“I’ve been working with a team to do a big test of a lander that we’re doing in Europe.
The objective is to get a small sample of soil that’s been exposed to the atmosphere and then measure the carbon dioxide levels and see how it behaves,” he said.
“The atmosphere has a different chemistry to the surface of the Earth, so we’re going to have to simulate the environment on the lander, and so we have to do the carbon levels and the oxygen levels and then we’ll know if the soil is carbon rich or not.”
The lander is a prototype for a project to be launched in 2019.
It is one of two in development that will use landers in the United States and Europe to study the effects of climate change.
The team is working with NASA’s Advanced Concepts Division to develop and test a robotic lander.
The lander will be capable of traveling at least 300 feet and carrying an instrument capable of taking photos and video.