Week 6 of the TechScience Australia kids workshops - Exploring Mars by TechScience. For more details: www.TechScience.com.au or https://www.facebook.com/TechscienceAustralia …
Week 6 of the TechScience Australia kids workshops - Exploring Mars by TechScience. For more details: www.TechScience.com.au or https://www.facebook.com/TechscienceAustralia
Mars is the closest planet to Earth and has an amazing secret. It used to be covered with running water having lakes, rivers and oceans. There is good reason to believe that there was life there some time in the past. Maybe there are still tiny organisms living there today! But somehow all these water have disappeared and Mars became a frozen dead planet. What a mystery!
To find out why, we sent the most amazingly insane robot ever built by humanity called Curiosity (It was the #1 robot in the top 10 robot video we've seen on week 4). Getting Curiosity up there was one of the most challenging achievements of space exploration EVER! The landing in particular had to all be done by the Robot itself without any human intervention. Watch the video on slide 24 and see how complicated that landing really was.
Curiosity is running around Mars and doing science for the last 16 months. It managed to find the hidden water - they are frozen into the ground! (see video on slide 25).
What's even more amazing is that there are current plans to get people (not just robots) to live on Mars within less than a decade! There is a catch though - it's a one way ticket... Still amazingly 80,000 volunteers have already signed up to this program called Mars One. The entire mission is planned to be shown as a commercial reality TV show to obtain the required funding ($6B). It's still in early stages and we don't know whether it will succeed, but it's definitely an interesting idea. See video on slide 35.
We then talked about Terraforming - thickening the atmosphere on Mars to make the planet warmer and get the water back to liquid state so that we can turn Mars into a living flourishing planet once again and make it suitable to humans, plants and animals to live in comfortably. What a vision!
Our weekly mystery was about the face on Mars pictured in 1976 that have been the source of mystery and conspiracy theories for decades. Turned out to be just a mountain and it's a good way to explain how our brains can be easily fooled. See slides 41-42.
We finished it all up with a technology that is likely to revolutionise our interactions with computers. It's quite amazing really! For all of you with loved ones overseas, imaging how Skype sessions might look like in a few years from now! See slide 44.