Learning about Mars’ environment is definitely key in order to build a robot capable of moving around. It is also valuable as an Astrobiologist to understand those different environments.
Haritina Mogoșanu is one of them and she lives right here in New Zealand! She was part of a training to go to Mars and is passionate about engineering, horticulture and space.
You might have recognised her as she sent you a message of encouragement when we launched the competition a couple of weeks ago. She is one of New Zealand’s top science communicators and an internationally recognised advocate for space science education. Amongst many other things Hari did a TED Talk in 2013 in Christchurch.
Here are some quick facts about Mars!
- Mars is named after the Roman god of war.
- Mars is the second smallest planet in the solar system after Mercury. With a diameter (distance through the middle) of 6,791 kilometres, it’s roughly half the size of Earth.
- You could jump around three times higher on Mars than you can on Earth. Boing! This is because the planet’s gravity – the force that keeps us on the ground – is much weaker.
- There is no evidence of life on Mars. However, it is the planet with the best conditions to support life and scientists believe there is potential for life under the surface of mars because they recently found water ice just under the surface.