Aussie Teachers Join NASA Namibian Desert Expedition

Aussie Teachers Join NASA Namibian Desert Expedition Australian science teacher Mark Gargano will be participating in a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Spaceward Bound expedition to Namibia later this month, between the 18th and 26th of April. Mr Gargano, Science Coordinator at St Joseph’s School in Western Australia and Education Director of Mars Society Australia, will be a part of the expedition's science and education team. The expedition will be focussing on geological formations, desert microbial life and examining the conditions for life in extreme locations. The field work and analysis will be conducted at Gobabeb Training and Research Station, around 120 km inland from the west coast of Africa and is being lead by a range of scientists and engineers who are actively engaged in current planetary...
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Spaceward Bound 2009 Report Now Available

The full report for the Spaceward Bound 2009 (SBA2009) Expedition has now been released. The Mars Society Australia undertook the expedition in collaboration with the 'NASA Spaceward Bound' Program in July 2009, traveling to locations including Arkaroola, Marree and Reedy Springs in the South Australian desert. The theme of the expedition was 'The evolution of life in our solar system'. Twenty seven planetary scientists, geologists, teachers and engineers from the US and Australia participated in the expedition.

Download the report here.
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MSA Vice-President Participates in MDRS Crew 92

Seven people, five nations, one crew. This sums up the experience of MDRS Crew 92 over the two weeks from March 6th-20th 2010. Lead by MSA Vice President and research director Dr Jonathan Clarke Crew 92 consisted of Dr Katy Hurlbert (NASA Johnson Space Center) in week one, Dr Carol Stoker (NASA Ames Research Center) in week 2, along with Line Drube (Geophysicist and Astrophysicist from the University of Copenhagen) and three French Air Force Second year cadets - Marie Mikolajczak Human Factors and Safety Officer), Nicolas le Tallec (Crew Engineer, and the Executive Office Lindsay Biset-Bentchikou.

Read more in Jonathan Clarke's mission report (pdf). View the photo gallery here.
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MSA Celebrates Mars Day

The Mars Society Australia celebrates this year's Mars Day, the 15th of March. Traditionally known as the Ides of March, the 15th of March was commemorated in the Roman calendar in honour of Mars, the God of War. The month of March was its named after Mars. MSA encourages the celebration of Mars Day as a way of promoting awareness of Mars as a frontier of exploration.

Read more about the history of the Ides of March on Wikipedia.
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AMEC2010 Call for Papers Now Open

The Mars Society Australia is pleased to announce that the call for papers for the 10th Australian Mars Exploration Conference (AMEC2010) is now open. Please help pass on the word to interested colleagues, students and friends. The theme for this year's conference will be 'Living and Working on the Martian Frontier'.

Found out more about the conference and how to submit a paper on the AMEC2010 homepage.
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NASA Spaceward Bound Mojave Teachers Selected

The selection process for the Australian Teachers to attend Spaceward Bound Mojave 2010 has recently been finalised. MSA are please to announce that 3 science teachers will have the opportunity of a lifetime to participate in the Mojave expedition, which is scheduled to run between the 28th of March and the 2nd of April. The three teachers are; Jane Hall-Dadson, Head of Science at Exeter High School in Tasmania, Dr Kenneth Silburn, Head Science Teacher at Casula High School in NSW and Danielle Shean, Lead Educator from the Victorian Space Science Education Centre.

Read more here.
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VSSEC-NASA Australian Space Prize Category Winners Announced

Four Australian undergraduate students have been shortlisted for the VSSEC-NASA Australian Space Prize, and the opportunity to spend 10 weeks working with a NASA scientist or engineer as part of the NASA Academy Program in 2010. These programs are normally only available to US citizens, and will be the first time an Australian student is offered this exciting and prestigious opportunity. This competition will help build the skills needed by the emerging Australian Space Industry, which supports the goals of the Australian Government’s Australian Space Science Program announced in the last budget. All students’ submissions were of a very high standard, demonstrating the innovative research being conducted in Australian universities.

The winning students were Elizabeth Blaber (University of New South Wales), Aaron Podmore (University of New South Wales), Andrew Langendam (Monash...
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WA Science & Engineering Summer School

Mark Gargano, MSA Education Director, presented his keynote presentation at the 2010 Western Australian Science & Engineering Summer School on the 20th of January. The Summer School was hosted by Murdoch University and aimed to give the 59 attending Year 11 and 12 students a chance to see and experience science, mathematics and engineering in action; to learn from and to work with some of Australia's leading researchers; to explore challenging career paths and experience what life as a tertiary student might be like.

Read more here.
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Spaceward Bound Mojave 2010

If you are a Secondary School Educator with an interest in earth, planetary and space science, then the Spaceward Bound Mojave 2010 expedition might be just the thing for you.

To be held in the Californian Mojave Desert from March 28th to April, Spaceward Bound Mojave 2010 is a teacher development program aimed at helping educationalists find exciting new ways to teach science. Participants can expect a week of high quality professional development. Areas that are intended examined in this program are desert soils and microbiology, geomicrobiology, astrobiology, hypolithic algae, remote sensing and engineering. It is envisaged that Australian participants will fly into Los Angeles and will depart from San Francisco, visiting other sites of interest to space enthusiasts along the way. You will have an opportunity to spend time working in the field with leading planetary scientists in disciplines including geology and astrobiology.

If this sounds like the thing...
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'Planetary Geology for Beginners' on 11th November

Fascinated by the latest images from Mars? Curious about how impact craters have shaped the Moon? Want to know how the rocky bodies in the Solar System formed? Always wanted to see a meteorite up close? Join Dr. Jonathan Clarke for a FREE introductory course on planetary geology that will cover the different processes that resulted in the formation and current state of the Moon, Mars and other rocky bodies in our Solar System. To be held in Canberra, the course will also include hands on activities in Geoscience Australia’s Education Centre and the chance to examine various geological specimens including several meteorites.

Download a course information sheet here for further details.
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