Mission to Mars is a full-day, scenario-based program. Students work in teams and use problem-solving skills to successfully complete a geological survey on the Mars surface.
Dressed in specially-designed spacesuits, students depressurise in a simulated airlock before stepping out onto the Mars surface. They collect real soil and rock samples, drill an ice core, conduct a thermal survey and take seismic measurements.
Mission Control officers play an important role in the mission: they are responsible for the safety of the astronauts and the success of the scientific program. From Mission Control, students communicate with the astronauts via radio and direct their scientific investigations. Mission Control officers also monitor the environmental conditions on Mars and the systems of the space station, working together to solve problems as they arise.
After returning to Earth, students analyse their samples and undertake further scientific investigations in the research laboratory.
All students act as astronauts, mission controllers and research scientists during the full-day program. The program is aligned with the requirements of the Australian Curriculum and is supported by a pre-mission training package, including classroom activities, and a debriefing program after the mission concludes.