For our first ROADS “Meet a NASA Expert,” we were joined by Jim Rice, an astrogeologist and a Mars Exploration Rover Project scientist.
The Red Planet, Mars, has always held our fascination, more so than any other planet. The very word “Mars” conjures up visions of Martians as well as great voyages of exploration in our imagination. What was once a distant, mysterious, cinnamon colored orb in our night sky is now literally a New World that we are currently exploring with rovers and landers on the surface and orbiters from above. These robotic missions are the pathfinders for future human missions. And at some point humans will make Mars our second home in the Solar System.
Jim’s presentation discussed the major discoveries that have been, and are now being made, about Mars by our robotic missions. Jim also discussed the dangers, challenges, and plans for human missions to the Red Planet. There was Q&A with students after the main presentation.