Planetary Science

Planetary Materials

We study the evolution of Mars through a combination of mission involvement and analysing martian meteorites. Our research aims include to understand the nature of water-rock reaction in the martian crust and compositional differentiation of the lithosphere.

The Planetary Materials team aims include to understand water-rock reactions in early Solar System planetesimals and martian crust, and differentiation of planetary lithospheres. Our research centres on analyses of martian meteorites, primitive meteorites and materials returned by Sample Return Missions - Comet Wild2 grains and Asteroid Itokawa and Ryugu grains from the JAXA Hayabusa missions. Embedded within this interdisciplinary research is a range of analytical techniques - including electron microscopy and related techniques at the Diamond synchrotron, and instrumentation development.

Our recent mission involvement includes: Mars Science Laboratory, ExoMars2028, CaSSIS, HiRISE, Stardust, Hayabusa1,2, Mercury Imaging X-ray Spectrometer on BepiColombo to study differentiation of the Mercury lithosphere, designing new instrumentation and planning for Mars Sample Return. As part of the Mars Science Laboratory mission we study the composition and mineralogy of the Mars surface. Remote observations by the CaSSIS and HiRISE orbital cameras have enabled us to see colour and high resolution views of Mars and plan for the ExoMars2028 rover landing.


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