Harvard’s Robin Wordsworth envisions better view of early Mars

Tuesday, December 11, 2018 - 23:11 in Astronomy & Space

It’s been an exciting week for Red Planet developments: One robot successfully landed on Mars and another got its long-awaited landing spot, the Jezero Crater. Robin Wordsworth, an assistant professor of environmental science and engineering at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, participated in NASA-run workshops to explore possible landing sites for the Mars 2020 rover mission. We asked him about the Jezero Crater’s appeal as a target. GAZETTE: Why is the Jezero Crater interesting to you? WORDSWORTH: Jezero Crater is fascinating because it contains a beautifully preserved river delta that formed billions of years ago, likely not long after Mars itself formed. It therefore provides us a window into conditions on a potentially habitable planet in the very earliest period of the solar system — a time period that has been all but erased from the geological record on Earth. It’s of great interest to us in terms of...

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