The U.S. government’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has re-selected Brock Associate Professor of Earth Sciences Mariek Schmidt as a member of its group of scientists for the Curiosity Mars rover mission.On March 11, NASA announced the list of 28 researchers it selected to participate on the Mars Science Laboratory Project, which built and operates the rover. Schmidt was a member of the previous group.During Curiosity’s prime mission, which was completed in 2014, the project met its main goal by finding evidence that ancient Mars offered environmental conditions with all the requirements for supporting microbial life, if any ever existed on Mars.In Curiosity’s first extended mission, researchers are using the rover on the lower portion of a layered mountain to study how Mars’ ancient environment changed from wet conditions favourable for microbial life to harsher, drier conditions.The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) funds Schmidt’s participation in the mission.

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