NASA, the Mars Society Australia and Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany will mount Spaceward Bound programme to Ladakh

Q.  Which of the following countries will be launching an expedition in Ladakh?

1) India
2) US
3) Australia
4) France

- Published on 02 Feb 16

a. 1, 2, 4
b. 1, 4
c. 1, 2, 3
d. All of the above

ANSWER: 1, 2, 3
  • A team of scientists from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Mars Society Australia and the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany, Lucknow, will mount an expedition to Ladakh this August to study the similarities of certain parts of the region’s topography and microbial life to Martian surroundings.
  • Ladakh offers a “high UV (ultra-violet) exposed, dry ecosystem with Mars analogue topological features that tell us heaps about the origin and evolution of our planet’s topological features.
  • Before Ladakh, there have been expeditions to the deserts such in Atacama, Chile; Mojave, California; Arkaroola, Australia as well as the Arctic and Antarctica, organised since 2006.
  • For the first time India is part of Spaceward Bound programme, which educates future space explorers and funds expeditions to places with extreme climate conditions.
  • They will be testing a rover that will collect samples and analyze some of the high altitude springs etc.
  • The Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany has expertise in studying ancient climate and life.

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