The next Flandrau Science Café will feature Peter Smith, Thomas R. Brown Distinguished Chair of Integrated Science, who will speak on "The Search For Life on Mars."
With extensive experience in past and present Mars investigations, Smith is in a unique position to provide an overview of what we know and what we hope to find out. Spacecraft visiting Mars have returned images of the surface of the red planet for more than 40 years, many of which suggest that water may have once flowed on the planet's surface.
Smith was the principal investigator of NASA’s Phoenix Mars Mission, which was led by the University of Arizona. In 2008, Phoenix returned data confirming the presence of ice in the polar region of Mars, indicating the potential for past or present life on that planet.
Currently, Smith is the imaging scientist for the OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission. That mission, also led by the University of Arizona, will span 14 years and bring back a sample of an asteroid that will provide clues about the origins of our solar system and the universe.
In addition, as the principal investigator for the imager for Mars Pathfinder in 1997, Smith continues the scientific analysis of the 16,600 images collected during that 83-day mission.
Each Science Café is hosted by the Cushing Street Bar & Restaurant on the corner of Cushing Street and Meyer Avenue downtown, just southeast of the Tucson Convention Center. Complimentary, lighted, on-site parking is available on the east side of the restaurant.
Seating is limited and available on a first come, first served basis – consider arriving early to enjoy a drink or meal before the talk!