The group of scientists and engineers behind NASA’s Curiosity rover has named a hill alongside the rover’s path on Mars in honour of lately deceased mission scientist Rafael Navarro-Gonzalez.
A craggy hump that stretches 120 meters tall, ‘Rafael Navarro Mountain’ is situated on Mount Sharp in northwest Gale Crater, NASA mentioned on Monday.
Navarro-Gonzalez died on January 28 from issues associated to Covid-19.
A number one astrobiologist in Mexico, he was a co-investigator on the Pattern Evaluation at Mars (SAM), a conveyable chemistry lab aboard Curiosity that has been sniffing out the chemical make-up of Martian soil, rocks, and air.
As such, he helped lead the group that recognized historical natural compounds on Mars; his many accomplishments additionally included figuring out the position of volcanic lightning within the origin of life on Earth.
Navarro-Gonzalez was a researcher at Nuclear Sciences Institute on the Nationwide Autonomous College of Mexico in Mexico Metropolis.
“We’re really honoured to have a outstanding hill named after our dad; it’s his and our dream come true to see this occur,” wrote Navarro-Gonzalez’s youngsters, Rafael and Karina Navarro Aceves, in a press release to NASA.
Rafael Navarro Mountain sits at a serious geological transition in Gale Crater from a clay-rich area to at least one that’s wealthy in sulfate minerals.
Analysing sulfate minerals could assist scientists higher perceive the foremost shift within the Martian local weather from wetter to drier situations, based on Ashwin Vasavada, Curiosity’s mission scientist primarily based at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California.
(With inputs from companies)