Geo016 - Exploration of Mars

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Geo016 / Exploration of Mars / (M) 3:00-5:20 / Lincoln Field 105 / Prof. James Head

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Course Outline

- Mars in antiquity and the shaping of its image
- History of astronomical observations of Mars: From the ancients to Percival Lowell.
- The question of Life on Mars: From bacteria to civilizations
- The Space Age: Modern exploration of Mars
- The Mariner Missions to Mars
- The Viking Missions to Mars: Orbiters
- The Viking Missions to Mars: Landers
- The Viking Missions to Mars: Tests for the presence of life
- Martian meteorites and evidence for life on Mars
- The Pathfinder Mission to Mars
- The Mars Global Surveyor and Mars Odyssey Missions
- Mars: The planet at the end of the 20th century
- Successes and Failures: US, Russian and Japanese failures and the odds for success
- Mars on Earth: The Antarctic Dry Valley Analog: Living and working on Mars
- Exploration of Mars in the 21st Century: Beagle 2, Mars Express and the Mars Exploration Rovers
- Mars Exploration Rovers: Spirit and Opportunity
- The future Mars Exploration Program: Discussions with James Garvin, NASA Chief Scientist for Mars Exploration
- The President's Initiative: Human exploration of the Moon and Mars
- Exploring Mars: Choosing an exploration pathway using the CAVE and immersive virtual reality
- Brown University's Role and Legacy in the Exploration of Mars

Class Schedule

February 2: Introduction, course outline and initial seminar discussion. Mars in antiquity and the shaping of its image. History of astronomical observations of Mars: From the ancients to Percivel Lowell. Brown's Role in exploring Mars.

February 9: The question of Life on Mars: From bacteria to civilizations. The Space Age: Modern exploration of Mars. The Mariner Missions to Mars.

February 16: Learning to make discoveries: Assessing the web and the data flow from Mars. How to manipulate and study the data.

February 23: No Class; Long weekend.

March 1: The political and personal perspective of the Soviet Union in the space race. The Viking Missions to Mars: Orbiters; Landers; Tests for the presence of life. Exploring Mars: Choosing an exploration pathway using the CAVE and immersive virtual reality.

March 8: The Pathfinder Mission to Mars; The Mars Global Surveyor and Mars Odyssey Missions; Mars: The planet at the end of the 20th century;

Martian meteorites and evidence for life on Mars; Successes and Failures: US, Russian and Japanese failures and the odds for success.

March 15: Lunar-Planetary Science Conference: Exploring Mars in the CAVE.

March 22: Living and working on Mars on Earth: The Antarctic Dry Valleys:

March 29: Spring Vacation; No classes.

April 5: Exploration of Mars in the 21st Century: Beagle 2, Mars Express and the Mars Exploration Rovers; Mars Exploration Rovers: Spirit and Opportunity: Analysis and the Future.

April 12: The future Mars Exploration Program: Discussions with James Garvin, NASA Chief Scientist for Mars Exploration, and others.

April 19: Human exploration of the Moon and Mars: Telecons with (or possible visits by) Apollo astronauts John Young, Jack Schmitt, David Scott.

April 26: The President's Initiative: Human exploration of the Moon and Mars: Should we be doing this and why? Panel Discussions.

May 3: The President's Initiative: Human exploration of the Moon and Mars: Should we be doing this and why? Synthesis discussions.

May 10: Synthesis Seminar: Revisit questions, goals and objectives raised in the beginning of the course, reach closure, make assessments, define future goals.

Finish papers and readings in preparation for the final exam: “Visions for the Future Exploration of Mars”.

 

 

 

 

 

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