University of North Dakota Faculty/Staff Newsletter

Space Studies colloquium will focus on missions to Mars

The fourth talk in the UND Space Studies spring colloquium series, which focuses on “Human Missions to Mars,” is at 4 p.m. Monday, March 8, in 111 Ryan Hall. The series features several leading experts, both from within UND and other organizations. The March 8 colloquium will be presented by Pascal Lee, chairman of the Mars Institute, a planetary scientist at the SETI Institute and director of the Haughton-Mars Project at NASA Ames Research Center.

The first steps towards a human journey to the Red Planet are already underway as scientists explore extreme environments on Earth and prepare for new journeys to the Moon, near-Earth asteroids, and the moons of Mars, Phobos and Deimos. Pascal Lee will discuss progress being made around the world, from the Arctic to Antarctica, to achieve these milestones. He will examine the what, why, when, who, and how of a human mission to Mars. Specific lessons learned from the NASA Haughton-Mars Project will be discussed.

Lee has worked extensively in the Arctic and Antarctica, which are viewed as “analogs” for the Moon and Mars. He was first to propose the Cold Early Mars model based on his field work in Earth’s polar regions, and he is internationally recognized for his efforts to advance the human exploration of Mars and its moons, Phobos and Deimos. Lee was the scientist-pilot in the first field test of NASA’s new Small Pressurized Rover, a concept vehicle currently under development for the future human exploration of the Moon and Mars.


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