Our guest speaker at our June monthly meeting was Dr. Mariek Schmidt, from Brock University. Mariek, who is involved in a NASA Mars research project, told us about “Curiosity in Gale Crater Mars.”
Mariek is a scientist (one of 400) working on the rover vehicle “Curiosity” the fourth vehicle sent to Mars. Mariek provided several fascinating photos of Mars, taken by the rover. The $2.5 million Rover was conceived to assess the potential habitat for life on Mars and especially in the area of Gale Crater and Mount Sharp.
The complex rover is able to photograph, collect and analyze Mars rock and
measure gases released when the rocks are heated. Water vapour was released during experiments.
Evidence gathered indicates that the key chemical ingredients for life are present to sustain primitive life forms. The Curiosity rover, which is now travelling toward Mount Sharp, has shown that in ancient Mars environments volcanoes erupted, rivers flowed, neutral, low salinity waters intermittently ponded and ground water percolated through rock fractures.