By Leanne Gunn
The popularity of science fiction films and books shows us that there is something very exciting about exploring other worlds and planets. For many people this stops at fiction, however, for planetary scientists, like Dr Matthew Balme and Dr Peter Fawdon, exploring Mars is their job, it’s what they do every single day!
An infilled crater on MarsImage: HRSC-ESA-Mars-Express
How do you explore Mars?
Exploring our own planet is not always easy, but exploring Mars is even harder. At least on Earth scientists can visit the place they are studying and learn from it first-hand. However, for planetary scientists a research trip to Mars is a distant dream and instead they have to rely on other methods to gain insight into what Mars is actually like.
It is thanks to a combination of planetary scientists and engineers that rovers and orbiters have been sent to Mars to get a closer look at the Planet. Without those robots and the data that they send back to Earth, we would know far less about the surface of Mars and its atmosphere.
Preparation is Everything
So far only the American Space Agency NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) have successfully ...