February 11, 2021

Mars professor searching for signs of the red planet’s evolution

Note to Journalists: Various photos, video and interview clips of Briony Horgan, as well as NASA images related to the Mars rover mission, are available via this Google Drive folder. Journalists visiting campus should follow visitor health guidelines.

WHAT: Today (Feb. 11) marks one week until the scheduled landing of the NASA Mars rover Perseverance mission. It’s an opportunity for scientists to dig into the history of the red planet and search for ancient life by studying data, images and, ultimately, samples collected by the rover.

EXPERT: Briony Horgan, a member of the NASA Mars rover mission, can talk about what discoveries the rocks of the Mars surface could hold. Horgan is an associate professor of planetary science at Purdue University.   

QUOTE: “It is going to be absolutely inspiring. We’ll be the first humans to see Jezero Crater on Mars, the first to try to understand what it is telling us about ancient life on Mars.” 

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT HORGAN

  • Led the research team that studied and presented Mars’ Jezero Crater to NASA as the mission landing site.
  • Helped design the camera that will be the scientific eyes for Perseverance.
  • Co-investigator in several previous or ongoing NASA lunar and Mars programs.
  • Field of expertise in surface geology, mineralogy, rover studies and remote sensing of the terrestrial planets, as well as visible, near-infrared and thermal-infrared spectroscopy.

CONTACT

Writer, Media contact: Brian Huchel, 765-494-2084, bhuchel@purdue.edu

Source: Briony Horgan, briony@purdue.edu, @ironywithab 

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