Mon, 09 May|
NMM Lecture Theatre
Adventures of a robot geologist on Mars – tales of the Perseverance rover By Professor Sanjeev Gupta
We send robots to Mars in general to search for evidence for extraterrestrial life, in particular ancient life. This is not such an easy task.
Time & Location
09 May 2022, 19:15
NMM Lecture Theatre, Romney Rd, London SE10 9NF, UK
About the Event
We send robots to Mars in general to search for evidence for extraterrestrial life, in particular ancient life. This is not such an easy task. Crucial to this endeavour is finding the right rocks that might contain signature of ancient life. But how do we go about this? Sedimentary rocks are the ‘go to’ archives for this search. One of the goals of geologists exploring Mars with robots is to work out what the Martian landscape was like early in Mars’ history – deep time Mars – at a time when life is thought to have got going on Earth.
On February 18 2021, NASA’s Perseverance rover successfully landed at Jezero crater in a nail-biting landing sequence. The mission represents the most complex, capable rover ever sent to Mars. It is also the first step in a multi-stage campaign to return surface samples back to Earth in order to seek signs of ancient life on the red planet.
In this talk I will discuss the adventures of the rover in its geological exploration of Jezero crater.
Sanjeev Gupta is Professor of Earth Sciences at Imperial College London. He is a geologist by training and has spent much of his career studying sedimentary rock formations in places like the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt, and landscapes under the sea in the English Channel. In the past 10 years, he switched his attention to exploring the geology of Mars. Sanjeev is a science team member on NASA’s Perseverance rover and Curiosity rover missions.
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