From 8th to 11th July, 2019, the 4th Earth and Planetary Science Youth Forum (2019 Mars Science Summer School), which is hosted by the Youth Innovation Promotion Association of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and co-organized by the Institute of Space Sciences, Shandong University and the Youth Innovation Promotion Association belonging to the Institute of Geochemistry (CAS), was held in Shandong University (Weihai). Prof. Xia Lidong, Vice President of Shandong University (Weihai), Prof. Yang Wei, Chairman of the Youth Innovation Promotion Association (CAS), and Prof. Li Xiongyao from Institute of Geochemistry (CAS), attended and gave welcoming speeches at the opening ceremony.
The four-day forum contains three sessions: academic reports, Mars scientific data processing training and geological field trip, all aiming to promote mutual exchanges between domestic young scholars on martian science, strengthening the understanding of martian science and cultivate excellent young talents in martian science. In the academic report session, 17 experts working on Mars research and comparative planetary science studies presented the scientific knowledge of the Mars exploration over the past 50 years, the latest research progress and the methods used in Mars science research, including the martian mapping and remote sensing, Mars exploration payload design, martian environment simulation experiments, martian meteorites studies, terrestrial analogue sites studies, matian surface environment and atmospheric science, martian space environment and other scientific fields, etc. The Mars scientific data processing training course was conducted at the Planetary Data System (PDS) Laboratory of Shandong University, Weihai. Through the hands on trainings, more than 60 students learned about the development of PDS system in Shandong University (Weihai) and data processing skills of visible-near-infrared and thermal infrared spectroscopic datasets from various Mars missions. During the meeting, the participants also conducted a geological field trip of the Cenozoic volcanic field and the Zhaoyuan gold ore site in the Penglai city of Shandong Province.
China's first Mars exploration mission plans to launch a Mars probe in 2020 to achieve the "orbiting", "landing" and "roving" of Mars. The Mars science summer school provides a good communication platform for young scholars in the field of Mars research, which inspires young scholars and graduate students to participate in the deep space exploration missions in China, as well as lay the cooperation mechanism for universities and institutes on planetary sciences in China in the future. More than 110 young scholars from 22 universities and research institutions participated in the forum - including Institute of Geochemistry, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, National Space Science Center, National Astronomical Observatories ,Qinghai Institute of Salt Lake, Xi'an Institute of Optics and Precision Mechanics, Shanghai Institute of Technical Physics, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, and China Academy of Space Technology, China University of Geosciences (Wuhan), Nanjing University, Peking University, Sun Yat-sen University, Macau University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong University, Northeastern University, Beijing Institute of Technology, Shaanxi Normal University, Guizhou Institute of Technology, Shandong University.