Episode 7: Is there life on Mars?

29 Jun 2022

Dr. Ed Cloutis, Professor of Geography and Director of the Centre for Terrestrial and Planetary Exploration at the University of Winnipeg, has spent a long career focusing on developing new applications of remote sensing to exploring the surface of the Earth and planets in the solar system. As part of NASA’s Mars 2020 mission, Cloutis and his research team are attempting to answer a question that has fascinated humanity since the first days of space exploration.

On this episode the research question is: “Is there life on Mars?”

Episode Credits

Written, Narrated and Produced by Kent Davies

UWRQ Logo, Web Image, Trailer by Kimberley Moore


Interview with Dr. Edward Cloutis, May 6, 2022 at the University of Winnipeg Oral History Centre, Winnipeg MB. Digital Audio Recording. “Research Question Podcast,” Oral History Centre Archive, University of Winnipeg, Winnipeg, MB.


Lee Rosevere – Puzzle Pieces, III Deathless, Where Was I, Sightings, Ellie, Atmospheres, Red Danube, X- A Million Eyes (The Lost Transmission), Pensacola Twilight, Let’s Start at the Beginning


NASA/JPL-Caltech – Sounds of Perseverance Mars Rover Driving, First Audio Recording Sounds on Mars, Perseverance Rover’s SuperCam Records Wind on Mars, More Audible Sounds from InSight’s Seismometer on Mars, Touchdown confirmed.

Selected Readings

Turenne, Nathalie, Alexis Parkinson, Daniel M. Applin, Paul Mann, Edward A. Cloutis, and Stanley A. Mertzman. “Spectral reflectance properties of minerals exposed to martian surface conditions: Implications for spectroscopy-based mineral detection on Mars.” Planetary and Space Science 210 (2022): 105377.

Bell, J. F., J. N. Maki, G. L. Mehall, M. A. Ravine, M. A. Caplinger, Z. J. Bailey, E. Cloutis et al. “The Mars 2020 perseverance rover mast camera zoom (Mastcam-Z) multispectral, stereoscopic imaging investigation.” Space science reviews 217, no. 1 (2021): 1-40.

Hayes, Alexander G., P. Corlies, C. Tate, M. Barrington, J. F. Bell, J. N. Maki, E. Cloutis et al. “Pre-flight calibration of the Mars 2020 Rover Mastcam Zoom (Mastcam-Z) multispectral, stereoscopic imager.” Space science reviews 217, no. 2 (2021): 1-95.

Cloutis, Ed, Jessica Stromberg, Daniel Applin, Stephanie Connell, Krista Kubanek, Jesse Kuik, Adam Lechowicz et al. “The Lake St. Martin impact structure (Manitoba, Canada): A simulated rover exploration of a sulfate-bearing impact crater.” Planetary and Space Science 208 (2021): 105336.