Dyar Plays Key Role in Mars Curiosity Mission

Professor Darby Dyar
Mount Holyoke astronomy professor Darby Dyar is a participating scientist on NASA's Curiosity mission to Mars. The rover Curiosity landed on August 6 at 1:31 am EDT; Dyar and students will begin receiving and analyzing data from the Red Planet in approximately 10 days. Updates and photos will be posted to this page as they become available.


Dyar Talks about Mars Work with WGBY's Connecting Point
October 8, 2012
In an interview with Connecting Point's Carrie Saldo, Darby Dyar talks about the information the Curiosity rover will send from Mars to scientists on Earth, and the analysis of mission data she and her students will perform in her MHC lab (from 11:15).
Mount Holyoke Professor Helps Create Mars Rover
August 23, 2012
Professor Darby Dyar talks about the potential discoveries of the Curiosity rover as it explores the planet Mars in a thought-provoking interview with NEPR/WFCR's Susan Kaplan.
Dyar Speaks on Academic Minute
August 20, 2012
In her second segment on radio WAMC's Academic Minute, MHC's Darby Dyar explains one of the more spectacular instruments aboard the Mars Science Lab’s Curiosity rover.
Dyar Describes Her Mars Mission Work
August 14, 2012
In the Daily Hampshire Gazette, Professor Darby Dyar describes how she and her team are taking on the task of identifying the rocks being found on Mars.
Mars Curiosity Research in South Hadley
August 8, 2012
ABC 40 talks to LIBS lab manager Elly Breves about the work being done on campus in conjunction with NASA's latest Mars rover project.
Mount Holyoke Professor Part of NASA's Curiosity Research Team
August 8, 2012
Professor Darby Dyar talks to the Republican about her research work on the Curiosity rover, with collaborators at the Jet Propulsion Lab and here on the Mount Holyoke campus.
Report from Mission Control
August 6, 2012
Darby Dyar on the landing of Curiosity:
"I have never seen so many grown men cry! No one could sit still; there were 400 of us together in a room, most pacing. It was amazing...

"Soon after the clapping and hugging was over, people gathered their things and went off to work the midnight shift (1-7 am), but all smiling.

"All the scientists think that the engineers who got us safely on the ground are true heros. We all thronged around JPL (
Jet Propulsion Lab) and applauded them and shook their hands whenever we encountered them. We should have 'the keys' to the rover soon enough, so we can do some science..."

Local Researcher a Big Part of NASA's Curiosity Success
August 6, 2012

Speaking from the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, California, just hours after the rover landing, Professor Darby Dyar described the Curiosity mission to ABC 40.
Labs Gear Up to Handle Data from Mars Rover
August 6, 2012

Professor Darby Dyar tells the Boston Globe, “We’re getting really close to knowing if there was ever life there. How much more an important question could there be?”

Why Mars Rover Will Be Blasting Its Heat Ray as It Searches for Life
August 1, 2012

Professor Darby Dyar is featured in a Christian Science Monitor article about ChemCam, the instrument that will gather information about the surface of Mars.

This article also appeared in the Alaska Dispatch.

NASA Taps Dyar for Mars Mission
July 24, 2012

When the Mars Science Laboratory lands on the Red Planet on August 6, NASA will turn to MHC’s Darby Dyar and her students to play an important role in the mission. Read the story and see the video interview.

The Academic Minute
October 12, 2010

Professor Darby Dyar talks about the possibility of life on the moon on WAMC radio’s Academic Minute.

Other Links

Mount Holyoke Department of Astronomy

Professor Darby Dyar's Faculty Profile

What sets Curiosity apart from other Mars Rovers?