Exploring Martian Geology for Signs of the Potential for Life

June 5, 2024 — 10:30–11:45 a.m.

Habitability is a prerequisite for life. It implies that planetary processes must bring together appropriate ingredients, energy sources, and environmental conditions to originate and subsequently sustain life. At this unprecedented time in the field of astrobiology, with an astounding array of rovers, orbiters, satellites, and telescopes exploring worlds beyond Earth, we know more about the nature and evolution of planetary habitability than at any time in human history. In this presentation, I will leverage my experience as part of the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover team and investigations of analogous environments on Earth to discuss how the Martian surface evolved from a warmer, wetter, habitable environment to the cold, dry conditions we see on the planet today.

Learning Objectives

The objective of this presentation is to illustrate how the tools that geoscientists use to study Earth can help us understand the history of habitability on Mars.

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