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Mars Advanced School in China

Mars Advanced School in China

15 July 2009

From 20 - 24 July an ESA-sponsored Mars Advanced School will be held in Jiaxing, Zhejiang Province, China. About 40 graduate and postdoctoral students, as well as researchers, from mainland China and Taiwan, will attend this intensive, five-day course, with expert teaching staff from Europe and China.

European experts foster Chinese expertise

One of the objectives of the School is to contribute to the development of Chinese expertise in planetary geosciences. This is particularly timely as the first Chinese mission to Mars – the Yinghuo-1 or Firefly – is scheduled to launch later this year together with the Russian Phobos-Grunt spacecraft. The year-long mission will explore the Martian environment and investigate how surface water on the planet disappeared.

The European lecturers are experts in several disciplines of planetary geosciences, in particular concerning Mars, and are key players in the Mars Express mission. Their expertise will be complemented by that of the Chinese lecturers in space science and exploration programmes.

Lecturers at the Mars Advanced School in China
See the link to 'Mars Advanced School: lecturers' for detailed biographies of the lecturers)


Agustin Chicarro
Mars Lead Scientist within the ESA Exploration Programme
ESA/ESTEC, The Netherlands

Agustin Chicarro is the European organizer of the school. He will lecture on comparative planetology, ESA's Science Missions and ESA's Mars Exploration Programme.


Veronique Dehant
Head of Time, Earth Rotation, and Space Geodesy Section
Royal Observatory of Belgium (ROB)

Veronique Dehant's lectures will cover the structure and activity of the Martian interior, and aspects of geodesy and rotation of the Red Planet. She will run the data workshop on radio science data.


Angelo Rossi
Discipline Scientist
International Space Science Institute (ISSI), Switzerland

Angelo Rossi will focus on the geology of Mars, in particular the endogenic and exogenic processes at play. He will run a workshop on surface imaging data.


Olivier Witasse
Mars Express Project Scientist
ESA/ESTEC, The Netherlands

Olivier Witasse will deliver several lectures on the atmosphere, climate, ionosphere and plasma environment of Mars. He will lead a related workshop on atmospheric data.


Ji Wu
Chief Scientist of the Yinghuo-1 mission
Center for Space Science and Applied Research (CAS), Beijing

Ji Wu will lecture on the Yinghuo-1 (Firefly) mission. This is the first Chinese-developed mission to Mars and is due to launch later this year.


Xiao-Gong Hu
Scientist on Chang’E 1 and COMPASS
Shanghai Astronomical Observatory (CAS)

Xiao-Gong Hu will talk about monitoring of the Mars Express spacecraft with the Chinese VLBI network.


Wing-Huen Ip
Professor of Astronomy and Space Science
National Central University in Taiwan

Wing-Huen Ip will lecture on the effect of the solar wind on Mars.


Jeng-Jong Jian
Staff Member
National Museum of Natural History, Taiwan

Jeng-Jong Jian will talk about the structure of the Martian polar ice caps.

An intensive introduction to the Red Planet

The programme combines lectures and practical sessions that cover most aspects of the Red Planet including interior geophysics, surface geology and atmospheric physics. The students will also participate in practical demonstrations of ESA's planetary data archive and the use of data from Mars Express, which will be complemented by sessions during which they can exercise the skills that have been imparted.

The location of the school, Jiaxing, lies along the path of totality Credit: NASA

Time-out for the longest solar eclipse

The longest solar eclipse of the 21st century, with a totality lasting almost 6 minutes in China, takes place on 22 July 2009. The location of the school lies along the path of the Moon's umbral shadow. Students and teachers will take time out from the lectures to observe the eclipse.

(Photographs from this observing session will be posted on this site soon after the event.)

Fruitful collaboration

The Mars Advanced School in China continues a tradition of fruitful collaboration established between European and Chinese scientists as exemplified by the ESA Cluster mission and the Chinese-led Double Star mission. Holding the School in China provides access for interested students to expertise that is often difficult to acquire.

The Mars Advanced School in China is sponsored by ESA, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (National Astronomical Observatories, NAOC; Shanghai Astronomical Observatory, SHAO; Center for Space Science and Applied Research, Beijing) and the National Central University in Taiwan.

Last Update: 1 September 2019
29-Oct-2020 17:24 UT

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