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NASA Scientist to Discuss Possibility of Life on Mars in Lecture at MIT

The Massachusetts Space Grant Consortium presents its 8th Annual Public Lecture, "Prospects in the Search for Life on Mars," by Dr. Christopher P. McKay, Planetary Scientist with the Space Science Division at the NASA Ames Research Center, on Wednesday, April 2, at 3:00 p.m. at MIT.

Past space missions indicate there is no life on Mars today, yet evidence suggests there may once have been life there. Liquid water appears to have covered some of Mars' surface, and one of the Martian meteorites dating back to the early "water" period supports the view that Mars was once warmer and wetter than it is now.

With a view to sending future missions to Mars and to establishing human settlements there, Dr. McKay conducts research that explores the analogy between the Mars-like environments of earth, such as the dry valleys of the Antarctic and the Siberian and Canadian Arctic regions, and Mars itself. He has been involved in polar research since 1980.

Dr. McKay received his Ph.D in AstroGeophysics from the University of Colorado in 1982 and has been a research scientist with the NASA Ames Research Center since then. The evolution of the solar system and the origin of life are his main interests.

"Prospects in the Search for Life on Mars" will be given on the MIT campus in Building 9, Room 150, at 3:00 p.m.

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