nasa News

Professor Part of NASA Team Preparing for 2020 Mars Mission

Jeffrey-Moersch

Over the next five years, Jeffrey Moersch will be traveling to faraway places—from the Arctic to the Chilean desert—in a quest to learn more about a place even farther away—Mars. The earth and planetary sciences professor is part of a new NASA-funded research team helping prepare for the Mars 2020 rover mission. The interdisciplinary team is a member of the NASA Astrobiology Institute and is one of seven to receive a five-year grant of about $8 million.

Student Commands Mars Rover

UT physics doctoral student Chris Tate is working with Jeffrey Moersch, associate professor in UT's Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, on the Curiosity mission at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

Children are often mystified by remote control cars and how they can control them with a device while standing several feet away from them. This past week, Chris Tate was mystified by the same power—only he was controlling something 150 million miles away, on another planet. The UT physics doctoral student had the rare opportunity to control one of the science instruments on NASA’s Curiosity rover on Mars.

Engineering Team Develops Chip for Mars Rover

Ben Blalock

NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory Rover Curiosity would have a hard time completing its mission if it were not for a successful partnership between the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and a professor-student team at UT. Ben Blalock, professor of electrical engineering and computer science, and two graduate students, designed a tiny microchip that weighs close to a paper clip and helps control the motors on the rover.

Two UT Scientists to Begin Searching for Potential Habitats for Life on Mars

Jeffrey Moersch

NASA’s Curiosity rover landed on Mars Sunday night. Then, the work began for two UT professors searching for potentially habitable environments on the red planet. Linda Kah and Jeffrey Moersch, associate professors in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, are an integral part of the NASA team working on the rover.

UT professors helping to lead mission to Mars

WATE-TV’s Jill McNeal interviewed Jeffrey Moersch, associate professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, before he headed to California for his Mars Mission. He and Linda Kah, also an associate professor in the department, are an integral part of the NASA team working on the Curiosity rover.