Brock University professor will be working on NASA's latest Mars rover mission

CkTB - NEWS - Mariek Schmidt

A Brock University professor will be working on NASA's latest Mars rover mission.

Doctor Mariek Schmidt will be working alongside 13 other scientists scanning for signs of life on the Red Planet.

"We really can't do that with the suite of instruments on the rover, but if we can return them [samples] back to Earth, we can look at things in really tiny detail and maybe be able to answer that question."

She is the only scientist from a Canadian institution.

Her work involves use of an x-ray fluorescence spectrometer known as a Planetary Instrument for X-Ray Lithochemistry (PIXL) to better understand the composition of dust collected on rocks on planet's surface.

Schmidt will be waiting a while to get her hands on the samples though; Mars Rover Perseverance will land next Thursday, but the samples won't return to Earth until at least 2034.

Click here to listen to Schmidt's full interview with Tom McConnell.