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Astrobiology and the search for life beyond Earth: Dr. Michael Summers at TEDxGeorgeMasonU
Talk given at TEDxGeorgeMasonU, May 6th 2012.
Produced by Andrew Hawkins and Joe Renaud.
Film done by Kathleen Wills.
Production Manager: Jessica Teaford
Mike Summers is a planetary scientist who specializes in the study of chemical and dynamical processes in planetary atmospheres. He has served on several space mission science teams (Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite, Space Shuttle CRISTA-MAS, New Horizons Pluto mission, Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere, ARES Mars Airplane, among others) in the role of science planning and in the interpretation of spacecraft observations. Dr. Summers' planetary research has dealt with the structure and evolution of the atmospheres of Earth, Mars, Io, Titan, Triton, Uranus, Pluto and its moon Charon. He is a member of the Atmospheres Science Team of the New Horizons mission to Pluto/Charon and the Kuiper Belt that will arrive at Pluto in July 2015. He is co-investigator on the NASA Langley Mars Airplane concept mission and leads the atmospheric science theme. His work on Earth's atmosphere has dealt with middle atmospheric ozone, the chemistry and dynamics of trace gases such as methane, water vapor, and carbon monoxide, heterogeneous chemistry on meteor dust, the influence of solar variability on the state of the stratosphere and mesosphere, and polar mesospheric clouds and their connection to climate. He is a member of the science team of the Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere Small Explorer mission that was launched in April 2007 as the first dedicated mission to study the role of high altitude clouds as indicators of global climate change
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