Fleming to work on NASA's Mars project

The Flemish scientist Frank Daerden is the only European to have been selected by NASA to be part of the agency’s study into climatic conditions on Mars. Dr Daerden will study cloud formations, rain and snow in the skies above the red planet.
NASA’s Phoenix unmanned space ship has been on the North Pole of Mars since the end of May last year.

The Phoenix has a Canadian weather station on board to measure the climatic conditions there.

One of the most remarkable discoveries made so far has been the ice crystals produced by clouds in the Martian sky.

In several recorded cases, the precipitation reached the surface of the planet.

Frank Daerden is an expert in ice clouds

Frank Daerden has had many years of experience in the study of ice clouds, both on earth and on Mars.

His expertise was recognised by NASA and he was invited to join the Phoenix project.

Dr Daerden and his team at the Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy have developed a computer programme to help with the study of ice clouds on Mars.

The programme will be of great use in analysing data collected by the Phoenix.