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29 November 2023

Martian soil, rocks similar to those in UAE, Oman: US Scientist

By Wam

Dr. Christopher Edwards, Member of the Emirates Mars Mission, revealed that robotic probes sent to Mars took clear images of various components of its soil.

"We have studied rocks that are similar to some rocks in the UAE and Oman, which has helped us to learn about their formation and history," Edwards said.

In a lecture rrganised by the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre, together with the Office of the Advanced Sciences, and the College of Natural and Health Sciences at Zayed University, the American Space Scientist taught students and attendees about "Robotic Martians".

Edwards explored with students how spacecrafts can cross 54.6 million kilometers to orbit Mars or even touchdown its surface, focusing on the role of the dispatched robots to Mars, their tasks in collecting, analysing, and transmitting valuable information to the space station on Earth. "Humans have sent an armada of robotic explorers to Mars. These spacecrafts have enabled countless scientific discoveries and revealed that the red planet is indeed a complex planetary body much like our own Earth," Edwards added.

"For decades, NASA has been working on the invention of machines and tools that make it easier to get more in-depth information about the composition of Mars and uncover water traces," Edwards said, adding that through this round of lectures at UAE universities, "we want to expand our students' Space science and work to participate in the future projects of the UAE to explore Mars and space in general."

Dr. Edwards is an Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Northern Arizona University. He is a participating scientist on the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover (MSL) and has worked on numerous other Mars missions. His research focuses on the composition, physical properties and processes, and morphology of planetary surfaces, with an emphasis on rocky bodies including the Earth.