August's ASD webinar speaker is Dr. Francesco Sauro, the Director for the European Space Agency (ESA) PANGAEA program. Through the PANGAEA course, Francesco educates and trains European astronauts with introductory and practical knowledge of Earth and planetary geology to prepare them to become effective partners of planetary scientists and engineers in designing the next exploration missions. The course has the goal of giving astronauts a solid knowledge in the geology of the Solar System, and ASD's TerraSpec® Halo Mineral Identifier has been used in this training and as part of this course.
The TerraSpec Halo instrument was used often during the most recent PANGAEA training, in particular on Lanzarote in the Canary Islands while investigating lava tubes. For this training exercise, a geologic traverse was established, context description and choice of sample locations was established, and then documentation of sampling was executed.
Main objectives for each sample taken was as follows:
1.) Attain a basic knowledge about geologic processes and environments on Earth, Moon, Mars and asteroids
2.) Develop observational and decisional skills in identifying prominent geological features in the field, perform efficient sampling and report to ground control concisely and correctly
3.) Describe the most important geologic environments that could host extraterrestrial life
The Halo's instrument use delivered unexpected findings on secondary minerals in hydrothermal vents, which will be detailed and discussed during the August webinar.
The overall benefit of the course has been to help astronauts find interesting rock samples as well as to assess the most likely places to find traces of life on other planets. To learn more, ESA has produced a video showcasing the PANGAEA course and demonstrating use of the TerraSpec Halo.
Click below to register for our webinar on August 24th from 8-9am MDT, "Secondary Minerals and Hydrothermal Vents"
In this webinar, you will learn:
- Use of the TerraSpec Halo during the ‘PANGAEA’ field geology course for astronauts held at Lanzarote in the Canary Islands to simulate a planetary mission – landscape descriptions and observations
- Seeing the unseen - ground identification of samples and features of high scientific interest to geologists unseen from satellite-image analysis
- Examples of how NIR technology and the ASD TerraSpec Halo can be used to help prepare for future exploration operations that enable the best way to obtain scientific answers efficiently during real-life operational settings
Not able to attend live? All registrants will receive a recorded version of the webinar a few days after the event.