LSU researchers battling for mission to Mars
BATON ROUGE - A team of LSU researchers are competing against nine other universities worldwide to send its instrument to Mars.
The group of students hope to land an open spot on Mars One, a mission organized by a Dutch company scheduled to take off in 2018.
"If we are ever going to have any hope of colonizing Mars, we are going to have to find water on the planet," research student David Susko said.
He and six other researchers created an instrument that can detect ice hidden under the planet's surface.
"[A] speaker would bounce sound waves through the sand and bounce back up and read by the sensors in order to tell at what depth the water level is," Susko said.
The Mars Ice Deposit Detection by Application of Seismology, MIDDAS, is one of ten picked from the scientific round of 35. Next the team must face an online vote and win the favor of Mars One donors to get aboard the ship.
"It is kind of like a popularity contest," Susko said. "Personally, I feel like we have the best science. We have the best technology. But at the end of the day, if someone else does a little bit better job of reaching out to the public they might be the ones to go."
If you'd like to cast your vote for the LSU team, click here.