Mars is further away than both Venus and the Moon, but it is the next closest world to Earth. It is extremely appealing from the point of view of exploration because, of all the places we could go in the Solar System, conditions there are closest to those of Earth.

That is not to say it is like Earth. It is not! However, with the application of appropriate technology, it could become fit for human habitation. Since the nineteen-sixties many spacecraft have visited Mars and a few have landed. We are learning a great deal but in your Mars project you will need to address questions such as:

  • What motivates us to explore Mars?
  • How is it done?
  • What equipment and technology are needed to get there?
  • What might the future hold in Mars exploration?

The search for life is one of the biggest motivators. Much speculation has been aired over the last century or so about the possibility of life on Mars. While the idea of intelligent Martians hell-bent on destroying Earth has been safely consigned to the realms of sci-fi, the possibility of primitive life or evidence of extinct life draws us towards the planet.

Going to Mars, even with a robot explorer demands complex and detailed planning. This needs to be brought out in lessons and can be used effectively in any teaching plan.

This aspect of the subject allows openings into the teaching of life skills with scope for expansion into some fascinating areas of the subject:

  • Teamwork
  • Organisation
  • Management
  • International co-operation
  • Living on Mars

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