Hello! My name is Stéphane Le Mouélic and I live in Nantes, France. I am a research engineer specializing in signal and image processing, and remote sensing of planetary surfaces. As a member of the ChemCam team I will contribute to the analysis of the spectra and images acquired by ChemCam, in order to determine the composition of rocks at Curiosity's landing site. When I'm not working on Mars studies, I spend most of my time on the Cassini project, studying the surface and atmosphere of Titan. Titan is a very exotic, frozen world. Sending another Curiosity there in the coming decades would be of very high interest to unlock some of the mysteries about our origins!
When I was young, I was interested in dinosaurs and fossils, and astronomy in general. Becoming either an paleontologist, archeologist or an astronomer progressively started to be an objective for the future. Astronomy then prevailed over other projects. My interest in Mars began when I realized that galaxies and stars, despite being fascinating, where definitively out of reach of any spacecraft.
Mars is one of the most fascinating bodies in our solar system, because it shares several similarities with the Earth. In particular, the possible presence of standing bodies of liquid water at its surface in the past raises a lot of questions about the possible emergence of life. Curiosity is one of the main keys to unlock some of the most interesting mysteries about Mars.