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GBH

Prof. Taylor Perron, a recipient of one of this year’s MacArthur fellowships, speaks with Callie Crossley of GBH’s Under the Radar about his work studying the mechanisms that shape landscapes on Earth and other planets. “We try to figure out how we can look at landscapes and read them, and try to figure out what happened in the past and also anticipate what might happen in the future,” says Perron of his work as a geomorphologist.

Forbes

Forbes contributor David Bressan writes that a new study co-authored by MIT researchers finds that images taken by the Perseverance rover show that Mars’ Jezero crater was once a lake. “The fine-grained clay and carbonate layers deposited in the fossil lake are capped by a diamict, a sedimentary rock consisting of a mix of large and small boulders,” writes Bressan. “Scientists think the boulders were picked up tens of miles upstream and deposited into the former lakebed by episodic flash floods, suggesting a catastrophic climate change in Mars' distant past.”

Popular Science

Prof. Tanja Bosak and Prof. Benjamin Weiss speak with Popular Science reporter Kate Baggaley about how their analysis of images captured by NASA’s Perseverance rover found that the Jezero crater was once a lake and river delta. “The geological history of the Jezero crater could help scientists understand how the Red Planet changed from being wet and possibly habitable into a harsh desert world,” writes Baggaley. “Definitely we hit the jackpot here,” says Weiss, 

Space.com

Space.com reporter Mike Wall writes that a new study co-authored by MIT scientists finds that the Jezero crater on Mars previously hosted a big lake and river delta. “The newly analyzed photos may provide an intriguing glimpse” into Mars’ transformation to a dry landscape,” writes Wall.

CNN

Researchers from MIT and other institutions analyzed images captured by NASA’s Perseverance rover and found that Mars’ Jezero crater was a lake 3.7 billion years ago, reports Ashley Strickland for CNN. “The new information shows the importance of sending rovers to explore the surface of Mars,” writes Strickland. “Previous images captured by orbiters had shown that this outcrop resembled the kind of fan-shaped river deltas we have on Earth. Perseverance's images show definitive proof of the river delta's existence.”

Forbes

Forbes contributor Michael T. Nietzel spotlights the work of Prof. Taylor Perron, who was awarded a 2021 MacArthur Fellowship. “By using mathematical modeling, computer simulations, and field studies, Perron is able to describe the environmental history of current landscapes and predict how landscapes will respond to future environmental changes," writes Nietzel.

CBS Boston

CBS Boston spotlights how Prof. Taylor Perron has been honored with a 2021 MacArthur Fellowship for his work “unraveling the mechanisms that create landscapes on Earth and other planets.” CBS Boston notes that Perron is “currently studying river networks on Mars and one of Saturn’s moons for clues about the climate history of each celestial body.”

The Washington Post

Prof. Taylor Perron has been named a recipient of the 2021 MacArthur Fellowship for his work investigating the processes that create a planet’s landforms, reports Ellen McCarthy for The Washington Post.

Gizmodo

Gizmodo reporter George Dvorsky spotlights a new study by researchers from MIT and other institutions that finds “it’s safe for astronauts to fly to Mars and back, provided the length of the mission does not exceed four years and that crewed flights to the Red Planet coincide with a well-known solar cycle.”

Wired

Michael Hecht of MIT’s Haystack Observatory speaks with Eric Niiler of Wired about how the Mars MOXIE experiment is successfully extracting oxygen from the Martian atmosphere. "It’s stunning how much the results look identical to what we had run in the laboratory two years earlier,” says Hecht, who leads the MOXIE team. “How many things can you put away for two years and turn on and even expect to work again? I mean, try that with your bicycle.”

GBH

Michael Hecht of MIT’s Haystack Observatory speaks with GBH’s Edgar Herwick about how the MIT-designed MOXIE instrument has successfully extracted oxygen out of Martian air. “I've been using the expression ‘a small breath for man, a giant leap for humankind,'” says Hecht, who served as the PI for MOXIE.

The Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Charlie McKenna spotlights how MOXIE, an MIT-designed instrument onboard NASA’s Perseverance rover, has successfully produced oxygen on Mars. “What’s amazing to me is that this instrument has been through two years of kind of brutal treatment, right? And it’s behaving as if nothing happened, as if we just turned it off and turned it on again right away,” says Michael Hecht of MIT’s Haystack Observatory.

The Boston Globe

Alumnus Theodore “Teddy” Tzanetos, SB ’12, SM ’13 speaks with Boston Globe reporter Charlie McKenna about the Ingenuity helicopter’s successful first flight on Mars. “It’s a dream come true to be working on this project for all these years and be even more lucky that the whole team is able to see it come to fruition,” says Tzanetos. “We all are hoping this is going to be a stepping stone, a foundation for future missions to come.”

The Boston Globe

The MIT Museum is hosting a virtual movie night on April 24, during which participants can join “other Mars and Matt Damon enthusiasts to view The Martian, followed by an online conversation with MIT researchers who’ve worked on real Mars missions,” reports The Boston Globe.

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.”