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VIRTUAL GSL Public Lecture: Adventures in Martian deep time – tales from the Perseverance rover

08 September 2021
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Event type:
Lecture, Virtual event
Organised by:
Geological Society Events, 2021 Year of Space
Virtual event
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Adventures in Martian deep time – tales from the Perseverance rover  
We send robots to Mars in general to search for evidence for extraterrestrial life, in particular ancient life. This is not such an easy task. Crucial to this endeavour is finding the right rocks that might contain signature of ancient life. But how do we go about this? Sedimentary rocks are the ‘go to’ archives for this search. One of the goals of geologists exploring Mars with robots is to work out what the Martian landscape was like early in Mars’ history – deep time Mars - at a time when life is thought to have got going on Earth.  Were ancient environments on Mars suitable for life to have formed, flourished and its evidence preserved in the rock record? 
On February 18 2021, NASA’s Perseverance rover successfully landed at Jezero crater in a nail-biting landing sequence. The mission represents the most complex, capable rover ever sent to Mars. It is also the first step in a multi-stage campaign to return surface samples back to Earth in order to seek signs of ancient life on the red planet. 
In this talk Sanjeev will discuss the early adventures of the rover as it begins its geological exploration of Jezero crater.


Professor Sanjeev Gupta, Imperial College London


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