Mars Curiosity Rover has been operating on Mars for 100 days. The speaker will present the current status on the search for organics in the soil and the prospects for determining the habitability of the site. If organics are found on Mars, the next challenge will be to determine if they are of biological or non-biological origin.
Dr. Chris McKay is a research scientist with the NASA Ames Research Center. His current research focuses on the evolution of the solar system and the origin of life. He is also actively involved in planning for future Mars missions including human exploration. Chris been involved in research in Mars-like environments on Earth, traveling to the Antarctic dry valleys, Siberia, the Canadian Arctic, and the Atacama, Namib, & Sahara deserts to study life in these Mars-like environments. He was a co-investigator on the Huygens probe to Saturn’s moon Titan in 2005, the Mars Phoenix lander mission in 2008, and the current Mars Science Laboratory mission (2012).
Admission and parking are free and open to all.