MarsU Cohosting Mars Summer Program in June 2022 with University of Arizona


February 12, 2022. By Kolemann Lutz


MarsU is delighted to select the University of Arizona (UArizona) as the partner institution to cohost the Mars Studies Program in June 2022 as a 6-week certificate Summer Program held both in-person and online.


Tucson is Nestled between 9000 ft. mountains and is the second largest city in Arizona, which is an exceptional Mars analog location. The University of Arizona, a public land-grant research university on 380 acres in northeast Tucson that houses UA Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, SpaceTrex, Lunar Planetary Laboratory (LPL), Lowell Mining Institute, and more.


Professor Jekan Thanga, PhD who leads the UArizona Space and Terrestrial Robotic Exploration (SpaceTREx) Laboratory, will teach on Mars Robotics and Settlement. The SpaceTREx Laboratory hosts a team of 25 researchers with 11 patents and inventions to develop systems engineering design and control solutions for space, planetary and asteroid exploration, small spacecraft, robots and sensor network devices.


In leading space science, human and robotic exploration, astrobiology, UArizona Space Institute (UASI) developed a significant number of instruments to NASA Planetary and Astrophysics flagship missions, ground-based telescopes, and numerous Mars missions such as Mars Lander Landed in 2007, OSIRIS-REx satellite, NIRCam on James Webb (WST). With 100+ research projects (including a Mine on the Moon project) and 250+ faculty, staff, and students, the Lowell Institute for Mineral Resources is one of the top 25 research institutions located in the mining technology hub as "silicon valley" of mining.


Students are immersed in 10+ workshops and labs at UA Catalyst Studios, and other local makerspaces, and labs on and off campus with a variety of experiments at nearby field sites. Students, faculty, and staff get certified in Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) 3D printing and laser cutting to familiarize with how to 3D print with available materials and local resources beyond Earth.


To enable hands-on research and experiments, the Program will have an open collaborative environment to conduct experiments and tests with Mars Regolith Simulant (MRS). MarsU is discussing providing access to a Mars Environment Chamber, thermal vacuum chamber, MinION nanopore sequencer, microscopes, 3D printers, photobioreactors, PEMF Generators/Helmholtz Coils, and more to test and develop research, biology, systems, and mindset. Enrolled students submit an application outlining their research projects and interests in their application and for later discussions in Spring 2022.


Participants are immersed in field trips and weekend excursions with the expertise from faculty, staff, lecturers, and students from UArizona, MarsU, and other space organisations. Activities include overnight camping the first weekend initiated by Bruce Mackenzie, stargazing with telescopes/observatories, and affordable analog mission at Space Analog for the Moon and Mars (SAM) and Biosphere 2.


Spacefaring field trips help advance student’s field of study, research, and mindset at sites such as the Astrogeology Science Center, Meteor Crater, Grand Canyon to understand the geochemistry of the iron and manganese oxide red rocks from the lens of becoming multiplanetary. With more than dozen field sites and locations to visit, Arizona is a leading Mars analog to study and experiment with Mars regolith simulant, as well as canyons and crater evolution.


“This is a great opportunity to join the Founding Alumni Class, and collaborate on Mars research and projects during what appears to be a magical month of June”, mentions Kolemann Lutz, MSP22 Program Co-Director. “As this multidisciplinary, hands-on research-oriented academic environment has not yet been established, we look forward to enabling and coauthoring R&D projects with participants."


This multisite Program also supports online, remote participation, however, in-person participation is encouraged. As applicants are eligible to receive a full scholarship, interested students, undergraduates, graduates, young professionals, and executives are encouraged to apply by the updated application deadline by March 6, 2022 to participate in the first Mars Summer Program focused on one common goal: enabling life to become a multi-planetary, space-faring civilization.

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