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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.

More rover pictures from Leicester led Mars Curiosity

A self portrait of the Mars Curiosity rover
A self portrait of the Mars Curiosity rover Credit: NASA
Self portrait of the Curiosity rover
Self portrait of the Curiosity rover Credit: NASA

Science rover Curiosity has sent back new pictures from Mars.

The £2.5 billion mission to land a spacecraft on Mars was led by Dr John Bridges from the University of Leicester.

The six wheeled robot landed three days ago, and will undertake two years of scientific work, to try to find clues as to whether there could be life on the Red Planet.

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Leicester's Space Centre celebrates successful Mars landing

The largest and most advanced spacecraft ever sent to another planet has landed safely on Mars ... and a scientist from the Midlands is playing a major part in the success of the mission.

Dr John Bridges from the University of Leicester is leading a team of scientists working on the project named "Mars Curiosity". Gareth Owen reports.

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Barack Obama thanks NASA for Mars landing

The President of the United States has thanked NASA for landing a spacecraft on Mars.

The project has been led by scientist Dr John Bridges, from the University of Leicester.

"Tonight, on the planet Mars, the United States of America made history. I congratulate and thank all the men and women of NASA who made this remarkable accomplishment a reality."

– Barack Obama
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