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Free event to shed light on Mars exploration during British Science Festival

Free event to shed light on Mars exploration during British Science Festival

With an innovative and ground-breaking space industry, Leicester is hosting this year’s British Science Festival, which got underway earlier this week. 


Entitled Exploring Mars and the search for life, the event will showcase the University of Leicester’s work on the Curiosity rover on Mars, how to drive a rover remotely on Mars, and the plans for the next generation of rovers, sample return and human exploration of the Red Planet. 


Visitors will be able to hold and examine microscope pieces of Mars meteorites to learn more about the formation of the planet. There will also be demonstrations of the ExoMars rover’s Raman Spectrometer simulator, which will identify minerals and organics, which will be on display on Saturday, September 17, between 11 am and 4.30 pm at the Clock Tower & Humberstone Gate.


According to the scientists, the upcoming missions like ExoMars and Mars Sample Return that Leicester are contributing to will determine if an ancient Earth-like environment supports life by searching for organic material and a range of minerals. 


Professor Bridges of Space Park Leicester said:

“Exploring Mars is one of the most exciting endeavours in science today and Leicester is at the heart of it. 

“Our students, engineers and researchers are building the instruments and planning the missions that will shape our view of whether there has ever been life on another planet in the Solar System.”


Other events taking place during the British Science Festival 2022 include sessions on bioarchaeology, the future of space science, DNA and genomic research.  


The British Science Festival is Europe’s longest standing science festival, travelling to a different place in the United Kingdom each year. 


Hosted by De Montfort University, this year’s British Science Festival will be taking over the city of Leicester with more than 100 free, engaging and off-the-wall installations, performance and activities.  


The University of Leicester has a long record of space research, dating back more than 60 years. During that time the University’s experts have flown 90 instruments in space and there has been at least one Leicester-built instrument operating in orbit continuously since 1967. 


There are currently nine Leicester-built instruments in space, the most recent of which are the Mercury Imaging X-ray Spectrometer (MIXS) currently onboard ESA’s BepiColombo mission to Mercury, and the UK-led Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) for the James Webb Space Telescope.

The University of Leicester is also heavily involved with the running of Space Park Leicester, a world-leading cluster for innovative research, enterprise and education in space and Earth observation. 

Space Park Leicester provides state-of-the-art facilities for research, development and manufacturing. 


To find out more information about Space Park Leicester visit:

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