Professor Kathy Campbell of University of Auckland and Chair of the Board of trustees for the New Zealand Astrobiology Network just returned from the 2nd International Mars Sample Return Conference in Berlin, April 2018.
Scientists, engineers, and outreach specialists came together to discuss sample return from varied perspectives including their science value, engineering design stages for a Fetch mission, planetary protection, curation and analytical facilities, and the importance of public engagement from the get-go.
An agreement was signed between NASA and ESA to work to make sample return a reality by 2029.
Kathy Campbell presented on the value of returning samples from hydrothermal environments as part of a NASA led team of 71 scientists from around the world looking at the benefits of MSR to learn more about the evolution of Mars, the possibility of life, and preparing for human missions in the future.
Professor Campbell is one of the speakers at the Astrobiology Australasia Meeting 2018 where she will talk about her astrobiology research.