Episode 3 – Steve Squyres and Roving Mars

Steve Squyres

Steve Squyres

 

This week we talk with Steve Squyres, principal investigator for the science payload on the Mars Exploration Rover Project, & Professor of Astronomy at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

Preview from the show:

We have been so incredibly lucky with this mission. I mean, to have that dead wheel, which we thought was a catastrophe at the time, turn up one of the most exciting discoveries of the mission, was very good fortune.

The next big thing, at least in mars exploration, along with the continuing adventures of the rovers, is a mission called Phoenix. And Phoenix is a lander mission that’s going to land near the north polar region of mars, and is going to dig down into the soil there, hope to find ice and then, scoop up some of that ice, and put it into a little chemistry set on top of the lander, and find out what’s inside of that ice.

What we’ve tried to do is provide images, provide curriculum materials, and provide information for educators as we go. And I think that’s actually the best way to do it, because the thing that makes this exciting is not reading about it in the historical sense after the mission’s over, so much as being an active participant – you know following the mission as it’s going along. You can go to our website, and you can download the latest pictures from Mars that have come down in the last day or so.

Links:

Brian’s “Flaming Pumpkin of Death”
Dale’s Stop-motion video project

Direct download: nsta_lol3.mp3

  • Rizzo

    I am a geologist, a researcher of italian CNR.
    Casually looking the MER Opportunity Microscopic Imagery an then studing all the sedimentary structures we found that outcropping at Meridiani planum are made by biosedimentary masses.
    Could you help us to contact NASA specialist in order to discuss resuklts of our work?
    Until now (we have an article for a review, but before we will discuss with NASA specialist, and until now it was impossible).

    Tank you
    Vincenzo Rizzo

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