Earlier this month President Obama announced they have set a clear goal vital to the next chapter of America’s story in space. The main goal is sending humans to Mars by the 2030s and returning them safely to Earth, with the ambition to one day remain there for an extended time.
Per Obama getting to Mars will require continued cooperation between government and private innovators and believes we are already well on our way. He also stated that within the next two years, private companies will for the first time send astronauts to the International Space Station.
One of the many questions about Mars exploration is do we have a realistic map of Mars. Though we don’t have a highly detailed map what we do have is a 25 by 25 foot Giant Destination Mars Map™ that is located at the Space Foundation‘s Lockheed Martin Space Education Center located in the Discovery Center. The Giant Destination Mars Map™ depicts the Mars MOLA image, which measures the elevation of the surface features of Mars, and it includes the landing locations of NASA Mars robots.
Currently the Space Foundation, in conjunction with the Mars Robotics Laboratory, is using the Giant Destination Mars Map™ for research to cover topics on map reading, latitude/longitude comprehension, topographical map comprehension, mission planning, spatial awareness, scale models and other Mars-related lessons. Within the next two years, private companies will for the first time send astronauts to the International Space Station.
Like a geek I love anything about space, I could watch hours of documentaries on the topic. I’m am stoked on the progress we are making to one day visit Mars as an American citizen regardless if we are astronauts or not. We are in exciting times, if only we could figure out beaming my life would be complete.
Below is the Official Press Release with more information on the Giant Destination Mars Map™. Enjoy!
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Oct. 26, 2016) — The newest education tool at the Space Foundation’s Lockheed Martin Space Education Center, located at the Discovery Center in Colorado Springs, is a Giant Destination Mars Map™ recently awarded by Buzz Aldrin’s ShareSpace Foundation.
As a Mars Map recipient, the Space Foundation will receive honorary membership into the exclusive ShareSpace Foundation Mars Map Society, a select group of educators around the world who have also received a Mars Map. They have their own space on sharespace.org, where they can discuss Map curriculum, lessons and activities and share photos and video of their students’ work with the Map.
The Map measures 25 feet by 25 feet, allowing an entire class to interact with it. The Map depicts the Mars MOLA image, which measures the elevation of the surface features of Mars, and it includes the landing locations of NASA Mars robots.
The Space Foundation is using the Map in conjunction with the Discovery Center’s Mars Robotics Laboratory to cover topics that include map reading, latitude/longitude comprehension, topographical map comprehension, mission planning, spatial awareness, scale models and other Mars-related lessons.
Last school year, the Space Foundation served more than 20,000 students and teachers with standards-based, hands-on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education programs. A quarter of these students were low-income and under-represented, and were able to come on field trips to the Space Foundation Discovery Center in Colorado Springs because of scholarship funding.
Because the Space Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, philanthropy is critical to its education mission to inspire and build a STEM-based workforce and the next generation of explorers and innovators. Learn more about Space Foundation education programs at www.discoverspace.org.