Mars Missions 2021: Early Discoveries

Professor Andrew Coates

Three new missions arrived at Mars in February 2021, to look at weather, water and life.

This lecture looked at new results from the UAE’s Hope mission, China’s Tianwen-1 and NASA’s Perseverance. It also looked at the prospects for the ESA-Russia Rosalind Franklin rover to be launched next year arriving on 10 June 2023.

At this exciting time, will we soon be able to answer the greatest scientific question: are we alone in the Universe?

Professor Andrew Coates


Professor Andrew Coates gained a BSc in Physics from UMIST in 1978, and MSc (1979) and D.Phil. (1982) in plasma physics from Oxford University. He has been at UCL’s Mullard Space Science Laboratory (MSSL) since 1982, with temporary guest positions at Max Planck Institute for Solar System Physics (Germany), University of Delaware (USA) and the BBC World service (media fellowship). He is now Deputy Director (solar system) at UCL-MSSL.

Space mission involvements include the Rosalind Franklin (ExoMars 2022) rover where he leads the PanCam team; Cassini, where he leads the electron spectrometer team (part of the Cassini Plasma Spectrometer); Venus Express, Mars Express and Giotto. Scientific interests include the solar wind interaction with planets and comets, and space instrumentation; he has authored and co-authored over 550 publications, including over 440 refereed. He is currently a member of STFC Science Board. He is active in space and science outreach, and is currently President of the Society for Popular Astronomy.

Credit: M. de la Nougerede, UCL/MSSL 2018

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s