STARMUS VI: By studying Mars we learn about Earth – NASA engineer Arbi Karapetian
YEREVAN, SEPTEMBER 7, ARMENPRESS. STARMUS represents the dreams of the future man, it unites music, arts, science and engineering, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Section Manager of Flight Electronics Arbi Karapetian told ARMENPRESS within the framework of the STARMUS VI: 50 Years on Mars Festival in Yerevan.
“I was talking with my wife and I said ‘wherever the next STARMUS takes place, we must go! STARMUS represents the dreams of the future man. It brings together music, engineering, arts and the sciences. STARMUS is powerful,” he said.
Karapetian said that surely STARMUS will give new opportunities to develop science in Armenia. “This isn’t my first time in Armenia and it is clear to me that our people have a propensity and thirst for science. I believe that science is in all of us, most importantly in the children. I met with children this morning in Masis, and I could see the sparkle in their eyes when I was talking with them about science, the universe and NASA,” Karapetian said.
Karapetian worked on the assembly, test and launch of NASA’s Curiosity rover on Mars.
Speaking about the latest research on Mars, he said that all studies have shown that the Red Planet had water at some point in the past, but it is still unclear whether or not it harbored any form of life. In order to conduct studies they must transport Martian soil back to Earth – a project that is in early developmental state, which is a collaboration between NASA and ESA.
With planned launch dates for the Earth Return Orbiter and Sample Retrieval Lander in fall 2027 and summer 2028, respectively, the samples are expected to arrive on Earth in 2033.
“What matters is that Mars is the closest planet to Earth. By studying Mars, we are learning about our own planet, its current condition can be our planet’s past or future, but at the same time, understanding that they are two different planets which may not be completely similar in their developments. It is very interesting for us because we want to understand our planet, we want to understand where we came from, and studying Mars will greatly contribute to our understanding of this.” Karapetian said.