Mission to Mars is focus of scientists' visit to Troy University

Posted: Tuesday, 14 October 2014

TROY - A research scientist with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory will talk to Troy University students Thursday about the 2020 mission to Mars.

Dr. Luther Beegle, deputy manager of the Planetary Science Section at the Pasadena, Calif. laboratory, will speak at 3 p.m. in Room 214 of the Math and Science Complex, hosted by the Department of Chemistry and Physics.

He earned a doctorate in astrophysics and a master of science in physics from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and taught at UAB from 1991 until 1997. He joined the JPL full time in 2001.

The focus of much of his work has been SHERLOC, which was selected for inclusion on the Mars 2020 Rover. The Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman and Luminescence for Organics and Chemicals is a spectrometer that will provide fine-scale imaging and uses and ultraviolet laser to determine fine-scale mineralogy and detect organic compounds.

SHERLOC will be the first UV Raman spectrometer to fly to the surface of Mars and will provide complementary measurements with other instruments in the payload.