I’m really enjoying keeping up to date with the events happening on Mars through the Twitter feed NASA is publishing. At the same time I find myself in awe of the technology that allows us to be in communication with a robot on a planet so far away. It took 9 months for the Phoenix Lander to get to Mars, yet I can sit in my living room and receive updates and photos sent on the same day. There are two orbiting satellites around Mars that relay Phoenix’s signals back to earth at light speed. It takes only 15 minutes!!
Then I hear an interview with one of the scientists involved who likened their perfect landing at the North Pole of Mars to hitting a golf ball in the U.S.A (I think) and getting a hole in one in … Australia! It’s amazing.
So what are the implications for education. I’m not sure. But surely this is the kind of ‘take your breath away’ experience that technology can and should bring into the classroom. The Phoenix Mars Mission website has an education section of their webpage with some ideas for how this can be done.