Skip to content

Seeking life on Mars

Hands-on at the exhibit

  • Experience an immersive virtual ‘TGO science orbit’
  • Take (your own) measurements to understand how trace gases are measured by the ExoMars spacecraft
  • Use a Magic Globe to visualise the martian surface and atmosphere

Find out more

A mission to Mars is hunting for clues to help scientists answer the ultimate question.

The ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) is currently on a mission to search for signs of past or present life on Mars. At this exhibit you’ll take a virtual tour of the red planet’s atmosphere and discover what the gases found there could tell us about martian life.

The discovery of methane in the atmosphere of Mars has raised the exciting possibility that living organisms may have existed on the planet. Using observations from the ExoMars TGO satellite, researchers at the Open University will advance our understanding of the martian atmosphere, investigating its chemical composition, circulation patterns and dust content. This work will also teach us about potential challenges that future manned or unmanned missions to Mars will need to overcome. It could also help us answer one of humanity’s biggest questions: are we alone in the Universe?

Find out more about how robots are used to explore Mars and Planetary and Space Sciences at the Open University.

Presented by the Open University and the UK Space Agency.