Mars Bus Rolls Into Bay Area
San Francisco Bay area
students and their parents will have the opportunity this month to take
on the Mars Bus.
Lockheed Martin's Generation
Beyond initiative to inspire future engineers and scientists
has created the
Mars Bus to allow students to take a virtual reality tour of the
retrofitted school bus allows
children to load in and, when the bus pulls away from the curb, they
out the bus
windows that have been converted to virtual reality screens as the bus
drive through Mars, passing a storm that envelopes the bus in a
cloud as a computer alerts them to the
danger of flying debris.
At another point, the computer warns the
temperature is dropping
to -94 degrees Fahrenheit.
bus will be at the Chabot Space and Science Center in
Oakland Sept. 9-11. Rides will be available during regular museum hours
a.m. to 5 p.m. The bus will be at other locations in the Bay Area during
month to be announced later in the local media.
witnessing the moment when that first explorer leaves
footprints in the red dust of the Martian surface," said Lockheed
Systems Advanced Technology Center Director Stephen Frick, a former
astronaut. "This is more than a dream. We are already planning to send
to Mars in our lifetime and we need the talents and enthusiasm of a new
generation of explorers."
the Mars Bus, Generation Beyond has a number of learning resources including
lesson plans with educator guides, family
activities and material about space missions. There is also a Mars
challenge and a "Hello Mars" app that can be downloaded to check
reports from the planet.
Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.