For James Wray, Professor at Georgia Tech, after discovering water on Mars, walking its surface might be next. Currently, he teaches Earth and Atmospheric Science, but that does not stop his dreams about stepping on the Red Planet.
- Professor James Wray’s dream
- Discovering water on Mars
- Future plans for actually walking on his favorite planet
Back in 2002, when he was still in high school, James Wray had a huge dream of becoming an astronaut. And, if that wasn’t big enough, he also dreamed of, one day, walking on Mars. He took his hopes and expectations with him to college. His senior thesis while at Princeton University regarded the icy moons of Jupiter and Saturn, which showed an increasing interest of his in the study of celestial bodies.
Also, while at Georgia Tech, he used to teach courses about the physics of planets. He has also led research groups concerning the same icy moons of Jupiter and Saturn he wrote about in college and about Mars.
However, his biggest achievement to date happened 3 weeks ago, when he and his team announced that they had found flowing water on Mars. Up until this point, scientists believed water had flown on Mars indeed, but billions of years ago. But since it’s happening as we speak, this might be a big sign of existing life on the red planet.
The news was big and exciting enough, of course, to deserve it being announced in the press, but when NASA officials realized it was to appear in the same week as the film The Martian, they saw a great opportunity to reach a larger public. Therefore, a press conference was organized.
Professor James May allowed his two PhD students to panel it and explain the discovery.
And now, after the huge success, he is ready to move on to the next step and hopes to be among the first people to ever set foot on Mars. Personally, the 31 year old professor thinks that humanity will be ready to take a stroll down Mars’ lanes in the course of 20 years.
The fact that streaks of water have been found there is very motivational and a human mission might be organized. NASA could try and see whether there are any life forms in or around these water streaks on Mars. Also, they could try and find out more about habitable condition for human beings on this very much loved planet, the professor thinks.
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