Haritina Mogosanu (Mission Commander Tasmars 2013 and Kiwispace's Education officer) will be talking about Kiwispace's most recent collaboration with NASA’s MDRS (Mars Desert Research Station) in Utah.
Read about TasMars online.
The Tasmars expedition involved a crew of four Australians and Kiwis living and working at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah for two weeks, from 27 January to 10 February 2013. They followed strict site protocols that emulated the working and living conditions on a real Mars base. Their brief included science, research, and exploration tasks; as well as communications with educators and students 'back on Earth'.
While working through their programme of geology, microbiology, engineering, education, and outreach, they developed scientific and engineering tools to be used on future Mars missions; worked out ways to minimise negative impacts of exploration; and hoped to inspire the next generation of Mars explorers through school programmes and media coverage.
Additionally TasMars allowed the second 'Antipodes' experiment between Kiwispace and the Austrian Space agency. The Antipodes experiment simulated two landing parties on Mars losing communication with the Earth. In this ‘black out’ scenario, they ran their experiments with one or other of the teams acting as a Mission-base replacement. They successfully ran both biological sample collection and rover exploration experiments from within the confines of space suits located in Morocco and Utah.