Students will be able to:
Practice creating a mission budget.
Define mission objectives, supporting science, and background research to substantiate mission.
Present a mission project presentation before a review board.
Identify mission personnel currently active in NASA/Astrobiology related studies.
Context for Use
This module exposes students to the realities of creating and seeking funding for a mission to Mars in a presentation format. Students use knowledge gained throughout Mars for Earthlings to support their work. This lesson serves as a culminating activity which requires understanding of the Martian surface via Earth analog concepts.
Description and Teaching Materials
Compiled In-Class Activities and Homework
Instructor Version (Acrobat (PDF) 581kB Nov20 16)
Student Version (Acrobat (PDF) 382kB Nov20 16)
Homework 1: Project Mission to Mars
Student Version (Acrobat (PDF) 382kB Nov20 16); Instructor Version (Acrobat (PDF) 581kB Nov20 16)
Additional Assignment Resources
Mission Grading Rubric: Lesson 23: Mission to Mars Rubric (Acrobat (PDF) 56kB Oct16 12)
Mission Progress Sheets: Lesson 23: Progress Sheet 1 (Acrobat (PDF) 78kB Mar2 16) Lesson 23: Progress Sheet 2 (Acrobat (PDF) 136kB Mar2 16)
Mission Team Evaluation: Lesson 23: Evaluation Form (Acrobat (PDF) 94kB Mar2 16)
Teaching Notes and Tips
For the review panel, ask other outside teachers/instructors to join the panel so students do not necessarily recognize their reviewers. TA’s could be used as well.
Students will be most successful in this project after several weeks of interpreting Mars data and relating Earth analog concepts.
Encourage students to refer to the “Meet the Scientists” videos for potential personnel.
See the Mission to Mars grading rubric
References and Resources
Students participate in virtual projects and activities:
Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group (MEPAG):