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Europeans experts at Mars school in China

Published by Rob Goldsmith on Wed Jul 15, 2009 4:05 pm
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As the launch of the first Chinese mission to Mars gets closer, an ESA-sponsored Mars Advanced School will be held next week in China. Students will have the chance to learn more about Mars from experts, including ESA scientists.

The school is particularly timely as Yinghuo-1, or Firefly, the first Chinese mission to Mars that will explore its environment and investigate how surface water disappeared, is scheduled to launch later this year along with the Russian Phobos-Grunt spacecraft.

The Red Planet

The Red Planet

The school continues a tradition of collaboration between European and Chinese scientists as exemplified by ESA’s Cluster and the Chinese-led Double Star missions.

Up to 40 postdoctoral students, from mainland China and Taiwan, will attend this five-day course with expert teaching staff from Europe and China.

The European lecturers are experts in several disciplines of planetary geosciences, in particular concerning Mars, and are key players in the Mars Express mission. Their expertise will be complemented by that of the Chinese lecturers in space science and exploration programmes.

The programme combines lectures and practical sessions that cover many aspects of the Red Planet: the geophysics of its interior, surface geology, atmosphere and climate.

The longest solar eclipse of this century will occur in the same week that the Mars school takes place, and the location of the school in Jiaxing, Zhejiang Province, falls along the path of totality. Students and teachers will take time out from the classroom to observe the eclipse on 22 July.

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