In a little more than two weeks, NASA will have an expensive hunk of metal slam into the Moon… the resulting plume will be closely observed in hopes to learn more about the possibility of the existence of water ice (read more and learn about how you can participate…). As the LCROSS vessel makes it way toward its impact site, NASA needs assistance with tracking due to its steep orbit; they only have brief and infrequent time frames to monitor the trajectory using their Deep Space Network of radio antennas.
So, who better to ask for more listening help than school kids from around the globe interacting remotely and on-site with the GAVRT program. Located in Apple Valley, California (view map), the antenna is a collaboration between the Lewis Center for Educational Research, NASA, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Teachers from around the world, including home schoolers, may sign up for free through the Lewis Center’s website and take part in their LCROSS curriculum. This is a wonderful opportunity for young science students to get hands-on experience in an important scientific field and to support NASA in a valuable way.
And if this program doesn’t directly create excited new young scientists, then it should certainly help drive these students’ personal interest and appreciation for science as they become vital and participating citizens in the future.