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Artist's conception of the Mars Surveyor 2001
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Image courtesy of JPL/NASA

Field trip to Mars?
News story originally written on March 26, 1999

The Planetary Society is giving students a chance to send a science experiment to Mars. A 2001 Mars Odyssey: The Student NanoExperiment Challenge is an opportunity for students from across the world to take part in the Mars Environmental Compatibility Assessment.

The MECA is one of the many projects aboard the Mars Surveyor 2001 lander, which is scheduled to launch on April 10, 2001. It is designed to test different material to see how they stand up to the Martian environment, in order find out what dangers astronauts will eventually face.

The contest is only open to pre-college students who are 18 years old or younger as of March 1, 1999. The experiment must fit in a one centimeter high by one centimeter diameter cylinder and it must weigh less than three grams. Also, the results will need to be able to be seen by the lander's camera.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA