Aberystwyth expertise for Mars mission

Professor Dave barnes and Dr Stephen Pugh with PanCam 'Bridget'. Credit: Aberystwyth University

A space scientist from Aberystwyth University will be travelling to Chile’s Atacama desert later this week as preparations for the 2018 ExoMars mission to Mars continue.

Dr Stephen Pugh from the Institute of Mathematics, Physics and Computer Science (IMPACS) will be working on the ExoMars Panoramic Camera Instrument (PanCam) during a seven day field trial.

PanCam will be the science 'eyes' for the mission and will feature a correction system to ensure that images sent back to earth truly represent the colours on Mars.

The Aberystwyth PanCam work is led by Professor Dave Barnes who'll be based at mission control at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratories during the trial along with other PanCam team members.

The ExoMars mission is led by the European Space Agency (ESA) and Russian Space Agency (Roscosmos).

It will investigate the red planet's environment.