July 30, 2020
Purdue scientist plays a critical role in 2020 NASA Mars rover mission
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The NASA Mars rover Perseverance launched Thursday (July 30), and it is heading to a location on Mars that a Purdue University scientist played a key role in selecting.
This scientifically important landing site within Jezero Crater was selected by NASA following a presentation by Briony Horgan, an associate professor of planetary science, who is a member of the Perseverance science team. Horgan led a study of the mineralogy of the site, which produced one of the major results that contributed to its selection. She also was on the team that designed the camera that will be the scientific eyes for Perseverance.
The Jezero Crater preserves evidence of a time when rivers flowed on Mars. The mission will take the next leap in space science by searching for signs of past life on the red planet. Not the Martians of comic-book science fiction, but, instead, ancient microbes may have lived in Mars' rivers, lakes and swamps billions of years ago.
More information about the mission and Horgan’s contributions are available online.
About Purdue University
Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked the No. 6 Most Innovative University in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing research and out-of-this-world discovery. Committed to hands-on and online, real-world learning, Purdue offers a transformative education to all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, enabling more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap at https://purdue.edu/.
Media contact: Amy Patterson Neubert, 765-412-0864, email@example.com, @AmyPattersonN
Source: Briony Horgan, firstname.lastname@example.org, @ironywithab
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