Last week was the official opening of the spectacular Mars research exhibit at the Powerhouse Museum (Sydney, Australia) that is a part of the Australian federal government funded “Pathways to Space” school education and university research project. The aim of “Pathways to Space” is to foster the next generation of scientists and engineers by providing students with the opportunity to interact with practising scientists and engineers on a simulated robotic mission to Mars.
- This three-year research project involves providing several thousands of secondary school students with a unique education and research program on space robotics and the search for life on Mars either directly in the “Mars Yard” exhibit at the museum or virtually via Cisco TelePresence for students outside Sydney. Read press release here.
Cisco, a key technology partner in the project, is contributing its expertise and TelePresence technology to “Mission Control” at the Powerhouse Museum.
From ‘Mission Control’ in the Powerhouse Museum, students from regional and rural Australia will work with astrobiologists and robotics engineers in Australia and oversees via TelePresence in the planning and execution of a simulated robotic mission to Mars. Specially created software will allow the students to drive a virtual Mars rover before actually controlling one of the two roving vehicles in the “Mars Yard” exhibit at the museum.
In addition to offering a unique experience for students, “Pathways to Space” researchers will be carrying out a study to discover the long-term effectiveness of the project and whether it achieves its goal of nurturing Australia’s future pool of scientists and engineers. Read more on Pathways to Space here.