OSU geologist helping coordinate Mars mission - KPTV - FOX 12

OSU geologist helping coordinate Curiosity mission

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

A local scientist is helping coordinate one of the most important space missions in years.

The Mars rover "Curiosity" made a historic landing on the red planet earlier this month.

Oregon State University geologist Martin Fisk, a professor in the College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, helps decide where to send the rover and what experiments to conduct each day.

He says the team's goal is to figure out if there was ever life on Mars.

"If anything had been there, it's likely to have only been bacteria, one-celled tiny organisms that are using chemical energy as their energy source," he said.

The scientists are examining some of the first photos sent back from Curiosity and comparing them to existing maps of the surface.

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