Geocaching on Mars: An Interview with NASA’s Dr. Francis McCubbin

Speaking of Geoscience

By Chris Ronan, Geocaching HQ’s Community Relations Manager

When NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover launched last July, it included a tracking code that you’ll soon be able to log. With the rover scheduled to land in Jezero Crater on Mars on February 18, 2021, we wanted to learn more about the first-ever interplanetary trackable. Longtime geocacher and GSA member Dr. Francis McCubbin (mikbalt) is on NASA’s Mars 2020 SHERLOC instrument team, and played a big role in this exciting geocaching milestone!

Dr. Francis McCubbin - Research scientist, astromaterials curator, and member of NASA’s Mars 2020 SHERLOC instrument team
Francis McCubbin standing at the edge of the cliff in Le Jardin Exotique (the Exotic Garden) in Monaco just after completing the Grotte de L’ Observatoire EarthCache (GC2HC3E) on August 24, 2019

HQ: How did you get involved with geocaching?

Dr. McCubbin: I was first introduced to geocaching on November 22, 2006 by my best friend and fellow cacher Dr. Alex Smirnov (asmirnov). After learning…

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