Haritina Mogosanu is passionate about Mars because, in her own words;
Mars is an achievable goal for humankind, our first step in becoming a spacefaring civilization. Mars could be our closest laboratory for testing what we know about Earth or, if we find life on it, the proof that life is not a rare event. Either case the consequences could be spectacular.
In 4.5 billion years, when our Sun would turn into a supernova, the humankind would still survive (and with that all the smiles, songs, love and children's laughter). Humans arrived to a point where, for the first time in our history, we have the technological power to survive as a species, Mars is merely the first step but the most important.In an immediate context, using Mars as a source of inspiration for students to do their homework and to stimulate their thinking on how tomorrow is going to look like, via classroom resources and experiences, seems the most logical choice.
I also have a personal relationship with Mars, since my maternal great-grandfather's name was Marziali, it looks like in our family's whakapapa Mars was omnipresent.
Mike Bodnar is passionate about Mars because, in his own words;
Despite growing up initially in the light-polluted city of Liverpool in the UK I have been interested in astronomy and the skies since I was about nine years old. At age 12 I was given a “proper” astronomical telescope and studied the night sky. I also read a lot of science fiction, and was introduced to the possibilities of colonizing Mars by noted British astronomer and author Patrick Moore in a series of books he wrote based on the planet.
New Zealand’s relatively clear skies (plus the much denser southern hemisphere night sky) have enhanced and maintained my interest in astronomy, but the prospect of Mars possibly once having free-flowing water, and therefore equally possibly some form of life, continues to intrigue me.
With terraforming techniques, Mars even has the potential to become a “second Earth”, though that would be some hundreds of years in the future. In the meantime the planet awaits further exploration by robotic landers and rovers, and ultimately by humans.
Annalea Beattie is passionate about Mars because, in her own words;
My interest in Mars is an optimistic one - I believe the future of the human race relies on exploration of space and I also believe that art as a way of understanding and transforming experience, has a significant role to play;
I was born in the deep south of Tasmania, Australia. For the past twenty-five years I have worked as an artist and educator in Melbourne, Victoria. During that time I have exhibited widely and been well supported. After art school in the 1990s, I was granted a Hungarian government research scholarship and lived and worked in Budapest. On my return I received an Australia Council development grant and a studio at 200 Gertrude St. Contemporary Art Space. In 1998 I undertook a two-year art residency at the Victorian Trades Hall (Melbourne). In 2000 I won an A.N.Z. Postgraduate Fellowship and in the same year was also awarded an Australia Council art residency in, Kyoto, Japan. For the past two years, my art practice has focused on a collaborative portrait exchange project with disabled artist Cam Noble at Arts Projects studios. My art has always been informed by an interest in the relationship between art and the human imagination. For several years now, I have taught doctoral writing to research art students at RMIT University, Melbourne.
My goal for this mission is to make some artwork that interprets my experiences at MDRS: I'd like to understand more about the role of astronauts, contained spaces and extreme environments. Its a field trip for me, and I will work to design an arts-based project which I hope to use to collaborate with cosmonauts / astronauts. My aim is to directly address the human factors in extended travel particularly sensory deprivation, boredom and isolation.
Don Stewart is passionate about Mars because;
Mars is a near planetary neighbor which is almost certainly supporting life. It figures prominently in ancient and contemporary human myth and mystery. Like Venus, Mars is a readily visible reminder in the night sky that we live in a solar system which, although vast in itself, is just a speck in one galaxy of an almost endless universe. The prospect that one day we might establish a viable frontier outpost on another world which is so intimately related to human history, culture and scientific endeavor is a source of fascination to Don.
Don is our meteorologist and will install a temporary weather station to collect data on local weather conditions at MDRS during Mission 118. Remote weather sensors will transmit data on temperature, humidity, wind direction and other weather every three hours to a base station in the Habitat. As well as providing a “snapshot” of weather experienced during the mission, these data might be useful to others planning future Missions at the MDRS at this time of year.
Don will also test the effectiveness of a low-tech water collection device similar to those used to harvest soil-bound water in desert survival situations. Although this project will not be run in a fully-controlled Mars analogue environment, it might provide pointers to the application of similar low-tech devices in emergency survival situations or to larger scale low tech water harvesting in warmer parts of Mars.
Ali Harley is passionate about Mars because, in her own words;
I’m passionate about Planet Mars because learning about Mars helps us learn about Planet Earth!
Ali wants to bring Mars 'closer' for kids, help them think beyond Planet Earth, and interest them in geology. The MDRS site in Utah is a spectacular analogue for Mars due to the dry desert climate, the landforms, e.g. glacial, volcanic, the caves, channels, craters, and dunes. While at the MDRS Ali will begin production of simulation resources that illustrate some of the known geological similarities between Planet Earth and Planet Mars, e.g. land features, how they formed, and what rocks and minerals are present in them.
Ali's project will provide school kids (whose own children may be the generation that travels to Mars) with the opportunity to (virtually) see, touch, smell, taste and “hear” Mars geology.
Bruce Ngataierua is passionate about Mars because, in his own words;
I believe the KiwiMars 2012 mission is a fantastic opportunity as an educator in schools to become involved in exploring Mars and promote its importance to both students and teachers throughout Aotearoa. As an avid amateur astronomer and scientist I'm also excited to be part of a team that is looking toward the next stage in space exploration.