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Event Detail


Cave Detection from Space and the Future Exploration of Mars

Dr Judson ‘Jut’ Wynne
Monday, 3 Dec 2018
Complimentary Drinks Reception 6.30 pm; Talk 7.30 pm
The Haven, 29/F, Wyndham Place , 40-44 Wyndham Street, Central
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Dr Judson ‘Jut’ Wynne, cave research scientist and explorer, speaks on his work with NASA to use remote sensing technologies for the detection of desert caves, principally in California. This space-based exploration may also be used to detect cave features on Mars, and thus help progress human and robotic exploration of the “Red Planet”.

He explains the process of using remote sensing, based on thermal and visible spectrum data from satellites and planes, to identify caves in the deserts of California and Chile. The collected data has spurred several papers and Dr Wynne notes that the remote sensing techniques employed to identify caves on Earth is also applicable to other planets and the moon.

Subterranean Mars represents the most promising and exciting location for searching for evidence of life beyond Planet Earth. Using a mission architecture framework, Dr Wynne discusses the current state of terrestrial cave detection and requirements for selecting candidate Martian caves sites. He also reviews some of the logistical challenges facing both robotic exploration and human visitation and colonisation of Mars, as the caves there may be used as astronaut shelters and storage depots.

Dr Judson Wynne hails from the US and holds a master’s degree in Environmental Science and Policy and a PhD in Biology from Northern Arizona University. As part of his work as a cave research scientist and explorer, he journeyed through the jungles of Belize and China, rappelled into the deepest volcanic pit on the Big Island of Hawaii and the massive vertical caves of Southern Spain, worked in the deserts of northern Chile. He also used cutting edge instruments onboard NASA aircraft and even travelled to the remote Easter Island. He is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the Explorers Club, which sponsored 17 of his research expeditions. He has been awarded the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Fund by the American Museum of Natural History as well as the Research and Creative Award from Northern Arizona University.


Members of the O&C, RGS and British Council, their guests and others are most welcome to attend this event, which is HK$250 for Members and HK$300 for their guests including unlimited drinks. 

The Royal Geographical Society - Hong Kong wishes to express its thanks to Jacada Travel for its generous assistance with this talk. 

See other events in 2018