Faculty Forum Online: Landing on Mars

Tanja Bosak - Ben Weiss - Fatima Husain
Friday, February 12, 2021 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Virtual via Zoom

Faculty Forum Online: Landing on Mars

Register for this event HERE


Friday February 12, 2021 12:00pm EST

Join us for a special MIT Faculty Forum Online webcast to discuss the Mars 2020 Perseverance Mission ahead of its scheduled landing in February 2021.

In this interactive forum, Professors Tanja Bosak and Ben Weiss, both investigators for the mission and members of the 10-person Returned Sample Science team, will discuss site selection for the landing, exploration of the Jezero Crater for signs of ancient life, the capabilities of the Perseverance Rover, and the prospect of returning rock and soil samples from Mars. Moderator: Fatima Husain SM '18, Graduate Student, EAPS. 

This event is open to the entire MIT community. The talk will be live-captioned and an archive made available on the MIT Alumni Association YouTube channel within a week of airing.

About Mars 2020

Launched in July 2020, the Mars 2020 mission will search for signs of past microbial life, characterizing the planet's climate and geology, and will be the first planetary mission to collect and cache Martian rock core and dust samples. Subsequent missions, currently under consideration by NASA (in conjunction with the European Space Agency), would send spacecraft to Mars to collect these cached samples from the surface and return them to Earth for in-depth analysis...[more]

About Tanja Bosak

Tanja Bosak is the lead for the Returned Sample Science team. She is a Professor of Geobiology at MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences. She is an experimental geobiologist, and her work integrates microbiology, sedimentology and stable isotope geochemistry to ask how microbes shape sedimentary rocks, become fossilized or leave organic, mineral and chemical signals in sediments. Professor Bosak obtained her B. Sc. in Geophysics from the University of Zagreb and her Ph.D. in Geobiology from the California Institute of Technology...[more]

About Ben Weiss

Benjamin Weiss is Professor of Planetary Sciences and chair of the Program in Planetary Sciences at MIT. His research concerns the formation, evolution, and history of the terrestrial planets and small bodies, with particular interests in paleomagnetism and geomagnetism, planetary geophysics, meteoritics, and planetary paleoclimate and habitability. He studies meteorites and samples from extraterrestrial bodies to understand the history of these planetary geophysical and geochemical processes. He joined the MIT faculty in 2004...[more]

About Fatima Husain SM '18

Fatima Husain is the host of MIT Abstracts and is a graduate student in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at MIT. In her research, Fatima applies geobiology and geochemistry to study ancient climates and environments and phylogenomics to study the history of evolution of microbes on Earth. Husain graduated from the MIT Graduate Program in Science Writing in 2018, and worked as MIT's Curiosity Correspondent before pursuing her graduate studies. Husain has reported on the Mars2020 mission for MIT EAPS News, PBS NOVA, and for other science communication efforts.

Contact information: Alumni Education - alumnilearn@mit.edu