Is Mars our first step out into the galaxy? Join a panel of NASA scientists and astrophysicists as they discuss the potential for life on Mars.
NASA is in the early stages of preparing to send the first astronauts to the red planet. In 2020 the robotic mission will be searching for signs of habitable conditions on Mars, as well as past microbial life from its ancient past. Gathering knowledge and demonstrating technologies, the mission will address the challenges of future human expeditions to Mars. From testing oxygen production methods to improving landing techniques, the mission is our first step to answering our questions about the wider galaxy.
How will people live on Mars? Is there already simple life on the red planet? Should we terraform our neighbouring world, making it more Earth-like and therefore more habitable for people? Will Mars be the first step to humanity spreading out into the galaxy? Do we have galactic neighbours?
Graham Phillips (formerly of ABC’s Catalyst) will lead this panel of leading Australian and International scientists to give you the answers.
• Australian geologist Dr. Abigail Allwood from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory
• Physicist Professor Paul Davies from Arizona State University
• NASA Mars 2020 rover mission program scientist Dr. Mitch Schulte
• Australian UNSW’s Professor Martin Van Kranendonk
Presented by Sydney Opera House and UNSW’s Big Questions Institute.
About The 2020 Mars Rover Mission
The 2020 Mars rover mission will visit a previously unexplored region of Mars thought to have offered favourable conditions long ago for microbial life to search for signs of past life. It will also collect and cache samples for potential return to Earth, where they will be analysed in the laboratory. As a pioneering step toward how humans on Mars could use the Red Planet’s natural resources, the rover will conduct an experiment to extract oxygen from the Martian atmosphere.