As part of her work to understand Mars, Margarita studies analogue locations on the Earth. Her study sites range from the High Arctic, to the Sahara Desert in Egypt, the bottom of a lake in British Columbia in Canada, Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, and to the Dry Valleys of Antarctica. Her love for science is strengthened by the excitement of discovering and understanding how nature works.