Monday, December 05, 2011

Mars Mission Hoping To Satisfy Curiosity

mars rover
The University of Leicester is to play a key role in NASA's $2.5 billion mission to Mars. Dr. John Bridges of the University's Space Research Centre leads a team from the University of Leicester, the Open University, and CNES France which have been accepted as participating scientists on the Mars Science Laboratory Mission, which lands in August 2012.

John Bridges will be among the first people to study images returned after landing. The Leicester-led team will focus on determining the conditions associated with the presence of water in past epochs at the landing site.

Launched on 26th November, the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) is a NASA mission with the aim to land and operate a rover named Curiosity on the surface of Mars. The 900-kg rover, which is the size of a small car, will travel on the Red Planet's surface for 23 months, looking at sediments that could help explain the planet's past and help to assess Mars's habitability.

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