On March 15th, at the DC offices of SES, SSPI Mid-Atlantic and NASA joined forces to present fascinating and educational event with Dr. Michael A. Meyer, Lead Scientist for NASA's Mars Exploration Program. More than 50 people attended the presentation, one of the largest for such an educational event, and were treated to a description of the groundbreaking technology of current and future Mars missions, as well as the discoveries made by current Mars programs.
Dr. Meyer covered many of the NASA programs, such as the Curiosity Rover and InSight Lander, that provided NASA scientists with much of what they know now about the red planet. For instance, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter provided the first real evidence that liquid water actually flows on Mars today, citing the existence of "recurring slope linea," dark streaks that form in late spring, grow in the summer and disappear by fall. This provides crucial background on the planet's geological history, and evidence to consider on the possibility of some kind of life on Mars.
Dr. Meyer was a an engaging and extremely knowledgeable speaker, fielding questions for more than an hour from the lively audience on current and future Mars missions. The NASA team was incredibly gracious and brought a fair amount of "swag" for participants to take home.
Mars exploration continues to capture the imagination and drive new discoveries. Stunning missions such as Curiosity, Spirit, and Opportunity, the latest InSight lander, and a flotilla of orbital platforms are pushing outward against the boundaries of what we know and can learn from the red planet. SSPI Mid-Atlantic is eager to continue to host more events from NASA scientist to familiarize our guests about the current and developing science, what tools are being used, what new missions are being planned, and -- perhaps most importantly -- the implications for Mars itself.
SSPI-MA is truly grateful to Dr. Meyer, NASA, SES, and all our guests for making this a memorable evening!