Part of the Mission Control Academy experience is letting our participants act out real roles in a planetary rover mission, including acting as our PAO (Public Affairs Officer) to do EPO: Education & Public Outreach!
Education & Public Outreach in a mission is incredibly important to help involve the public and encourage support and understanding of the exciting exploration work happening in space. EPO is a critical part of any science mission, keeping people and especially students engaged, and strengthening their understanding and connection to space missions.
Starting this Friday, Oct 18th, our new Mission Control Academy Twitter Account will be showcasing the experience of students at Waltrip High (Houston) & Woodroffe High (Ottawa) as they drive our Rover prototype all the way in Montreal at the CSA Mars Yard.
These 2 Mission Control Academies are delivered as part of our SANDE project.
Follow along on our social media accounts!
Mission Control is excited to announce that this Fall we will be deploying Mission Control Academy, our immersive, technology-based education and outreach program for students at Waltrip High School in Houston, Texas, and Woodroffe High School in Ottawa, Ontario.
The program will take place over 2 weeks, during which time Mission Control scientists and engineers will deliver lessons to educate the students on planetary science, engineering and mission operations. The program will culminate on October 18th, 2019, when students in both Ottawa and Houston, will remotely operate a rover prototype deployed at the Canadian Space Agency Mars Analogue Terrain in Saint-Hubert, Canada, replicating the experience of executing a real mission to Mars. Media are welcome to attend the missions on October 18th either at the two schools.
Topics for the lecture/workshops include: ‘An introduction to the solar system and our galactic back yard’, ‘Why we explore space, and the careers available’, ‘Planetary science and the search for life’, ‘Rover systems and design’, and ‘Planning a Mars exploration mission’
Follow along with our social media channels and the hashtags #MissionControlAcademy and #SANDE!
Today we’re thrilled to announce a new partnership with Pleora Technologies!
This partnerships that combines our respective expertise in real-time sensor networking and artificial intelligence (AI) for robotic control and automation to enable advanced driver assistance in local situational awareness (LSA) and Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) applications. We will be ntegrating their RuggedCONNECT smart video switcher platform and our Vehicle/Terrain AI Safety System. This AI capability is the evolution of our patented ASAS technology originally developed for space applications with the support of the Canadian Space Agency!
Spinning off space technology for terrestrial applications is a strength of the Canadian Space industry. Read the press release here.
We are very excited to share the Space.com story about our SAND-E Mission, which took place from July 8-August 5th in Iceland. Our team tested the prototype rover and a drone meant to showcase the potential capabilities of NASA’s Mars 2020 helicopter. Read about our exciting research and mission here!
We are excited to share some of the coverage of our SAND-E mission in the French Media.
See our story covered in 20 minutes, FranceTV, and 24.
We are excited to share some of the coverage of our exciting time in Iceland doing exciting research with our SAND-E team. Check out our story on the Share America website, highlighting our international collaboration!
Our team is wrapping up their time in Iceland – we a
re so excited about some of the amazing research the SAND-E team was able to do, along with testing our ASAS technology in the field.
SAND-E will allow our science teams to examine and determine causes of variability in the geochemistry, minerology and physical grain properties of fluvial and aeolian sediments. SAND-E scientists got to study the movement of sediments in these unique formations in Iceland, in hopes that it will better inform us of similar landscapes on Mars. We were able to conduct a series of surveys using a variety of operational protocols to test the most efficient approaches of gathering data. Some scenarios allowed the rover to autonomously drive and select scientific sites without human input, and in others the team measured the benefit of short drone flights to scout the area ahead, similar to NASA’s proposed Mars 2020 Mission.
Feel free to keep up with us on twitter to see what we’re up to as we prepare for next year’s field test in Iceland!
Earlier this summer, Mission Control was privileged to work with Dr. Tanya Harrison to put together a demo of our software for an audience at the Amazon Re:MARS conference in Las Vegas.
Among other things, Dr. Harrison’s talk “Roving Robots on the Red Planet,” described communications issues in operating Mars rovers (the time delays and the data transfer limitations) and the challenges current planetary exploration missions face – to highlight her point she operated a Clearpath Warthog UGV rover (our own rover was packed up and on its way to Iceland for our SAND-E mission), using our Mission Control Software thousands of miles away in the Canadian Space Agency Mars yard!
Read more about how we put it together with Clearpath Roboticshere!
Our testing campaign in Iceland this summer has received some exciting coverage. We are thrilled that SAND-E is inspiring people and bringing light to some of the awesome research and tech being developed for NASA’s MARS 2020 mission. Here is a video about the mission on NBC!