Grad Student Aids With Mars Rover

Yesterday, the Perseverance Rover (and its helicopter Ingenuity) landed on Mars. Together, they will explore the geology, climate, and potential for human exploration of the red planet. In 2019 current MS student Schelin Ireland completed a summer-long internship at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to support the future interpretation of data collected by the SHERLOC instrument on board the Perseverance (Percy) Rover. In the image below, Schelin can be seen at JPL alongside Perseverance as preparation for its mission was underway. Below Schelin reflects on her work and the accomplishments of the Mars 2020 team. The resulting peer-reviewed publication of her internship work is also linked below. We can’t wait to see what Percy finds!


“A very exciting day!! I interned at NASA JPL summer 2019 collecting a database of Raman signatures for various organic and inorganic materials that scientists will use to interpret the data we get back from the SHERLOC instrument onboard the Perseverance Rover. SHERLOC is a deep UV Raman/fluorescence spectrometer. It will aim a laser into a sample on Mars and pick up (detect) the returned signal. This will aid in the search for evidence of life on Mars. There is a lot of teamwork involved in making these epic missions possible and with the challenges during a global pandemic, a lot of Perseverance!”

 Below are links to papers about Mars and the NASA project.

Hollis et al. (2020) "Deep-ultraviolet Raman spectra of Mars-relevant evaporite minerals under 248.6 nm excitation"

JPL Student Spotlight "Moon Dreams Lead NASA-JPL Intern to Search for Past Life on Mars"