Europlanet Science Congress 2022
Palacio de Congresos de Granada, Spain
18 – 23 September 2022
Europlanet Science Congress 2022
Palacio de Congresos de Granada, Spain
18 September – 23 September 2022
EPSC Abstracts
Vol. 16, EPSC2022-515, 2022
Europlanet Science Congress 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Eyes on Mars - Increasing Awareness of UK based Mars Exploration

Catherine Regan1,2 and Priya Patel1,2
Catherine Regan and Priya Patel
  • 1Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London, United Kingdom (
  • 2Centre for Planetary Science at UCL/Birkbeck, United Kingdom

The UK is currently playing a key role in the development of Mars Exploration, with scientists and engineers working on many current and upcoming missions such as the European Space Agency’s Mars Express satellite (2003 – present) and the upcoming Rosalind Franklin Rover (launch TBD). The camera onboard the Rosalind Franklin Rover was designed, built and tested at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory, part of University College London, in Surrey, England. The rover was also assembled at Airbus in Stevenage. These facts are not well known to the public in the UK, and our public engagement project, Eyes on Mars, aims to increase awareness of UK’s involvement in progressing Mars science and with this, promote STEM education in UK. We received funding from the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s Public Engagement Sparks Award and the Royal Astronomical Society education and outreach grant.

To accomplish this, Eyes on Mars has two main foci – a social media campaign and providing resources to be used in classrooms, youth groups and at home. The social media campaign will showcase short and informal snippets of information that highlights Mars facts and various space careers. It will also include interviews of diverse individuals from across Europe that are in the space sector, specifically, highlighting their paths into STEM careers.

Furthermore, Eyes on Mars has put together a selection of free resources that are available to download or given to participating schools to carry out science curriculum activities in class. We have provided various education videos, worksheets and activity plans, including making your own filter wheel similar to the filter wheel onboard the Rosalind Franklin Rover. All materials for this craft activity are provided by the Eyes on Mars team, and are sent out to schools or groups across the UK. 

Having both come from state-schools in the UK, and not being in the ‘top-set’ for science at school, Catherine Regan and Priya Patel are now PhD students in planetary physics, researching Mars. Both have been told at some point during their education that they weren’t “clever enough” for a career in science, and are now both working on space missions with NASA and the European Space Agency. We want to use Eyes on Mars to be role models for those that may not think they can succeed in science, and to highlight the different possibilities there are for a career in space, especially in the UK.

How to cite: Regan, C. and Patel, P.: Eyes on Mars - Increasing Awareness of UK based Mars Exploration, Europlanet Science Congress 2022, Granada, Spain, 18–23 Sep 2022, EPSC2022-515,, 2022.


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