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