On August 6th, the rover Curiosity landed in the Gale Crater on Mars.
Jeff Barnes and Dan Tyler have been working for the past four years with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California on a computer model of the Martian atmosphere. They have been using the model to make adjustments to the spacecraft’s control system for its landing on Mars. The model calculates and predicts Mars’ likely weather conditions based on observations of atmospheric conditions.
The Mars Science Laboratory is a continuation of previous research the two scientists have done. In 2008, the Phoenix Mission landed in the north polar region of Mars and both scientists were also involved. In the past, Barnes has also been involved with the Viking mission and the Mars Pathfinder mission.
Jeff Barnes is a professor and Dan Tyler is a research associate professor in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences.