In 2013 Kiwi school kids had the rare opportunity to follow a mock Mars Mission at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in the Utah desert for the duration of two weeks.
The following log is written to give a record of what type of questions were being asked by the students and teachers who interacted with the crew in SIM. The method of communication was via “Chatroll” an online tool of instant messaging.
Early morning sky at MDRS
Chat Log Mission Heights School Auckland - UNedited
Melanie with the Curiosity wheel replica and the students at Mission Heights school
Chat Log Wellington East Girls College - UNedited
|Questions from students||Replies from the crew of TasMars|
"This is an exciting opportunity for students around the country to talk to real scientists doing real exploratory work at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah," said Kiwispace Education Coordinator Haritina Mogosanu. A crew member on two previous MDRS missions and Flight Director for TasMars, Mogosanu said "students don't need a passion for Mars, just a passion for knowledge".
"The varied work done by the crews at MDRS covers human interaction, geology and geography, palaeontology nutrition, engineering, biosecurity and more," she said. "There are so many areas of the New Zealand science curriculum covered."
The TasMars 2013 Team - following on from last year's KiwiMars mission - was stationed at MDRS two-week analogue mission to study planetary science, engineering, biosecurity and human factors at the mock Mars base.
Two members of the crew (David Willson and Jen Blank) are from NASA AMES Research Center in the heart of Silicon Valley in California. Willson is an Australian engineer working on future Mars sample return instrument concepts. Blank is a geochemist and member of the Mars Science Laboratory science team working with the Curiosity rover that landed on Mars last August. The other two members are Melanie Newfield, a biosecurity manager at New Zealand's Ministry for Primary Industries, and Emma Braegen, an aeronautical engineer from Australia working for BAE Systems.
Courtesy of the KiwiSpace Foundation, all schools around New Zealand have a chance to interact live with the team at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) via the mission's chat facility page.
The TasMars crew will remain at the base until 10 February.
- No labels