TES NEWS, Volume 4, Number 2, May 1995

August 1995 Teacher Workshop at ASU to Feature The Planets Mars and Jupiter

The sixth biannual Arizona Mars K-12 Educators' Workshop will be held on Saturday, August 12, 1995, on the campus of Arizona State University. This workshop is part of an on-going series that began in February 1993, designed to promote direct interaction between K-12 educators and the Mars scientists in Arizona who are working on the Mars Global Surveyor and Mars Pathfinder missions. The theme of this workshop is "A Tale of Two Planets: Mars and Jupiter," and it will include a 3-hour session on the Galileo Jupiter mission presented by the ASU Space Photography Laboratory and members of Professor Ronald Greeley's ASU Planetary Geology Group.

Figure 1

Mars Pathfinder will use a set of 4 giant, six-lobed airbags to cushion its landing on July 4, 1997. The airbags extend outward 1. 5 m from the lander tetrahedron; the entire assembly is 4.6 m when inflated. The airbags are made of Vectran, a polyester-based fabric.

Galileo Mission:

Galileo was launched from the Space Shuttle Atlantis on October 18, 1989. In order to reach Jupiter, it had to use gravity-assists from Venus (February 1990) and Earth (twice: December 1990 and December 1992). Along the way it also passed by two asteroids, Gaspra (October 1991) and Ida (August 1993). After the first Earth flyby in December 1990, flight controllers discovered that Galileo's high-gain antenna would not open completely. Many attempts were made to fix the antenna, but finally it was decided to plan for using a slower, low-gain antenna to transmit data from Jupiter. The spacecraft will spend two years (1995-1997) examining the Jovian System through a series of orbital maneuvers designed to study the moons, atmosphere, and magnetic field of Jupiter. On approach in July 1994, Galileo photographed the spectacular Shoemaker-Levy comet impacts exploding high in Jupiter's atmosphere, and in July 1995, it will release a probe that itself will descend into the atmosphere on December 7, 1995.

Figure 2

<-- Click here for Line Drawing of Galileo

The Galileo spacecraft.

ASU Connection to Galileo:

Professor Greeley's team at ASU is involved with the imaging system aboard Galileo, known as SSI for "Solid State Imager." His team of scientists have spent considerable time over the past few years planning how Galileo will image and map the satellites Europa and Callisto. At the Arizona Mars K-12 Educators' Workshop in August 1995, members of Greeley's team will describe the mission, the planet and its moons, and share first-hand information about what it is like to plan observations for a spacecraft going to the largest planet in the Solar System.

<-- Mars Global Surveyor

Mars Missions:

The August 1995 Teacher Workshop will also have the latest on the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) and Mars Pathfinder missions. These spacecraft will launch in late 1996; this workshop presents a unique opportunity for educators to get the inside scoop on how spacecraft and their instruments are prepared for flight. The MGS Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) experiment is being readied by a team under the direction of Professor Philip Christensen of ASU. The MGS TES group has been presenting this series of K-12 educator workshops since 1993, during the lost Mars Observer mission. The August workshop will also include a hands-on activity designed to help educators better understand the geology and geography of the Red Planet. This is especially well-suited to teachers planning a Mars colonization theme during the coming school year.

Teacher Presentations/Demonstrations:

Educators are invited to present / demonstrate a successful classroom activity or unit relating to the Mars-Jupiter-Solar System theme. Send an abstract (150-200 words) with the workshop registration, due June 20, 1995. Length and nature of presentations will be determined based upon the number submitted. Accepted presentors will be notified by mail by July 4, 1995, and will be required to send hand-out materials by July 15, 1995, for inclusion in the "1995-1996 Arizona Mars K-12 Education Supplement and Guide," to be handed out to all workshop participants.


There is no registration fee, but the workshop is limited to 80 K-12 educators. Please encourage colleagues to apply. Non-science and pre-service teachers are welcome. Out-of-state participants must make their own travel arrangements. Register by snail-mail or fax by June 20, 1995. Please do not register by phone or fax; help save our staff time to put the workshop together.

Back to Contents of TES News May 1995

Article by K.S. Edgett, April 1995