NASA engineer and contracting officer Richard Johanboeke visits the Orlando Science Center Saturday afternoon to lead a discussion of the Mars Science Laboratory mission, part of OSC’s speaker series during Astronomy Month. Space enthusiasts hope this important mission can answer one of humanity’s most lingering questions: Is there life on Mars? Now that human missions to Mars have been ruled out (human-guided spacecraft are too heavy for the exorbitant amounts of pressure in the atmosphere there), robotic missions are a new priority in NASA’s continued investigation of the planet’s habitability. This August, the Curiosity will land on the red planet, carrying out the Mars Science Laboratory mission: taking geological samples and running tests to detect forms of carbon, aka signs that Mars can sustain living organisms. If this longtime fascination of space exploration community interests you, don’t miss Johanboeke’s presentation. – Ashley Belanger
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