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Why we explore

Planetary scientist, Professor Andrew Coates, explains why scientists look for the evidence of signs of past life on Mars.  He talks about the history of Mars and the current harsh environment on the planet. This video is part of a series of ten which look at the one of the elements of the European Space Agency’s...

Raman spectroscopy

Dr. Lewis Dartnell takes a sample from the Atacama desert, to the Open University, to be analysed by a Raman spectrometer.  The spectrometer shows the organic compounds that Lewis found on the quartz, as well as the composition of the quartz itself.

This video is part of a series of ten which look at the one...

PanCam engineering

Mechanical engineer, Tom Hunt, shows how precision machines are used to produce the PanCam instrument, which will be sent to the European Space Agency to be integrated on to the ExoMars rover.  Electronics engineer, Barry Hancock, shows the filter wheel being tested within the labs, at the Mullard Space Science...

Mars Yard

Guidance and navigation engineer, Richard Lancaster, explains how the ‘Mars Yard’, at Airbus Defence and Space, Stevenage, allows engineers to test out the capabilities of the ExoMars rover.  He talks about the need to transmit all commands and receive data through a spacecraft orbiting Mars.  Spacecraft engineer,...

Landing sites

Planetary scientists, Dr. Matthew Balme and Dr. Elliot Sefton-Nash, talk about how challenging it is to find a scientifically compelling site to land in, once the engineering considerations in terms of the landing has been taken into account.

This video is part of a series of ten which look at the one of the...

Instrument field trials

Professor Andrew Coates and Dr Ian Hutchinson explain how the ExoMars instruments, the Pancam and Raman spectroscopy instruments can be combined to help scientists identify areas of interest on the surface of Mars.  The video shows how field trips are important to learn first-hand the challenges that the ExoMars...

Episode 9: The Siblings of Earth

Rebecca Barnes looks at two of the terrestrial planets: Venus and Mars, explores their similarities and differences to Earth and finds out about the European missions that are helping to unravel their mysteries.

Episode 8: The Sun, Our Local Star

Rebecca Barnes will investigate our closest star, the Sun, find out why it is the central engine of the Solar System and look at Ulysses, SOHO and Cluster, the European space missions that have been key to advancing our understanding of the Sun.

Episode 7: Exploring Our Backyard, the Solar System

Rebecca Barnes continues to journey through the wonders of modern astronomy bringing us closer to home as we begin to explore the Solar System. We'll discover the scale and structure of the Solar System, find out why we explore it and introduce the European missions launched on a quest to further investigate our...

Episode 6: Charting the Galaxy - from Hipparcos to Gaia

Rebecca Barnes discovers the motions of the stars, learns how astronomers measure their distances and looks at the new European mission that will really get to grips with our place in the Universe.

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