WBIR: Water discovery on Mars has UT ties

WBIR-TVWBIR Channel 10 interviewed Harry “Hap” McSween about NASA’s announcement of new evidence indicating flowing water on present-day Mars. The discovery holds implications about how the Red Planet can support life in the future. The interviewed also featured Jeff Moersch via Skype. He is currently at the Russian Space Research Institute in Moscow working on the Curiosity Rover, which is on the Martian surface. Watch the story here.

McSween also interviewed with the News Sentinel about this topic. Read the story here.

McSween, distinguished professor of earth and planetary sciences, is a leading expert on the composition of Mars. He is co-investigator for NASA’s Mars Odyssey spacecraft mission, which is mapping the mineralogy and geochemistry of the Martian surface from orbit; the Mars Exploration Rovers, which have analyzed rocks and soils at two landing sites; and the Dawn spacecraft mission, which began orbiting asteroid Vesta in 2011 and will subsequently explore Ceres, the largest asteroid.

Moersch is an associate professor of earth and planetary sciences. His research focuses on using clues provided by Martian geology to understand Mars’ present and past surface environment and its potential for having once harbored life; and the technical aspects of building new science instruments for use on planetary spacecraft missions and optimization of the science yield from instruments in new operational environments.