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In November last year, ahead of Curiosity’s launch, we wrote: ‘This rover – officially named the Mars Science Laboratory, but better known as Curiosity – will carry out the most comprehensive look at Earth’s neighbour to date when it lands on the planet in August 2012.’
When Curiosity safely touched down on Mars in August with its suite of scientific equipment, including a mass spectrometer, a gas chromatograph and a tuneable laser spectrometer, there were still questions as to the ability of the probe to detect signs of habitability. And so we wondered: will Curiosity be searching in vain?
Curiosity is still up there collecting data and what we all want to know is: how is the search going? It occurred to us that the best way to learn how the rover is getting on is by talking to the guys who control it. As it happens, one of our colleagues, Chiara Ceci, got in touch with an old friend and fellow Italian, Paolo Bellutta, who she knew worked at JPL, Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in Pasadena, US. And guess what? He has been handling the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity since 2003 and now spends his time driving Curiosity on the surface of Mars. How cool is that!
So she is going to ask him all about it and the interview will be broadcast live on the RSC YouTube channel on Friday 7 September at 1600 BST. Can you ask questions? Of course you can. In fact, we positively encourage it. Send them via the usual channels (see below) or let us know by replying to this post and we’ll pass the questions on.
By the way, before anybody asks: No, we are not allowed to have a go.
-Twitter: Questions to @RSC_Comms and follow the live chat using #RSCmars