On Wednesday 19th October the ExoMars 2016 Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) successfully entered into orbit around Mars. There are many links between the ASB community and the ExoMars missions, either directly, or through related research into the possibility of life on Mars. So, it comes as no surprise that some of ASB’s committee members have been out on the media circuit recently, talking all about the Red Planet.
This week’s Mars-themed episode of the BBC’s The Sky At Night featured ASB’s Louisa Preston and Manish Patel. Louisa talked about the Mars Utah Rover Field Investigation (MURFI), a first step towards training UK scientists in the art of Mars rover operations, and Manish explained how the TGO will provide us with information about methane and other trace gases in the Martian atmosphere.
Over the past few weeks Manish, a member of the TGO science team, has spoken extensively to media outlets about the ExoMars mission, including BBC News, Sky News, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 5 Live, and several national and local newspapers.
Methane has also been a topic of discussion for ASB’s Adam Stevens who spoke to CNN about what the discovery of Martian methane would mean for the search for life on Mars.
Of course, there was a downside to last month’s events on and around Mars when the Schiaparelli Lander crash landed onto the Martian surface. However, as Louisa Preston writes in a TED Fellows blog post, perhaps we shouldn’t be too upset about the crash.