ASU In the News

Fox news discusses ASU's role with NASA's Mars Science Laboratory rover

Fox news reporter Kristin Anderson talks to professor Jim Bell to discuss ASU's role with NASA's Mars Science Laboratory. You can watch the interview here:

If all goes according to plan, Mars Science Laboratory rover, dubbed Curiosity, will land at Gale Crater on Mars Aug. 5. Carrying an advanced suite of scientific instruments, the Mini-Cooper-size rover will explore a gigantic “history book” in the form of sedimentary deposits in Gale, seeking evidence of Mars’ past and present habitability.

ASU professors and researchers from the School of Earth and Space Exploration, as well as graduates, are involved in the mission. Professor Meenakshi Wadhwa is a co-investigator with the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument, essentially an analytical chemistry system. Amy McAdam, an alumna, is also working on SAM. Professor Jack Farmer is a science team member for a different instrument, CheMin, designed to examine the chemical and mineralogical properties of rocks and soils. And professor Alberto Behar is an investigation scientist for the Russian Dynamic Albedo of Neutrons instrument.

Curiosity’s Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) also has ties to ASU. MAHLI is mounted on its robotic arm and will make close-up images of Mars rocks to help determine past environmental conditions. Kenneth Edgett, an ASU alumnus, is the principal investigator on the MAHLI team. MAHLI comes from Malin Space Science Systems, a company started and operated by former ASU geological sciences professor Malin. Malin is also the principal investigator for two other MSL cameras, the Mars Descent Imager and Mastcam. And ASU’s professor Jim Bell is an important player regarding the targeting and interpretation of images recovered from all of these camera systems.

Article Source: Fox
Nikki Cassis

marketing and communications director, School of Earth and Space Exploration