Monday morning saw huge advance queues eagerly awaiting the 8am registration opening. Planetary sessions started about Mercury, though notably the first speaker had withdrawn to the new NASA policy of no conference travel expenses following sequestration. This is to be a theme of the conference, though in some cases other co-authors have managed to step in on behalf of absent colleagues.
|John Grotzinger, Sushil Atreya, Sylvestre Maurice, Javier Gómez-Elvira, Igor Mitrofanov|
The much anticipated event of the day was the MSL Curiosity press conference at 11am, with John Grotzinger and colleagues delivering the latest discoveries from this amazing mobile laboratory on Mars.
The results were neatly summarised by Jonathan Amos for the BBC, while some of the more detailed graphs and information are on the JPL website. For further details on the speakers and the full recorded press conference stream, click here.
The afternoon continued with a 90 minute session of more detailed updates from MSL, standing room only in one of the largest conference rooms due to its popularity. This was also streamed online and can be found here. The other half of the MSL update session is on Wednesday morning, streaming from 10:30 (CEST) on the same page.
Professor Tilman Spohn gave the Runcorn-Florensky Medal lecture, exploring the thermal history of planetary objects: “From Asteroids to super-Earths, from plate-tectonics to life”.