Illustrations for NASA Missions

The following are different illustrations I've made for a variety of NASA Missions, published on different platforms ranging from science publications to press media release kits.

NASA ICON (Ionospheric Connection Explorer)

The Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) is a satellite designed to investigate changes in the Earth's ionosphere, the dynamic region high in our atmosphere where terrestrial weather from below meets space weather from above. ICON studies the interaction between Earth's weather systems and space weather driven by the Sun, and how this interaction drives turbulence in the upper atmosphere.

This poster was created to communicate the scientific value of the mission, as well as detail the instrument parts and functions.

The following are different illustrations I've made for a variety of NASA Missions, published on different platforms ranging from science publications to press media release kits.

NASA Pavilion Lake Research Project

The Pavilion Lake Research Project (PLRP) is an international, multi-disciplinary science and exploration effort to explain the origin of freshwater microbialites in Pavilion Lake, British Columbia, Canada.

The distribution and preservation of carbon isotope biosignatures in microbialite carbonate were investigated as part of the Pavilion Lake Research Project with NASA Ames in June 2014. Using Isotope-Ratio Mass Spectrometry, carbon-13 abundance in microbialite carbonate was investigated on microbialite surfaces from three different sites at Pavilion Lake at three different depths. In addition, interior samples approximately 4 cm directly beneath the microbialite surface were collected and measured.

These illustrations were created for my Masters' research thesis and are published in ACS Earth and Space Chemistry​. You can read the research article in the link below.

NASA BASALT (Biologic Analog Science Associated with Lava Terrains) 

NASA’s BASALT project is designing and developing elements of future missions that could send humans to conduct science and exploration on Mars. Many of the lessons they learn can also be applied to human exploration of the Moon, the moons of Mars, and near-Earth asteroids.

I was commissioned by the NASA BASALT Research Program to create illustrations detailing the communication architecture of space analog missions being performed in Idaho and Hawaii. The research entails injecting time delays into mission communications to simulate lag in Earth-Mars telecommunications and best practices that ensure clarity and precision in data transfer. These illustrations were created over a 3-month period with extensive review by several members of the NASA BASALT program and the NASA Kennedy Space Center.

Illustrations appeared in two research publications in Astrobiology:

© 2021 Mark Belan.

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