Physics Prof's Mars Research Makes Headlines

September 23, 2010 - In the News

Physics professor Ralf Gellert is featured today in a news story published on The article focuses on Gellert's research that is allowing scientists to learn new and compelling information about Mars.

Gellert is the lead scientist for the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer (APXS) on board the Mars Exploration Rovers Opportunity and Spirit, as well as the next rover, Curiosity, scheduled for launch in 2011.

The pop-can sized APXS, mounted on the rover’s robotic arm, uses X-rays to examine the chemistry of rocks and soil in search of signs of water, salts or elements that would indicate Mars may have, or once had, the necessary ingredients for life.

Gellert’s research team includes scientists at U of G as well as Canadian and international partners. He continues to be responsible for the day-to-day APXS operations on Opportunity and Spirit. More information

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