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New Scientist

In a conversation with New Scientist reporter Jonathan O’Callaghan, Prof. Tanja Bosak discusses her work with the NASA Perseverance rover’s rock reconnaissance mission. “In the middle of a pandemic, I think we needed something good to happen, and that’s why so many people wanted all the science and engineering that goes into landing a rover on Mars to succeed,” says Bosak. “As for what will happen when the samples come back – I can’t imagine. It’s going to be otherworldly.”

Scientific American

In an article for Scientific American, graduate students Meghana Ranganathan, Julia Wilcots, Rohini Shivamoggi and Diana Dumit call for the removal of racist language from the names of many geographic features and places in the United States. “We cannot have a just society when racist names are officially sanctioned,” they write. “We need a national, multifaceted push to change any instances of racial slurs and racist terminology in our natural land features.”

Gizmodo

Gizmodo reporter Molly Taft writes that MIT graduate students have called for the removal of racist names from federal landmarks and other geographic features. “The geoscience community needs to have a conversation about how to handle these slurs and old place names in geoscience literature,” explains graduate student Meghana Ranganathan, “and we hope that galvanizing support amongst scientists will begin those conversations.”

GBH

"We are looking for remnants of past life," says Prof. Tanja Bosak in a discussion broadcast on GBH's Boston Public Radio of the NASA Perseverance rover’s mission on Mars. "There won't be anything that's a complex organism, so everything we have to look for is microscopic. All these rocks tell a story. Depending on their chemical properties and the way they look, we can tell a history and then decide which may have been good to preserve life."

WHDH 7

WHDH reporter Aisha Mbowe spotlights how the MIT-designed Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment (MOXIE) is onboard NASA’s Perseverance rover.

CBS Boston

Profs. Tonja Bosak and Jeffrey Hoffman speak with CBS Boston about the successful landing of the NASA Perseverance rover on Mars. Hoffman says of the MIT-designed Mars MOXIE experiment: “we are going to demonstrate how to make oxygen on the surface of Mars…we want to learn how to produce that on the surface of Mars and that’s what Moxie is going to demonstrate for the first time.”

The Conversation

Writing for The Conversation, graduate student Craig Robert Martin delves into his research exploring how the Himalayas were created. “By decoding the magnetic records preserved inside them, we hoped to reconstruct the geography of ancient landmasses – and revise the story of the creation of the Himalayas,” writes Martin.

CNN

Prof. Benjamin Weiss speaks with CNN reporter Ashley Strickland about how the Perseverance rover will select samples of Martian materials. "The key for this mission will be identifying samples so compelling that we can't afford to leave them," says Weiss. "We are selecting these for humanity, so we need to make sure they are the most exciting."

Mashable

A study by MIT researchers uncovers evidence that the Earth’s global ice ages were triggered by a rapid drop in sunlight, reports Mashable. The researchers found that an “event like volcanic eruptions or biologically induced cloud formation will be able to block out the sun and limit the solar radiation reaching the surface at a critical rate that can potentially trigger ‘Snowball Earth’ events.”

NECN

Michael Hecht of MIT’s Haystack Observatory speaks with Perry Russom of NECN about MOXIE, a new experimental device that will convert carbon dioxide in the Marian atmosphere into oxygen. Hecht explains that the inspiration for MOXIE lies in how it would be easier, “if we could make that oxygen on Mars and not have to bring this huge honking oxygen tank with us all the way from Earth.”

Vox

Prof. Tanja Bosak speaks with Vox reporter Brian Resnick about how Martian materials collected by the Perseverance rover might provide clues about early life forms on Earth. "These [Martian] rocks are older, by half a billion or a billion years, than anything that’s well preserved that we have on Earth,” says Bosak.

Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Caroline Enos spotlights the contributions of MIT researchers to the Mars 2020 mission, in particular the Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment or MOXIE. “MOXIE could have a big impact on future missions if it is successful,” Enos explains.

Smithsonian Magazine

Haystack’s Michael Hecht, the principal investigator for the Mars MOXIE experiment, speaks with Max G. Levy of Smithsonian about the challenges involved in developing MOXIE’s oxygen-producing technology. “We want to show we can run [MOXIE] in the daytime, and the nighttime, in the winter, and in the summer, and when it’s dusty out," says Hecht, "in all of the different environments."

Forbes

Forbes contributor Bruce Dominey writes that a study by MIT researchers finds global ice ages may have been triggered by a rapid decrease in the amount of solar radiation reaching Earth. “Past Snowball glaciations are more likely to have been triggered by changes in effective solar radiation than by changes in the carbon cycle,” writes Dominey.

The Verge

Prof. Tanja Bosak speaks with Verge reporter Loren Grush about the significance of the Mars 2020 mission and the Perseverance rover’s quest to bring back samples of Martian material to Earth. “This is really a unique — really a once-in-a-lifetime — opportunity to get samples from a known location on Mars,” says Bosak.