Hawaii scientists part of team that launched rover to Mars

A team of three University of Hawaii scientists were selected in 2014 to develop NASA instruments for the Perseverance rover.

Its expedition will last one Mars year, or about 687 Earth days — with the return date set on Feb. 18, 2021.

The three UH scientists played a vital role in who operates rover instruments. Sarah Fagents, who is a researcher at the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP), is the Mastcam-Z team’s volcanologist. And HIGP researchers Shiv Sharma and Anupam Misra, who are experts in Raman spectroscopy and fluorescence, will look for indicators that life had possibly existed or currently exists on Mars.

“The entire Mars 2020 team has been training for Mars surface operations by means of mission simulations on Earth so that we will be able to hit the ground running when the rover lands, ” Fagents said in a news release.

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