SESSIONS & STARS
ON MARS DAY
Thursday 18th March
There was an unbelievable line-up on board with sessions throughout the day from our speaker crew below.
Mission crew landed on their favourite Mars topic, booked for a session or two, or joined in for the whole day! Some embarked on a solo mission, some joined with friends, family or their class at school…all booked in advance for their own Mars Day Mission!
9.30 – 9.50
PERSEVERANCE, INGENUITY AND SCIENCE UNDER PRESSURE
European Space Agency astronaut
Tim is the first British ESA astronaut and spent six months on the International Space Station in 2015/16. The education activities linked to his Principia Mission inspired millions of children across the UK.
He talked to Dallas Campbell about missions to Mars, the challenges of flying helicopters on another planet and piloting a rover whilst in space.
10.30 – 11.00
UK SPACE AGENCY –
MISSIONS & PROGRAMMES
Head of Education and Skills,
UK Space Agency
The UK Space Agency is at the heart of UK efforts to explore and benefit from space – a single voice for UK space ambitions.
Jeremy talked about the UK’s involvement in Mars missions, our collaboration with other spacefaring nations and the thriving UK space industry. He also spoke about the One Million Interactions programme – an initiative from the UK Space Agency, ESERO-UK, and the Careers and Enterprise Company, for STEM Ambassadors to achieve one million interactions with young people every year.
10.15 – 10.55
FOR PRIMARY SCHOOLS: ROBOKIDS ACTIVITY
RoboKids took schools on a fun and inspiring journey into the future of space, programming and robots. They took part in this online show and helped programme our friendly robot “Nao” for a joint human and robotic Aurora mission to Mars.
An educational show for children aged 4-11. Presented by spacefund.co.uk and funded by the UK Space Agency.
10.15 – 11.15
SCHOOL SESSION FOR AGES 15+: OUR FUTURE ON MARS
What are we doing to prepare for a future on Mars? What are the physical limitations of working and living on Mars? Learn about missions to Mars that are pushing humans beyond the Moon including the analog research that the Mars Society does as well as the work by space organisations public and private around the world.
This educational session for students aged 15+ was presented by Lucinda Offer, Education and Outreach Officer, Royal Astronomical Society; Executive Director for the Mars Society; Space Champion for ESERO UK.
11.30 – 12.10
SCIENCE IN SPACE
DR SUZIE IMBER
Associate Professor in Space Physics, University of Leicester
This panel session featured Dr Suzie Imber and an awesome panel of UK STEM Ambassadors working in (the) space (industry). They discussed how they participate in space missions; their journeys from studying science subjects to becoming a member of a thriving UK space industry; and everyone was inspired by the contribution being made to international space exploration.
Dr Imber is a space plasma physicist, a high altitude mountaineer, an explorer, and maybe one day, an astronaut! She was the winner of the BBC2 series ‘Astronauts: Do You Have What It Takes?’
12.15 – 12.55
TECHNOLOGY IN SPACE
DR JACKIE BELL
Senior Teaching Fellow in the Department of Computing, Imperial College London
This panel session featured Dr Jackie Bell and an awesome panel of UK STEM Ambassadors working in (the) space (industry). They discussed how they participate in space missions; their journeys from studying technology subjects to becoming a member of a thriving UK space industry; and everyone was inspired by the contribution being made to international space exploration.
Award-winning science communicator and STEM advocate, Dr Bell is a previous researcher in quantum chromodynamics, TEDx speaker and candidate in the BBC2 series ‘Astronauts: Do You Have What ItTakes?’. Becoming a helicopter pilot in her spare time, Jackie has a keen interest in all things space and hopes to one day become Britain’s next ESA astronaut.
13.00 – 13.40
ENGINEERING IN SPACE
Airbus Defence and Space Engineering Academy. Faculty Leader in Electronics
This panel session featured John Chinner and an awesome panel of UK STEM Ambassadors working in (the) space (industry). They discussed how they participate in space missions; their journeys from studying engineering to becoming a member of a thriving UK space industry; and everyone was inspired by the contribution being made to international space exploration.
John Is a Principal Engineer at Airbus Defence and Space, the largest aerospace company in Europe. He is responsible for building spacecraft for projects such as Rosetta, the Solar Orbiter launched recently to study the Sun, and the ExoMars rover that will launch to the red planet in 2022 to search for signs of past or present life.
13.45 – 14.25
MATHS IN SPACE
Planetary Science & Astrobiology PhD, University of Glasgow
This panel session featured Áine and an awesome panel of UK STEM Ambassadors working in (the) space (industry). They discussed how they participate in space missions; their journeys from studying maths to becoming a member of a thriving UK space industry; and everyone was inspired by the contribution being made to international space exploration.
Part of the ExoMars outreach project, Roving with Rosalind, Áine is currently analysing Martian meteorites for organic materials to help us understand whether Mars was ever habitable.
13.45 – 14.45
SCHOOL SESSION FOR AGES 11-14: VISIT OUR SOLAR SYSTEM AND BEYOND!
The Royal Observatory took students on an amazing journey to explore the wonders of the night sky in their virtual planetarium show – Our Solar System. Combining real images from spacecraft and telescopes, their astronomers flew around the solar system and beyond!
An educational session for students aged 11-14. Presented by astronomers from the Royal Observatory Greenwich, home of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), the Prime Meridian of the world and London’s Planetarium
15.00 – 15.45
NASA’S MARS MISSIONS – THE PAST, PERSEVERANCE, THE FUTURE
DR JIM GREEN
NASA Chief Scientist
As the former Director of the agency’s Planetary Science Division, Dr Green has had his hands in every significant NASA space mission since 1980, including the current Perseverance mission.
We were honoured to have guest Dr. Jim Green talk about his decades of experience at NASA, the incredible missions he has led and how Mars 2020 holds great promise for identifying evidence of past life on Mars.
16.15 – 17.00
FROM THE MOON TO MARS –
YOUR PLACE IN SPACE
DR ANDREW ALDRIN
President and CEO of the Aldrin Family Foundation
Dr Aldrin, Buzz Aldrin’s son, is dedicated to creating the next generation of space leaders, entrepreneurs and explorers by igniting the passion for STEAM subjects through the wonder of space.
Humankind is ready to return to the Moon and eventually go on to Mars. Dr Aldrin will discussed how the democratization of space is making these missions accessible to start-ups, independent companies and even schools! And talking of humankind on the Moon, we heard about his experience of the Apollo space programme and seeing his dad on the Moon!
18.30 – 19.15
DRIVING ON MARS WITH CURIOSITY AND PERSEVERANCE
Lead Systems Engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Part of the flight operations team and a driver for the Mars Curiosity rover, Sophia’s mission now is to drive the Perseverance rover.
What does it take to drive a rover that’s more than 100 million miles away? Sophia Mitchell has been driving the Mars Curiosity rover since 2018. Curiosity sends back images and other science data from Mount Sharp in Gale Crater. With NASA’s Perseverance rover now at the Jezero Crater, Sophia explained how these craters are different and why she’s excited to have a second rover exploring the Red Planet.
19.30 – 20.30
SPACE ROCKS PRESENTS: MARS OR BUST?
DALLAS CAMPBELL AND DR SUZIE IMBER JOINED SPACE ROCKSCO-FOUNDERS ALEXANDER MILAS AND ESA SENIOR SCIENCE ADVISOR FOR SCIENCE AND EXPLORATION MARK MCCAUGHREAN
This session covered the challenges, opportunities, and motivations behind current focus on the Red Planet. Given the recent arrivals of the UAE’s Hope orbiter, China’s orbiter and lander/rover Tianwen-1, and NASA’s Perseverance rover, as well as future missions like the ESA/Roscosmos ExoMars lander/rover arriving in 2023, there’s never been more to discuss.
The concluding entry for Mars Day saw hosts Dr Suzie Imber and Dallas Campbell joined by the founders of Space Rocks, a celebration of space exploration and the art, music, and culture it inspires.