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Weekly Space Hangout

Mar 6, 2021

This week we are excited to welcome Dr. Nicholas Castle from the MSL/Curiosity Mission Science Team to the WSH.

Nick has been a rock-collector and space enthusiast for as long as he can remember. He is currently an active member of the Mars Science Laboratory (Curiosity Rover) mission operations team, where he helps coordinate activities for the Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) X-ray diffraction instrument.

Outside of mission operations his research focuses on meteorites, especially those from Mars. He is a bit of an instrumentation junkie who works with electron microscopes, mass spectrometers, X-ray diffractometers, high-temperature furnaces, and the occasional laser.

As an associate research scientist at the Planetary Science Institute, Nick is interested in communicating research results with the general public and promoting science literacy. A graduate of Lehigh University, the University of Washington, and the University of Alberta, he loves fieldwork, camping, sailing, and good espresso. He currently resides in the Arizona desert.

As part of his science outreach activities, Nick is partnering with CosmoQuest as we relaunch our CosmoAcademy series of educational programming. Our first program (which Nick will be teaching,) "Mars 101: How to Live on Mars (and Not Die)," begins on Saturday, March 20. For complete information, including cost and how to register, go to

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