Astrophysics: How space exploration can answer one of the most pressing questions of all time

There is no planet in our solar system quite as fascinating as Mars. For centuries, the red planet has fascinated scientists and the public alike, ultimately leading to one question: Has there ever been life on Mars? And if so, may there ever be life again? Recent explorations have shown promising results, but definitive answers are still scarce. Günther Hasinger is the Director of Science of the European Space Agency (ESA), who has established the ExoMars programme to investigate the Martian environment. As an award-winning astrophysicist, Günther is one of the leading experts in astrophysical deep X-ray surveys and is currently focusing on the formation of the earliest black holes. At Falling Walls, he will be speaking about planetary exploration, especially the missions that ESA are doing with NASA and JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency). The goal is to explore Mars, Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn and bring back actual samples from the surface of the planets, all to satisfy the indefatigable question: Is there life on other planets?