Published: 28 Nov 2020, 12:20 pm
International and Cypriot experts discussed on Friday a research project to test space equipment on the Mediterranean island before sending it to Mars to measure the age of its rocks, officials said.
Planetologists and geologists arrived in Cyprus earlier this month to test equipment in the Troodos Mountains, which officials claim has geological parallels with the Red Planet, reports AFP.
The project is financed by the European Commission and the first meeting of the Cyprus Space Exploration Organisation (CSEO) and the Geological Surveys Department took place on Friday.
“The meeting discussed the objectives of the international space programme, the geological needs and the most suitable locations for the project,” the government’s Geological Survey Department said.
The rock-measuring project is very innovative since there are no previous accurate measurements of the age of the Mars rocks from previous missions," the statement added.
It noted however that “the geology of the Troodos Mountains has a lot in common with the rocks of Mars”.
The Acting Director of the Geological Survey Department, Christodoulos Hadjigeorgiou, said Friday's meeting went well with the local landscape know-how offered to foreign scientists.
The CSEO is involved in a major international research project on Mars, in cooperation with three other European countries as well as the United States.
CSEO head George Danos said the space project “highlights once again the uniqueness of our country’s geology, which can help prepare space missions to other celestial bodies”.
“Through this cooperation we will create new jobs for scientists in our country and new research projects in collaboration with international space agencies,” he added.