On Oxford Road, some of Manchester's top scientists await samples from Mars
'It’s going to be the culmination of everything we are doing here'
This evening, NASA’s Perseverance rover will attempt to land on Mars, one of a trio of missions arriving at the Red Planet in short succession.
The landing will be closely watched by scientists at the University of Manchester, who are among the world’s leading experts on the Martian environment, and who expect to get their hands on some of the samples brought back by the mission within a decade.
The Mill’s regular science writer Nicholas Booth is a former reporter for The Observer and The Times, and co-author of The Search For Life on Mars: The Greatest Scientific Detective Story Of All Time, along with the Canadian science journalist Elizabeth Howell. We asked him to explain the significance of this NASA mission and speak to Manchester’s top researchers about Martian meteorites.
As always, his piece is absolutely fascinating.