Geology on Mars

From Pilbara

Jump to: navigation, search

Geology on Mars

This is a transcript of QuickTime movie (5.1 MB) recorded in the Pilbara in 2005. Dr Jack Farmer of Arizona State University talks about the difficulties of doing geology on Mars.


Operating on Mars as a geologist can at times be frustrating because you realise that if I was there or another human were there you know in a few minutes you’d pick up that rock, maybe whack it with a hammer, look at it with a hand lens and you would have the answer. Whereas with robotic exploration it's much more time consuming, it’s much more deliberate. You have to deal with the fact that you are a zillion miles away from where you are trying to really do this work and you are doing it through uplink and downlink commands and this little friendly Rover you are trying to get to move it in the right direction, deploy its arm and deploy its instruments, collect its data and send it back in the way that's going to really going to get to you in a timely way. That can be frustrating because it doesn’t always go the way it's supposed to. Humans on Mars can do a lot more, but on the other hand we are not sending humans to Mars in the near future. It is going to be a long time before I think, humans would actually walk on the surface of mars and do the kind of geology that we are doing here in the Pilbara. So in the meantime let's work with our robotic friends. We’ve able to accomplish a great deal, I am just astounded by what we have learned using Rovers. I think that portends a bright future and a lot of robotic exploration between now and the time when we will send humans.




Early Life



Personal tools