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Mission to Mars: Still Roving on the Red Planet

Recording Details

Speaker(s): 
PIRSA Number: 
06020003

Abstract

An expected 90 day robotic odyssey on Mars has stretched into a two year scientific marathon. Dr. Grant, a geologist with the Center for Earth and Planetary Studies, helped pick the landing sites and works on day-to-day operations of the Spirit and Opportunity Rovers. You’ll see the latest photos, learn what Martian mysteries have been uncovered and find out how scientists plan to push the limits of future robots in space. Dr. John A. Grant, III joined the Smithsonian in the fall of 2000 as a Geologist at the Center for Earth and Planetary Studies at the National Air and Space Museum. He has been a member of the Science Team for the Mars Exploration Rovers since 2002, is one of six Science Operations Working Group Chairs and is co-leading site selection activities for the 2009 Mars Science Laboratory mission to Mars. Since 2001, Dr. Grant has served as a Co-Investigator on the High Resolution Camera (HiRISE), which is being flown on the 2005 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, currently on its way to Mars. In addition, he is leading development of a ground-penetrating radar for possible future deployment on a Mars rover and conducts fundamental research related to the history of geologic processes on the Earth and Mars. He has been interested in Mars ever since reading Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles as a child. Dr. Grant earned his bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh and received his master’s in geology at the University of Rhode Island and his doctorate in geology at Brown University. He maintains a strong connection to the classroom and has held several professorial and teaching posts at both Rhode Island College and SUNY College at Buffalo. He has authored or contributed to numerous articles in many professional journals, including Science, Geology, Geomorphology, and the Journal of Geophysical Research. Mission to Mars, John A Grant, Mars, exploration, red planet, NASA, Spirit Rover, hematite, geology, air and space, outcrop, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter,