Are We Alone

April 16, 2019

Michael Tuite gave talk at the University of California, Riverside - Palm Desert Camppus about the Mars 2020 mission and the search for ancient life on Mars. The audience was very attentive and enthusiastic.

Rover mission at Southridge Middle School

March 13, 2019

During Career Day at Southridge Middle School in Fontana, Michael Tuite introduced students to the complexities of operating a rover on Mars. A team of engineers and scientists in the classroom developed an exploration plan and transmitted simple commands (via Post-It) to another group of students on the playground linked together with a piece of rope to form a rover. The rover responded to the commands and returned pictures to the operations team. After several simulated sols, the mission was complete when the rover sampled a bowl of candy on the barren martian surface. Candy on Mars. Imagine that.

abcLab Bound for Hell Creek

June 22, 2017

The abcLab manager, Michael Tuite and alum David Flannery will be headed to the Hell Creek Formation of eastern Montana in early July to explore the boundary that marks the demise of the dinosaurs. They will join Professor Tom Tobin, a paleontologist at the University of Alabama, at a site renowned for its fossil preservation of the life immediately before and after the mass extinction event at the Cretaceous/Paleogene boundary. Tuite and Flannery will use the Shaw Backpack Drill to collect a core of fresh, unweathered rock across the K/Pg boundary. Back at the abcLab, they will examine the carbon and hydrogen isotopic composition of plant-derived organic compounds leading up to the extinction event in an effort to understand the role of volcanism and climate change at the end of the Cretaceous.