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Next trip to Mars

Published: 21 March 2016

NASA visited Luleå University and Dr. Kai Goebel lectured on everything from the moon landing to mice in weightlessness. "What does NASA do? An insider's view" was the title of the seminar that attracted a mixed audience of students, chemists, engineers, geologists and mathematicians.

Experiments with mice in weightlessness showed that they quickly learn to maneuver around the room by climbing the cage walls.

–  The mce has never looked happier, said Dr. Kai Goebel, with a twinkle in his eye.

Curiosity, the rover that drives around on Mars and collect samples, is driven by the heat of plutonium and that was a bit of a surprise to many in the audience. The challenges of a manned mission to Mars being set on the research is tough to say the least; How do we water a plant in space? How do we get the water to the roots?. The round trip will take nearly three years. The communication on the longest distance will have a delay of about 22 minutes.

–  Houston, we have a problem, no one wants to hear that with 22 minutes delay, said Dr. Kai Goebel.

Other exciting projects in NASA, are for example the new mini satellites, called CubeSats, which is only 10 x 10 centimeters. and weighs about 1.3 kilograms. With these, a variety of new applications and uses both commercially and in research.

What will be the first officially Swedish registered miniaturized satellite will be developed and tested at Luleå University of Technology, in collaboration with the UK-based Open Cosmos Ltd, in the international initiative the QB50 project. – This will be an "enabler" for our group, thus important, says Reza Emami, chaired professor of Onboard Space Systems.

It was the Division of Operation, Maintenance and Acoustics and Professor Uday Kumar who arranged this highly appreciated visit from NASA. Collaboration between Luleå University of Technology and NASA is underway between several divisions in both Kiruna and Lulea. On board Curiosity is the instrument REMS (Rover Environmental Monitoring Station) and it is data from this meteorological station that underlies the conclusions published in Nature Geoscience where Javier Martín-Torres, professor of Atmospheric Science at Luleå University, is the lead author of the article.

–  Fantastic fun and very inspiring that Dr. Kai Goebel was able to come here and give this seminar, says Uday Kumar.

Uday Kumar

Kumar, Uday - Professor and Head of Subject, Head of Division

Organisation: Operation and Maintenance, Operation, Maintenance and Acoustics, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering
Phone: +46 (0)920 491826