Texas A&M Professor Exploring Mars From His Office

COLLEGE STATION - A trip to another world is happening daily right here in Bryan-College Station with a local Texas A&M Professor helping explore the surface of Mars right out of his office.

Two years ago Wednesday the Curiosity Rover landed on Mars where it's continuing to send back images.

News 3 has a look at what it's finding on the fourth rock from the sun.

Incredible sights are a part of Mark Lemmon's life everyday but it's not his high rise office view that's the most amazing but another planet.

"We go to other planets not just for the sake of going but because we understand how planets work when we see these changes and how they happen," Lemmon, Ph.D.

On this two year anniversary of the Rover Curiosity landing on Mars the Texas A&M Associate Professor in Atmospheric Sciences has been a part of the project from the beginning.

He's programming the cameras that capture these incredible images as he studies the climate and weather on Mars to better understand planet climate change.

They hope to capture new images of one of Mars' moons, Phobos, in an eclipse like this.

But it hasn't been easy.

"It's a rocky place, a dusty place but we landed in an area that's actually has really pointy rocks and the wheels are actually getting torn up by them," he explained.

The rovers are so far away it takes a full 15 minutes for the messages sent here on earth to make it to Mars and then a full 15 minutes for the message to bounce back.

"Work on Mars all day long and go home and have dinner with the family," joked Lemmon.

Work on another planet with many features similar to our own.

Professor Lemmon is working with a team from NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory on the project.

Texas A&M is also set to be a part of this ongoing research when the Mars 2020 Rover launches in a few years.


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