PICS Seminar: Bethany Ehlmann (Caltech/JPL)

Bethany Ehlmann (Caltech/JPL)
Wednesday, September 19, 2018 - 12:30pm

NOTE SPECIAL DAY, TIME, AND LOCATION -- Wednesday, September 19 in E25-605 at 12:30

"Selecting the Site for Mars Sample Return for the Mars-2020 Rover Mission"

Mars Sample Return is a major endeavor, involving a mission of in situ exploration and sample caching and then later missions to bring the samples to Earth. Where to go: Igneous rocks or sedimentary rocks? What type of environment is best to look for ancient life on Mars? Should the search for ancient life be prioritized or understanding planetary evolution? Can we do both? These are the current questions facing the Mars-2020 rover mission, which in October 2018 will hold the final community workshop with a choice between 3 finalist sites: a lake delta, an ancient >3.7 Ga stratigraphy, and possible fumarolic/spring deposits. This informal discussion will briefly introduce the major characteristics of the Mars-2020 rover, its mission, sample return architecture, and the finalist sites. We'll have at least 15 minutes of discussion (hopefully more). Those who might want to analyze samples returned from Mars are especially encouraged to attend.

About the Series

The MIT Planetary Lunch Colloquium Series [PlCS] is a weekly seminar series organized within the EAPS department. Colloquia topics span the range of research interests of the department's planetary sciences research program. The seminars usually take place on Tuesdays from 12-1:30 pm in 54-517 unless otherwise noted (term-time only). Speakers include members of the MIT community and visitors. Talks are intended to appeal to graduate students, postdocs, research scientists, and faculty with a background in planetary science. A light lunch is provided.