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We are pleased to announce the next Hewett Club Speaker – our alumnus, Dr. Tom Bristow. He obtained his doctoral degree in our department, and now works at NASA Ames Research Center as a research scientist. Tom is a geobiologist and astrobiologist focusing on Precambrian geology, biogeochemical cycles, and Martian history.

 

Title10 Years of Mineral Discoveries by the Mars Science Laboratory 

 

Abstract

The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) science team recently celebrated its 10th year on Mars. Since landing in Gale Crater on Aug. 5th, 2012, the MSL Curiosity rover has travelled about 30 km and has documented more than 600 vertical meters of fluvio-lacustrine and aeolian sediment deposited about 3.5 billion years ago, in addition to younger sedimentary strata. Curiosity is tasked with looking for evidence of habitable Martian environments and investigating potential indicators of planetary scale climate change and a shrinking hydrological budget, preserved in the rock record at Gale. In this seminar, I will describe some of the technical capabilities of the rover, how it operates, and what it has found, with a focus on the implications of mineral discoveries. 

 

 

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