Mars Crew’s ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’

The things you can do on ‘Mars’ now includes 3D printing, and video editing.

I’m talking about a simulated Mars Mission – the crew I have been in touch with for a project.

Sure they live on rations, since this is an 8-month stay in an isolated dome. But Zak Wilson even printed a star for their Christmas tree. Impressive with the video editing, too!

In case you are interested, this NASA-sponsored mission, known as the HI-SEAS Mission, is an 8-month research project to “determine what is required to keep a space flight crew happy and healthy during an extended mission to Mars.”

Related to this, is a very real NASA experiment to study the effects of someone living in space for one year, while comparing him to his identical twin, back on earth. This involves astronauts, Mark and Scott Kelley. The story broke this week in TIME magazine.

Science and Tech – main topic when students met Energy Secretary

SaltRiver_Robotics_ASUAs much as I prepped my robotics students for that a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet someone in government, there was the stuff you couldn’t anticipate.

Such as yesterday’s meeting with Energy Sec. Ernest Moniz, who was supposed to stop by their poster for about a 30 seconds. He continued to prod them on details for about 10 minutes. “Who’s next?” he kept asking. We had lined up three speakers. Two 4th graders, and a 6th grader.

The line of questioning was about their communication with a crew on Mars (the simulated community known as the HI-SEAS project) going on. Their project, for the just concluded FLL robotics tournament had extensive detail about how to use indigenous tools and material when, say, 3D printing (something used by the current Mission crew) isn’t enough.

After that high-profile moment, the students went on to check out the science packed into the 3-storey interdisciplinary science building or ‘ISTB4′ at Arizona State University.

This included an underwater robot, a weather station, and of course the impossible-to-resist full-scale replica of the Mars Curiosity rover.

If you’ve never been to ISTB4 at Arizona State University, the newest of the Engineering faculty buildings, it’s definitely worth a visit. It also houses a meteorite gallery, bio-tech labs and other interesting models of rockets, drones etc.

It’s one of the labs we visit when I take a group of winners of the Mars Day competition.

FLL Robotics Tournament Today

Poster_robotics_SaltRiverElementary“Learn from the past. Plan for the future.”

This was the title of our team’s poster with research around “How could we better communicate and learn from each other across different countries and…planets”

They have been communicating with Sophie Milam and Zak Wilson, two of the six crew members  spending eight months on a simulated Mars environment.

Here is a first look at their project poster with four members of XTreme Sharkbots.

Mars Day 2014 – Video

Thanks to the support from SRPMIV-TV, we had coverage from Mars Day 2014 that took place on October 29th at Salt River Elementary School.

This is the third year we have had this event, which has become a fixture on our school calendar. (Check out last year’s event!)

Once again, thank you to:

  • Mars Space Flight Facility
  • ASU: Professor Jack Farmer, Sheri Klug-Boonstra, Anthony Zippay, Leon Manfredi
  • Conrad Storad
  • HI-SEAS Mission 3 Crew: Martha Lenio, Allen Mirkadyrov, Sophie MilamNeil Scheibelhut, Jocelyn DunnZak Wilson
  • University of Hawaii at Manoa
  • School of Earth and Space Exploration, ASU

World Class Research Project – With Mars HI-SEAS Crew

Our second robotics team has made some great progress with their project for the FLL tournament.

They have begun making contact with two of the 6-member crew of Mars Hi-SEAS Mission 3.

Zak Wilson just got back with a document on 3D printing and terra-forming.

Sophie Milam, sent in a video about the need for spacesuits on Mars, and why they are using space suits even on ‘fake Mars.’

The video she sent in is worth sharing with the rest of the school, since this discussions about gravity and pressure are very current – given that many students have begun to talk about the movie Interstellar.