Experts test equipment to date "red planet" rocks

 International experts in geology and planetary science are testing equipment in Cyprus to determine the history of rocks on Mars, which has a geology similar to that on the island located in the Mediterranean Sea.

The Department of Geological Studies in the Cypriot government explained, after a meeting held Friday between foreign and Cypriot experts, that this dating project "is very innovative, as there were no reliable studies on the age of Mars, carried out by previous missions."

The department continued in a statement that "this meeting dealt with the objectives of the International Space Program, the geological needs and the best sites for the project," adding that "the geology of the Troodos Mountains shares a lot with the rocks present" on the "Red Planet".

International experts arrived in Cyprus earlier in the month of November to test their equipment in this mountain range, which has a height of about two thousand meters above sea level. The European Commission is financing the project.

Friday's meeting was the first between the Cyprus Space Exploration Organization and the Cyprus Government's Geological Studies Department.

Acting Director of Administration Christodoulos Hajjiorgio explained that these discussions were aimed at sharing local experts' information on Cyprus with the international team.

The Cyprus Space Exploration Organization is participating in a major international research project on the Red Planet in cooperation with three other European countries and the United States.

The head of the organization, George Danos, said that this project "once again reflects the uniqueness of our country's geology that can help prepare space missions to other celestial bodies."

 

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