Exploring Mars: Landscapes and the History of Water

FRI, JAN 2, 2004 (1:07:01)

Maria Zuber of MIT discusses her experiences working with the Mars Exploration Rover 'Spirit', and the discoveries it made.

Taking advantage of Earth's proximity to Mars, astronomers and scientists are launching several missions to Mars to find out more about our red neighbor. On January 4, 2004, a Mars Exploration Rover called 'Spirit' landed inside a Martian crater with the assistance of Maria Zuber. Zuber monitored the radio tracking of the entry, decent and landing out at the Jet Propulsion Lab in California; however, before she went, she shared with us some of the reasons scientists want to study Mars in the first place. What are we looking for? How similar are these two planets? And is there life on Mars?

+ BIO: Maria T. Zuber

Maria T. Zuber is the E. A. Griswold Professor of Geophysics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she also leads the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences.

Zuber has been involved in more than half a dozen NASA planetary missions aimed at mapping the Moon, Mars, Mercury, and several asteroids.

She received her B.A. in astrophysics from the University of Pennsylvania and Sc.M. and Ph.D. in geophysics from Brown University. She was on the faculty at Johns Hopkins University and served as a research scientist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. She received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Brown University in 2008.

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