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Understanding Science Seminar: Exploring Mars (Dr. Jeremie Lasue, IRAP/OMP)

On March 07, 2017, ISSI-BJ organized an Understanding Science seminar on “Exploring Mars”. The lecture was held by Dr. Jérémie Lasue of the Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie (IRAP/OMP) in Toulouse, France, a visitor to ISSI-BJ. Dr. Lasue is part of the team working on the ChemCam instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory (Curiosity) rover.

During his talk, Dr. Jérémie Lasue, in a comprehensible manner, reviewed the exploration of Mars and its results. With 6 satellites and 2 rovers operational at Mars, the red planet is currently the most explored object of our planetary system after the Earth. While it is currently mostly a desiccated frozen world, signs of large amounts of water flowing on Mars over long periods of time in the past have triggered the question of its habitability. The NASA Mars Science Laboratory (Curiosity) has found evidence for past liquid water at Gale, and the presence of all the necessary elements for life indicating that Gale Crater must have been originally habitable. In his talk, Dr. Jérémie Lasue discussed the possible emergence of life in the past and in the present, as well as reviewed the opportunities and challenges for future exploration of the Red Planet by robots and humans.

The event was well attended, and the room at the Bridge Café, a coffeehouse in Wudaokou, Beijing, quickly became crowded with scientists, young students and other curious listeners. After the talk, the audience asked many well-thought questions, showing especially high interest in the search for life on Mars. “Exploring Mars” seminar was undoubtedly a successful event, receiving a highly positive feedback from the attendees.


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