Leicester Uni land on Mars

The University of Leicester is involved in a NASA project which has landed a spacecraft on Mars called Curiosity.

Latest ITV News reports

Picture released of Mars rover that may have found evidence of life

Curiosity Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Curiosity – the rover being directed by scientists including Dr John Bridges from the University of Leicester, may have found evidence of life.

An image has been released by NASA, who now believe, after analysing rock samples, that Mars could have once supported living microbes.

Dr John Bridges, from the University of Leicester is one of two UK participating scientists on the mission.

More info can be found here

Leicester scientist finds conditions suited for life on Mars

Aerial view of the red planet Credit: Reuters

Scientists, including a doctor from the University of Leicester, have analysed a rock sample collected by NASA's Curiosity rover that shows ancient Mars could have supported living microbes.

Dr John Bridges, of the University of Leicester’s Space Research Centre within the Department of Physics and Astronomy, is one of two UK participating scientists on the mission, and leads a team from the University of Leicester and Open University.

He worked with other members of the Mars Science Laboratory mission to decide where the rover should drill.

Scientists identified sulphur, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and carbon – some of the key chemical ingredients for life.

Dr Bridges said: “We have never seen anything like this at the previous landing sites and it is telling us that some localities on Mars were habitable. Whether they were inhabited remains another question."

Dr John Bridges research blog can be found here

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Mars discovery rover could have found water on the red planet

Aerial view of the red planet Credit: Reuters

The curiosity rover which landed on the surface of Mars has found evidence there was once water on the planet.

Dr John Bridges from the University of Leicester is leading a team of scientists working on the project.

Analysis of a smoothed slab of rock indicates a stream of water once flowed there.

The mission is expected to last for two years.

Photo showing the rocky surface of Mars Credit: Reuters

Latest photographs from Mars Curiosity rover

The base of Mount Sharp on Mars
The base of Mount Sharp on Mars Credit: Nasa
Landing site and highest point of Mount Sharp
Landing site and highest point of Mount Sharp Credit: Nasa
Geological layers at the base of Mount Sharp
Geological layers at the base of Mount Sharp Credit: Nasa
The traces left after a 70 foot (21 metre) journey at end of August
The traces left after a 70 foot (21 metre) journey at end of August Credit: Nasa

The Curiosity rover is the largest and most advanced spacecraft ever sent to another planet. Dr John Bridges from the University of Leicester is leading a team of scientists working on the project.

More photographs are available on the Mars Curiosity website.

Out of this world: The moment Will.i.am played his song on the surface of Mars

Musician Will.i.am has made interplanetary history in the first ever planet-to-planet music broadcast.

NASA's Mars rover, Curiosity beamed his new song from the red planet to earth, playing an mp3 file to an audience of NASA engineers and students in California.

Dr John Bridges from the University of Leicester is leading a team of scientists working on project Curoisity.

Going where no humans have gone before the song made its solar system debut after travelling more than 330 million miles.

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First full colour image of Mars from NASA's Curiosity rover

The first full colour image from Curiosity's mast camera has been released by NASA. Credit: NASA/JPL-CALTECH

The first full-colour-image of Mars from NASA's Curiosity rover has been sent back to earth.

It comes as President Obama called the Curiosity scientists to congratulate them on successfully landing the rover on the Red Planet.

Over the next few years the rover will investigate the mountain's lower layers, which scientists think hold clues to past environmental change.

Dr John Bridges a scientist from the University of Leicester is leading the $2.5 billion dollar mission.

Could Leicester make its mark on Mars?

The University of Leicester scientist who's been leading the NASA mission to Mars says he hopes to name some localities on Mars after famous Leicestershire landmarks!

Writing in his blog about the 'Curiosity' project to land a rover on the Red Planet, he said:

One of the enjoyable aspects of Mars Science Laboratory is naming things...

Hopefully we can name some localities after famous Leicestershire localities at some point."

However, before Dr Bridges is able to name areas of the planet he must check with the International Astronomical Union Rules of Nomenclature.

The extraterrestrial names must be of 'recognised formations on Earth' and close to towns with a population of more than 100,000 people.

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