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Mars Experiment Design Competition

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Wed Sep 2, 2009 2:27 pm via: source
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(Space Florida) – Space Florida, The Mars Society, NASA-Kennedy Space Center and the Florida Department of Education (DoE), have joined forces to create a competition in which Florida middle and high school students will design scientific experiments to send to the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in Utah. The MDRS is one of four such facilities throughout the world, and is operated by The Mars Society. Each MARS facility can simulate many of the environmental and geological conditions encountered on the Mars surface.

The Mars Society believes that placing crews in simulated Mars environments will help to problem-solve any potential challenges that may be faced by crews that eventually live and work on Mars.

Mars Hab

Mars Hab

Students from middle and high schools across the state will be invited to design and submit experiments that could assist in the study of Martian environments. Once top designs are selected by the Competition’s Advisory Committee, Space Florida will sponsor the winning teams/individuals with $100 each to cover assembly and shipping costs to the MDRS Habitat in Utah.

During MDRS missions in the winter/spring 2009-2010 season, the Habitat crew will conduct the experiments and transmit data via ‘live’ camera and internet blogs. With cooperation from NASA-KSC and their Digital Learning Network (DLN), NASA personnel will transmit special interactive programs to the three (3) winning school entrants.  During these transmissions, each of the winning teams will have an opportunity to interact with NASA engineers and take a virtual tour of America’s Spaceport.

Experiments entered via the Space Florida website should address one of three key scientific research areas currently studied at MDRS, which include Human Factors, Mission Operations and Geology/Biology Field Studies. The application deadline for the three winning Florida-based experiments is October 30, 2009. Winners will be notified on or before November 27, 2009 via the Space Florida website, and other media announcements. The MDRS mission will be held December 2009 – May 2010.

Deadlines:

Registrations Due – September 30, 2009
Application Deadline – October 30 2009
Three (3) Winners Notified – November 27 2009
MDRS Missions – December 2009 – May 2010

Experiment Categories:

  • Human Factors
  • Mission Operations
  • Geology/Biology Field Studies
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