The successful landing of NASA’s Curiosity rover on Mars could herald an unprecedented era in space exploration, according to Dr Adam Baker, senior lecturer in space engineering at Kingston University. “This is the most capable mission ever sent to another planet and if life exists or has existed on Mars, then this mobile space laboratory has a very good chance of finding it.
Dr Baker added. “NASA plans to send a mission to Mars every two years, with the next one, which is going to be looking at green house gases, scheduled for 2014,” Dr Baker said. “Hopefully this will stimulate the European Space Agency’s programme to send its own rover, ExoMars, to the Red Planet in 2018.”
Kingston University is playing its part in visits to our nearest planetary neighbour, having run several Mars rover projects with its students looking specifically at ways to make the chassis lighter and more efficient. It also has strong links with Astrium UK, the space subsidiary of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company, which provides a prize for Kingston’s best astronautics and space engineering students each year.
Find out more about studying astronautics and space technology at Kingston University.