John Bridges

John Bridges

Professor of Planetary Science, University of Leicester
At the Space Research Centre we use a range of techniques (scanning electron microscopes, transmission electron microscopes, focused ion beam, Diamond synchrotron) to study early Solar System processes related to the origin of asteroids and comets, and the evolution of Mars. In particular, we study cometary samples returned by the Stardust mission, asteroid samples returned from S-class asteroid Itokawa by the Hayabusa mission, and martian meteorites including the nakhlites with their unique hydrothermal assemblage that we have characterised, and the NWA 7034 regolith breccia.

We also use remote images and spectral data to study the surface of planetary bodies, particularly the evolution of the Mars surface and climate. For instance, the CASSIS stereo, colour camera, which is part of the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter for 2016 is one of the new ways we will study the Mars surface. As a member of the European Landing Site Selection Working Group I look at the places where we may land the ExoMars 2020 (launch) rover, in particular using HiRISE imagery.

Bridges is also a participating scientist PI and ChemCam team member on the NASA Mars Science Laboratory mission, one of the most ambitious planetary missions ever achieved. You can follow the progress of Mars Science Laboratory by reading my blog and see more about our Mars surface and meteorite research.

Follow our activities via twitter @LeicsPlanets

Recent Mission and Advisory Committee Roles

2020 Sept - Chair, UKSA Space Exploration Advisory Committee

2020 Member of STFC Solar System Advisory Panel and UKSA Science Programme Advisory Committee

2018- UK Robotic Exploration Oversight Committee REXOC member

2013- HiRISE Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter camera team member

2013- ExoMars/Roscosmos 2020 Rover Landing Site Selection Steering Group

2013- Hayabusa Sample Allocation Committee

2012-14 Member of the UK Space Agency Space Exploration Advisory Committee

2011- Mars Science Laboratory Participating Scientist team leader and MSL ChemCam team member

2010- CaSSIS Stereo, colour imager, Co-I for the 2016 ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter

2008 Member of Mars Sample Return planning team (iMARS 2008).

2007- Co-I MIXS X-ray telescope for Mercury

2007- ExoMars PanCam Co-I

2006- Stardust Mineralogy team member

2003 Beagle2

Space Science Series

Nasa to overhaul mission returning samples from Mars – here’s why it must and will go ahead

Apr 23, 2024 08:00 am UTC| Insights & Views Technology

Nasa recently announced that it is seeking new ways to complete the return to Earth of rock cores drilled by the Perseverance Rover in the Jezero Crater on Mars. This has led to some anxiety among space scientists, who...



Space arms race may be underway

As conflict rages on Earth, an arms race may be underway in outer space. On May 30, a US diplomat warned that Russia had launched a weapon into orbit, something Russias deputy foreign minister, Sergey Ryabkov, branded as...

Mauritius’ next growth phase: a new plan is needed as the tax haven era fades

Mauritians will head to the polls by November 2024 and politicians are considering the economic direction of the island country. For the last two decades, the countrys economic growth has depended heavily on its...

Canadians are feeling increasingly powerless amid economic struggles and rising inequality

If you feel like youre being pushed around in life, youre not alone. Our recent research has found that Canadians are increasingly feeling a sense of powerlessness in their lives. This sentiment has been steadily...

Myth: How the US manipulates global markets for economic supremacy

US president, Joe Biden, raised tariffs on Chinese-made goods sharply in May, claiming that the Chinese government has cheated by pouring money into Chinese companies … hurting competitors who play by the rules. The...

The world no longer needs fossil fuels – and the UK could lead the way in making them taboo

North Sea oil and gas has become a battleground issue in the UK general election. The Labour partys manifesto promises an end to issuing new licenses for finding oil and gas. The Conservative party meanwhile proposes a...


Three ways politicians always promise to raise money without increasing taxes – and why they rarely deliver

After weeks of controversy over Labour and Conservative costings in which each side accused the other of dishonesty the manifestos show that both parties had wildly exaggerated their rivals plans. But there has been...

Election 2024: migrants aren’t to blame for Britain’s housing crisis

Migration has become the most toxic issue in British politics, driving intensely emotional debates that are often based on prejudice and misunderstanding. Similarly emotional is housing a finite resource in high demand at...

How Vladimir Putin projects his image as a modern-day Peter the Great

Russian energy giant Gazprom is reported to have been hit particularly hard by sanctions imposed as a result of the war with Ukraine. An internal report obtained and published by the Financial Times has forecast that the...

Another election, another round of Nigel Farage hype, with no lessons learned

Nigel Farage, a man who has never been elected to the House of Commons despite years of trying, has again been allowed to set the agenda in the UK. Ten years after Ukip won the European parliament elections, throwing...


Nations realise they need to take risks or lose the race to the Moon

The Nasa-led Artemis-3 mission will place the first human boots on the surface of the Moon since Apollo 17s Gene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt left the lunar surface in December 1972. The goal of the Artemis programme is...

Eye exercises to improve sight – is there any science behind them? An ophthalmologist explains why you shouldn’t buy the hype

You may have seen advertisements claiming to eliminate the need for eyeglasses through vision therapy or vision training basically, eye exercises. These exercises include putting pressure on or palming the eye; eye...

The universe’s biggest explosions made some of the elements we are composed of. But there’s another mystery source out there

After its birth in the Big Bang, the universe consisted mainly of hydrogen and a few helium atoms. These are the lightest elements in the periodic table. More-or-less all elements heavier than helium were produced in the...

Engineering cells to broadcast their behavior can help scientists study their inner workings

Waves are ubiquitous in nature and technology. Whether its the rise and fall of ocean tides or the swinging of a clocks pendulum, the predictable rhythms of waves create a signal that is easy to track and distinguish from...

If an asteroid hit Earth and all the humans died, would the dinosaurs come back?

Many, many years ago dinosaurs roamed the Earth. Six-year-old Aga knows that a meteorite wiped them out… but could another meteorite bring them back? You can read a print version of this story...


Iranian Officials Criticize 'Hamster Kombat' Blockchain Game as Election Distraction Tool

Iranian officials have condemned the popular blockchain game Hamster Kombat, alleging it distracts citizens from the upcoming presidential elections. Deputy Chief Habibollah Sayyari and religious leader Ayatollah Nasser...

Bitcoin Price Fluctuates Amid Stablecoin, Fiat, and ETF Market Dynamics

Bitcoins price is currently influenced by stablecoins, fiat currencies, and spot-based ETFs, as stated by CryptoQuant CEO Ki Young Ju. Despite recent market volatility and political events, these factors are shaping the...

Shiba Inu Faces Uncertainty as 1 Trillion SHIB Dumped on Binance by Whale

Today, June 24, the cryptocurrency world has been flooded with speculative talk due to the emergence of Shiba Inu, the well-known dog-themed meme coin. Amid the tokens price decline throughout the course of the previous...

Shocking Costs: Tesla Cybertruck Repairs Lead to Totals and High Insurance Premiums

Concerns about the price of repairs have led to the appearance of a couple of Tesla Cybertrucks labeled totaled, which means they have suffered a complete loss. Insurance Concerns Arise Over Costly Cybertruck Repairs...
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