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Looking for Life on Mars
Looking for Life on Mars

Mon, 09 Dec


Queen's House

Looking for Life on Mars

by Professor Andrew Coates, Professor and Deputy Director at University College London - Mullard Space Science Laboratory Mars is the nearest location where life could have evolved in our solar system... DETAILS ON HOW TO BOOK FOR THIS EVENT ARE EMAILED TO MEMBERS IN THE WEEKLY NEWSLETTER

Time & Location

09 Dec 2024, 19:15 – 21:00

Queen's House, Romney Rd, London SE10 9NF, UK

About the Event

Synopsis: Mars is the nearest location where life could have evolved in our solar system beyond the Earth. We will discuss the prospects for life on Mars in the context of potential habitability of outer planet moons and solar system other locations. We will then discuss current and future Mars missions, especially Perseverance which is collecting samples for later return to Earth, and the ESA-NASA Rosalind Franklin mission which will drill up to 2m below the harsh Martian surface for the first time to search for past life on Mars. We will discuss the UK’s key industrial and academic contributions to this exciting mission, for launch in 2028 and landing in 2030.

Bio: Professor Andrew Coates gained a BSc in Physics from UMIST in 1978, and MSc (1979) and D.Phil. (1982) in plasma physics from Oxford University. He has been at UCL’s Mullard Space Science Laboratory (MSSL) since 1982, with temporary guest positions at Max Planck Institute for Solar System Physics (Germany), University of Delaware (USA) and the BBC World service (media fellowship). He is now Deputy Director (solar system) at UCL-MSSL. Space mission involvements include the Rosalind Franklin (ExoMars) rover where he leads the PanCam team, Cassini, where he led the electron spectrometer team (part of the Cassini Plasma Spectrometer), Venus Express, Mars Express and Giotto. Scientific interests include the solar wind interaction with planets and comets, planetary surfaces and space instrumentation; he has authored and co-authored over 570 publications, including over 450 refereed. He was a member of STFC Science Board (2019-22). He is active in space and science outreach, and was President (2021-23) and vice President (2020-21 & 23-24) of the Society for Popular Astronomy.

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