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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.

Inside Science

Inside Science reporter Tom Metcalfe writes that MIT researchers have developed a new method for taking the Earth’s temperature by examining basaltic rocks, and used the method to create a model of the Earth's oceanic ridges. "We are constantly stressing how [plate] tectonics operated in the past," says postdoc Stephanie Brown Krein. "And so I think it's really important for us to be able to understand how tectonics are working in the present day.”

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 Washington Post

Prof. Sara Seager speaks with Washington Post reporter Timothy Bella about the search for exoplanets and the James Webb Telescope. “I just remember seeing the stars and being overwhelmed by the beauty and the vastness and the mysteriousness of it,” recalled Seager, of a camping trip with her father that helped inspire her interest in space. “There’s something almost terrifying about it at the same time as it being so beautiful, because yeah, it’s so unknown, and it seems like it goes on forever.”

NBC Boston

Al Chen '00, SM '02, a NASA systems engineer, speaks with NBC Boston about the hidden surprises that NASA engineers hid on the Perseverance rover for NASA fans and science enthusiasts to uncover. “I was at MIT for six years, we loved coding things, Mystery Hunt is a big deal,” says Chen. “I think it's a little bit of a chance to bring the art and the engineering together.”

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."

Bloomberg Radio

Michael Hecht, associate director of MIT’s Haystack Observatory, speaks with Joe Shortsleeve of Bloomberg Radio about the MOXIE experiment onboard the NASA Perseverance rover.