Welcome to Student Hub Live! Click the Catch up button to watch our ExoMars Mission special

View transcript

“I LOVE the detective element in my work”, says OU planetary scientist Matt Balme. “Studying Mars is a combination of spatial recognition, intuitive thinking, hard maths and science – and most exciting of all, one day we’re going to go there!"

Nearly seven months after the launch of the European Space Agency’s ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter mission, excitement reached fever pitch as the spacecraft reached the Red Planet.

The Orbiter is circling Mars to discover if methane gas exists in the atmosphere - something that could signal the presence of life on the planet in the past. Co-principal Investigator for the methane-sniffing NOMAD (Nadir and Occultation for MArs Discovery) Instrument on board the Orbiter, Dr Manish Patel, and his team at The Open University have been instrumental in the development of specific apparatus on the NOMAD Instrument.

In this new two-hour Student Hub Live Mars Landing special, Dr Patel’s deputy, Jon Mason, along with Matt Balme and other OU space scientists, joined host Karen Foley to discuss the ExoMars Mission. Our experts talked about the Lander, discussed the Orbiter – uniquely designed to map the Martian atmosphere, and described NOMAD. They discussed their experiences of collaboration with international space agencies; what they are hoping to find; what the implications of their findings might be; and what this means for future missions such as the ExoMars Rover.

As always, the event was online, interactive and open to everyone. You can send your tweets to @StudentHubLive (#StudentHubLive16), email us at studenthub@open.ac.uk, and send us your comments.

To get involved click on the ‘Catch up’ button above.

You can find out more about future events on the Upcoming events tab, and if you would like to get a taste of what the Student Hub Live is all about you can find recordings of earlier events on the Previous events tab. Our most recent events are available to watch via the Catch up facility.