[PAST EVENT] Applied Science Symposium
Title of Talk: "The Exploration of Mars by Humans: Why Mars? Why Humans?"
Abstract: NASA is developing plans for a human mission to Mars in the 2030's. To successfully accomplish this mission, NASA is developing a new, powerful launch vehicle, called the Space Launch System (SLS) and a human capsule, called Orion, to transport the astronauts to Mars during the 9-month one-way journey. Human explorers will address two overarching scientific questions: (1) Is there life on Mars? and, (2) What processes transformed early Mars from an Earth-like planet with oceans, rivers and lakes and a thick atmosphere to present-day Mars, which is devoid of surface water and has a very thin atmosphere and what does this transformation on Mars portend for the future of planet Earth? Students at the College of William and Mary are investigating potential landing sites for the first human mission to Mars from a list of 58 potential sites developed by Mars scientists.
Bio: Born and raised in New York City, Dr. Levine obtained his K-12 education in New York City public schools. After high school graduation, he received his Bachelor's degree in physics, Brooklyn College, City University of New York; master's in meteorology, New York University; master's in aeronomy and planetary atmospheres, University of Michigan; and doctorate in atmospheric science, University of Michigan. In his current position as Research Professor for the Department of Applied Science at the College of William and Mary, his areas of research include (1) The origin and evolution of the atmosphere on Earth and Mars, (2) The origin and evolution of life on Earth and Mars, (3) The development and application of aerial vehicles to investigate the planets, (4) Planning for the human exploration of Mars (In 2010, Levine co-edited the 974-page book, The Human Mission to Mars: Colonizing the Red Planet), (5) The scientific instrumentation for the robotic and human exploration of Mars and (6) Global fires and global change.