UC student proposes a 'landing marker' on Mars

UC student plan for a 'landing marker' on Mars

Graham Robinson

11 August 2008: University of Canberra Master’s student Trevor Rodwell wants to have a landing marker placed on Mars.

Midnight Suns on Mars

Midnight Suns on Mars
Photo: NASA

In a recent conference paper, Mr Rodwell presented research into the development of a framework for an artwork-inspired ‘first human landing marker’ which would include both a public time capsule and a Mars inspired artwork.


Mr Rodwell said, “Research indicates that public support would be crucial to any major space endeavour.


“Any activity that raises the profile of the venture (first human landing marker) in a positive and meaningful way can only help in securing the vital funding that will be needed for our leap into the solar system.”

Trevor Rodwell

Trevor Rodwell

His research focuses on creating a theoretical framework for the world community to be involved in the first human landing on Mars via a device of a first landing marker.

The marker would have two components, a physical artwork and a time capsule.

“The capsule could contain, in digital format the contributions of the people of the world. These could be writings, poetry, family histories and music.

“The artwork would have to respond to a landscape never before utilised for this purpose.

“Along with the different physical conditions on Mars, the colour shift in lighting and the fact that installation would have to be done in a space-suit would produce an interesting challenge for the artist/design team,” he said.

He believes that the concept of linking a sculptural ‘first landing marker’ incorporating a public time capsule serves the purpose of introducing art onto Mars and enabling people of the world to feel part of a major historical event.

“This, I propose, would be as important to the population of Earth as any scientific experiment on Mars,”said Mr Rodwell.

Mr Rodwell presented the paper at the 8th Australian Mars Exploration Conference in Adelaide, in July 2008, at a national conference that included speakers from Australia, Europe, Canada and the USA and included a representative of NASA.