Canfield students helping design rover aimed for Mars in 2020


CANFIELD

A class of local high school students has the chance to see its work drive across the surface of Mars.

Freshmen in the Valley STEM Academy had a video conference with a design engineer from Cleveland’s NASA Glenn Research Center Wednesday morning for feedback on their NASA Mars Rover Project. The project includes students from about 10 other school districts, who are all designing and testing Mars rover models that could contribute to the design of a rover sent into space in 2020.

STEM coach Rachel Young said students have spent a lot of time on independent studies. They spoke to Steve Bauman, a design engineer who has been with NASA for 30 years.

“We are not able to send people {to Mars] yet,” Bauman said. “People are very delicate in terms of needs to survive.”

Space travel, as of now, takes about six months to go to Mars, and the return trip is about eight to nine months. That would be the longest time a person has traveled - not orbited - through space. The resources for life support and the risk of losing a human life in space travel has deterred that option so far.

The easier, and publicly accepted, solution, Bauman said, is sending rovers to scout the red planet instead.

Inventor Cloud, a 3-D printing education organization, gave the students Mars rover assembly kits for the project.

Read more about the project in Thursday's Vindicator or on Vindy.com.

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