Nicole Schmitz is a planetary scientist and engineer at DLR's Institute of Planetary Research in Berlin, Germany. The research group focuses on the study of planetary geology using data obtained from cameras, spectrometers and other instruments on various space missions. Schmitz has been involved in the design and development of instruments for planetary exploration missions, mission planning and execution and science activities for Mars, Jupiter, Moon and asteroid missions.
She is currently Co-Principal Investigator of the PanCam instrument on ESA's upcomming ExoMars rover and Co-Investigator of the Mastcam-Z instrument on NASA's Perseverance rover. Her involvement in other missions include the Japanese Hayabusa-2 asteroid sample return mission, ESA's Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer Mission (JUICE), the Mars Moon Exploration Mission MMX and the Russian Lunar Mission Luna-27. In preparation for future Mars missions, she is regularly involved in analogue studies in Earth's polar regions to prepare future Mars rovers and their instruments for their scientific tasks on Mars.