Physics @ Berkeley
Events in Physics
Title: Sackler Lecture: The Mars Exploration Rover Mission    (Special)
Start Date: 04/06/2005
Time: 5:45 pm
Location: 1 Pimentel Hall
Speaker: Steven Squyres
Affiliation: Professor of Astronomy, Cornell University
Contact Person: Barb Hoversten   (510) 643-2457
Details: Dr. Steven Squyres is the principal scientific investigator for NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Project. Twin robot geologists, Rovers Spirit and Opportunity, have both found evidence for water-related processes at their landing sites. In Gusev crater, Spirit found trace evidence for the action of water on the lava-covered plains of the crater floor. The older rocks in the Columbia Hills, however, show evidence for substantial alteration by water. At Medidiani Planum, Opportunity found layered sedimentary rocks precipitated from liquid water. After deposition, the rocks underwent a complex history of modification by water, including periodic inundation by shallow surface water, evaporation, and drying. Environmental conditions at Meridiani may have been suitable for supporting life at some point in the planet's history.