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Voyage to Mars Scenario

Voyage to Mars

It is the end of the 21st Century. Humans have built and occupied a science base on Mars for two years, but it is time for them to go home. Arriving from Earth is a spacecraft with a replacement crew eager to continue the exploration of the cold, dusty red planet. The mission requires both Mars Base and the astronauts working together to bring the spacecraft into orbit, to aerobrake through the thin atmosphere, and to land safely while resolving any emergencies that may arise. Too deep and the spacecraft burns up, too shallow and it sails past Mars. Precision is key! 

The Mission Storyline:

Since the dawn of civilization, humans have been driven to explore. On July 20, 1976, the Viking 1 spacecraft sent mankind the very first image taken from the Martian surface. A century later, humans have left their cradle to colonize a new frontier, the Red Planet. A permanent Mars base has been established making routine crew changes necessary. But is worth the journey? While exploring Mars offers untold scientific discoveries, carrying out such a mission holds a high degree of risks for those brave enough to make the voyage. Health problems, radiation exposure, living in confined spaces and just meeting the basic human requirements for life are some of the struggles humans face. 

Explore the challenges of working in space and the perils of living on another planet. Your teams will be under tight deadlines to gather important data, communicate effectively and solve problems. They will gain an appreciation for the "luxuries" of planet Earth, and the scale of what a trip to Mars entails.

Team Descriptions:

Navigation (NAV) Team:  Pilot

Getting to Mars is not easy. The NAV team is responsible for critical flight manoeuvres.

Team Objectives:
  • Use celestial objects to triangulate the spacecraft's position
  • Calculate a landing path to the rocky Martian surface
  • Land, launch and dock the spacecraft  safe

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Remote (REM)Team:  Geologist

Team Objectives:
  • Test Martian rock and soil samples in a self-contained glove box
  • Gather geological data that seeks to answer the question, "Was there ever life on Mars?"
  •  Control a remotly operated rover

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Probe (PROBE) Team:  Electronic Engineer

Team Objectives:
  • Design, test and assemble space probes
  • Diagnose malfuntioning copmponents
  • Launch probes to the two Martian moons - Phobos and Deimos

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SPACE WEATHER (SW) Team:  Solar Scientist

Solar Scientists study sunspots and solar eruptions. These kinds of solar activities can threaten satellites, interfere with electrical systems and threaten the astronauts' health.

The SW team will:
  • Monitor solar activity
  • Measure sunspots
  • Classify and track a coronal mass ejection

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Life Support (LS) Team:  Environmental Scientist

Team Objectives:
  • Monitor the spacecraft's air and water quality
  • Change oxygen filters and deal with the occasional crisis. You might not notice when you are breathing, but you will certainly notice when you are NOT!
  • Investigate experimental food crops to grow on Mars

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Isolation (ISO) Team:  Robotic Engineer

Team Objectives:
  • Use remote-controlled robots to monitor hazardous materials
  • Weigh chemical bottles too dangerous to handle
  • Check for meteorite impact
  • Measure radioactivity in air filters and nuclear rods

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Medical (MED) Team:  Flight Surgeon

Radiation, motion sickness and muscle atrophy are very real problems in space.

Team Objectives:
  • Monior radiation levels  
  • Perform visual and hearing tests on the crew
  • Check heart rate, respiration and skin temperature

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Communications (COM) Team:  Public Speaker

Team Objectives:
  • Maintain a voice link between the spacecraft and ground control
  • Funnel critical verbal information between teams
  • Maintain video link using remotly controlled cameras

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Data (DATA) Team:  Electronic Mail Manager

Team Objectives:
  • Accurately type science data
  • Maintain the flow of information between the spacecraft and Mars Control
  • Support a vital link that ensure the success of the mission

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Media (MEDIA) Team:  News Reporter

Journalist gather and document events and write compelling stories to share with the public.

The Media team will:
  • Gather information and chronicle the stages of the mission
  • Interview crewmembers and write compelling stories
  • Take pictures and videos for a post-flight press conference briefing (bring your own tablet or recording equipment)
  • Prepare an article for publication in your school's Newsletter

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