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Join Your Team of NASA Explorer School Teachers,
Scientists from all over the World, and
Teachers from Antofagasta, Chile

During Phase 1 of Spaceward Bound

photo of atacama above photo of Mars

What are seven NASA Explorer School teachers doing in the Atacama desert in Chile? They are studying side-by-side with NASA scientists who search for life in extreme environments, closely approximating what they expect to find on other planets. Why the Atacama -- an inhospitable, seemingly lifeless, sun drenched spot that is probably the driest place on Earth? This natural environment on Earth poses some of the same challenges for human explorers as would a seemingly lifeless planet. NASA scientists and engineers need this type of landscape to test technology that will hopefully be used in places like the Moon or Mars.

Join these seven teachers during their many adventures, as they experience authentic field research with world-renowned planetary scientists living and working in this remote Moon/Mars analog research site. At left you can see two comparative photos, one of Atacama and the other of Mars. Temperatures in the Atacama vary daily from 95oF down to 32oF.

The ultimate goal of this excursion is to leverage these field expedition experiences into classroom use and to spread the word throughout the nationwide Explorer School network and beyond.

Here are some of the ways you can join them:


This opportunity is brought to you by the
NASA Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD)
in partnership with
Mars Society,
NASA Explorer Schools,
Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS),
National Society of Black Engineers - Space Special Interest Group (NSBE - Space),
Space Generation.


 FirstGov  NASA


Editor: Linda Conrad
NASA Official: Liza Coe
Last Updated: April 2007
Teachers Contact: Liza Coe
  (Lizabeth.K.Coe@nasa.gov)