Mark Berggren

Senior Engineer

Mark Berggren has a B.S. in Metallurgical Engineering from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. He has over 28 years of experience in research and development, pilot-scale demonstration, and commercial operations involving terrestrial gas-solid reactions, mineral and metal separations and refining, resource utilization, energy topics, and recycling. He worked at Amax Research & Development and Hazen Research prior to joining Pioneer Astronautics. Since joining Pioneer in 2000, he has been applying his experience to lunar and Martian in-situ resource utilization.

Mark was principal investigator on a NASA JSC Phase I SBIR program entitled “Mars Aqueous Processing System”, which demonstrated the ability to extract and selectively recover iron, silicon, aluminum, and magnesium oxides as high quality products from Mars simulants. During Phase II, the technology is being refined in support of the preparation of process designs for lunar oxygen generation and Mars materials production.

He served as lead engineer on the NASA JSC Phase II NOBOSS project to develop a thermal catalytic process for dissociation of nitrous oxide into personal breathing air for space, marine, and terrestrial applications. During the course of the project, a dissociation reactor and associated components were incorporated into a fully functional prototype backpack.

Mark is lead engineer on the Lift Gas Cracker program being conducted for NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. During the Phase I program he led the design, fabrication, and testing of a portable methanol steam reformer including integrated combustion and heat exchange systems. The portable Lift Gas Cracker was used to inflate a stratospheric research balloon that carried smaller zero-pressure test balloons and a suite of telemetry and temperature instruments to 100,000 feet. During Phase II, technologies to increase the duration of stratospheric research balloon flight are being developed.

Mark participated on the Pioneer team to develop a Sea Glider based on an innovative ballast control system. He has also participated on Pioneer’s Phase I Carbon Monoxide Metal Oxide Reduction System project, Phase II Mars Microballoon project, Phase II Methane to Aromatics on Mars project, and several other NASA SBIR programs. In addition, he has worked on commercially-sponsored and in-house nitrous oxide conversion programs, in-situ resource utilization projects, and hydrocarbon conversion projects.

Mark has eight patents and is a Professional Engineer in the State of Colorado, a member of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration (SME), and a member of the Mars Society.

Heather Rose

Research Scientist

Mrs. Rose generally works in a laboratory and/or research scientist capacity. She aids in the design, coordination and implementation of laboratory testing, data acquisition, and data analysis to run prototype systems and help design testing regimens to optimize performance. She has worked on fabrication, design analysis and alterations; data acquisition and analysis; for laboratory testing and both low and high altitude field tests of stratospheric research and zero-pressure test balloons. Of note :

  • In lab work during the METAMARS Phase II we demonstrated that methane produced on Mars could be transformed with complete selectivity into benzene, thereby reducing the hydrogen importation requirements for Mars in-situ propellant production plants by a factor of 4.
  • During the LGC Phase I program Pioneer Astronautics designed, fabricated, and tested of a methanol reformer including integrated combustion and heat exchange systems. The portable Lift Gas Cracker was used to inflate a stratospheric research balloon that carried smaller zero-pressure test balloons and a suite of telemetry and temperature instruments to 100,000 feet.
  • Mrs. Rose completed a partial rework of the 300-liter vacuum chamber, including cleaning, new electrical pass-through, vacuum testing, and the creation of a user guide to the chamber from basic use to maintenance issues and logs. This re-work of the chamber created six reliable electrical pass-through, cut the total pump down time of the chamber in half and increased the total vacuum available in the chamber. The user guide insures that maintenance and overall performance of the chamber can be monitored from project to project.

Since joining the Pioneer Astronautics team in 2003 she has also worked on data acquisition systems for many Pioneer projects. Either taking the lead or assisting in the design, purchase, creation, implementation, or debugging steps for various projects data acquisition. Pioneer mainly relies upon either National Instruments – LabVIEW or Azeotech’s DAQFactory programs for data aquisition.

Professional Bio

Heather Rose graduated from the University of Denver in June 2003 with a BA in Physics and a minor in Astrophysics. In the fall of 2000 she was chosen for an internship with Equinox Interscience in Pinecliffe, Colorado. There she accelerated the construction of a battery-housing unit for the University of Denver’s Mt. Evans Meyer-Womble Observatory, completed company fundamental operational and safety training on milling equipment, and assisted the machining lead in basic maintenance and operation of milling equipment for various engineering and astronomy projects. During the summer of 2001 she was selected to participate in the Onyx Environmental Services Summer Internship program running at that time in Port Arthur, Texas. There she helped edit, update, and complete a customer service packet ahead of schedule. She was also able to assist the environmental department in compiling, editing, and completing government documentation and compliance reports. From June-August of 2003 she worked at Design Net Engineering supported laboratory technicians, the Test and Integration Team, and assisted the Analysis Lead on the Low Temperature Micro-gravity Physics Facility (LTMPF) project for the International Space Station.

Personal Bio

Mrs. Rose has been an avid amateur Astronomer since 1992, having been in the Astronomical Society of Southeast Texas (a division of the Astronomical League) for ten years, and has won several national awards for her achievements and educational outreach in Astronomy including:

  • Messier Award :Certificate 1160 in May 1994, The Astronomical League offers special recognition in the form of a Messier Club Certificate for those that have observed all 110 Messier objects
  • The Jack Horkheimer Award :The first winner of the Horkheimer Award in 1998. Award is presented to an Astronomical League member under the age of 19 on the date of the application. The Award is based upon service to the League, either directly or service to any Astronomical League society. Service could be in the form of educational outreach, knowledge and skills at public star parties or other astronomical service. Young astronomers could apply for both National Young Astronomer Award and the Horkheimer award. This award is supported by Jack Horkheimer, The Star Gazer
  • National Young Astronomer Award : 4th Place in 1998, To encourage our nation’s younger students, the Astronomical League established the National Young Astronomer Award. N.Y.A.A. designed to recognize the outstanding achievements by high school aged astronomers throughout the United States

She has ten years of deeply involved experience in astronomy and space educational, and has visited countless schools, conventions, malls, and parks for Astronomy and space outreach. She has also worked with many outreach organizations such as the Challenger Center, Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Houston Museum of Natural Science, George Observatory, and the Astronomical League.

Stacy Carrera

Senior Scientist / Project Manager

Dr. Stacy received her bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. She then worked for Motorola Semiconductor in Austin, Texas for four years. T he first year she was in their Engineering Rotation Program, which allowed her access to a wide variety of jobs within the company including product engineering, technical marketing, device engineering, and failure analysis. After her four three-month rotations, she elected to continue working in the destructive analysis laboratory evaluating the cause of failures in microcontrollers primarily for automotive industry. Her interest in Material Science grew from working in the FA laboratory and ultimately resulted in her deciding to return to graduate school at the Colorado School of Mines to pursue a doctorate in Material Science and Engineering.

Stacy completed her doctorate in the Spring of 2005 concentrating on mechanical properties of thin films using finite element modeling and laboratory techniques. The title of her thesis is The Role of Finite Element Modeling and Closed Field Unbalanced Magnetron Sputtering on Developing a Coating System for Die Casting.

She began working for Pioneer Astronautics while in the finishing stages of completing her thesis and began working full time on the Phase I project entitled Carbon Monoxide Silicate Reduction System, which is aimed at removing oxygen from lunar solar for use as a breathing aid as well as propellant. Also, the work focuses on recovering metals from lunar soil such as silicon for use as potential sources of materials for building or energy; one example being solar cells. In her free time, Stacy enjoys all aspects of the outdoors, music, and literature. Her primary passion is rock climbing, which she has been able to do all across Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Texas, California, Arizona, New Mexico, the Potrero Chico of Mexico and the Peak District of England. Recently, she has also been exploring rafting.

Carie Fay

Director, Administration & Human Resources

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