Episode 25: Past Life and Humanity’s Future on Mars, with Dr. Chris McKay

For more info on the podcast, please see our About page.

Feature Guest: Chris McKay

McKay Antarctica ColgatePixOn this special first year anniversary edition of The Star Spot, NASA’s preeminent astrobiologist Dr. Chris McKay talks all things Mars: the possibility of past life, the hunt for current spots of habitability by the Curiosity rover, and the prospects for a human future on the Red Planet. In conversation with Justin Trottier the two discuss the ethics of terraforming and why Mars deserves a future rich with the biodiversity of life.

Plus a behind the scenes look at The Star Spot, highlights of our first year, and a conversation with a familiar voice.

About Dr. Chris McKay

Dr. Chris McKay is a planetary scientist, with a PhD in Astrogeophysics from the University of Colorado.  As a NASA Research Scientist with the NASA Ames Research Centre since 1982, he studies planetary atmospheres, the evolution of the solar system, the origin of life, astrobiology and terraforming. He’s been co-investigator for the Huygens probe to Saturday’s Moon Titan, the Mars Phoenix lander and the Mars Science Laboratory whose Curiosity rover is now on the red planet.

Dr. McKay conducts research on extremophiles in Mars-like environments on Earth, including in the ice-covered lakes of antarctica, Siberia, Death Valley, the Canadian Arctic. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Planetary Society.

Current in Space

Confirmation of Marsian past habitability is one of two space-related headline news stories of the last few weeks. The other is the discovery by astronomer Mike Brown and colleague Kevin Hand that Europa’s vast liquid water ocean deep below its icy crust might not be isolated from the surface after all. Mallory Warren and Julia Mazurchuk discuss this new discovery and its implications.

Links

Space Science and Astrobiology at Ames

Mars Talk – Chris McKay – ExploreMars.org

NASA Planetary Scientist Chris McKay explains Mars Curiosity mission

If you have interesting news and story ideas, as well as topics or potential interview guest, please send them to starspotpodcast@gmail.com

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One comment on “Episode 25: Past Life and Humanity’s Future on Mars, with Dr. Chris McKay

  1. Hello Dr.

    I placed at St Andrews Prize for Environment twice at turn of century with my concept of “fertilization using waste to retain moisture and nutrients in root zone ”

    Since them I have worked as agrologist in bio solid spreading biz developed the points and have calculated that I will be able to trap an addional 26 g of organic matter per kg of top soil , possibly more

    If we apply this technique on one in 13 units of land on earth we will trap all the greenhouse gases we have put in it the 300 yrs of agressive tillage , clear cutting , over grazing and burning fossil fuels

    After reading about your fascinating work I have concluded you might be interested in some of my research

    I would be glad to share whilst funding comes through … It is a slow process and fert multinationals will not like my tech .

    I am able to green barren land

    You may have a different view

    Robert T Booth CCA 22068
    289 683 6147

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