As we were delving into Medicare’s recent notification rules, entitled MOON…we got to thinking about the events that shape each generation and how the moon landing was one such event for many Boomers. It is one of those unforgettable, hope-filled events marked by Neil Armstrong’s words “…one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”. It’s sometimes hard to believe the leaps in technological development that have happened since 1969. Now, NASA is exploring Mars with the rover program and we can all tune in online to see the progress and take part in space exploration.
Space, science and technology buffs of all ages can enjoy exploring Mars with some of these great tools online. This is a great activity for grandparents and grandchildren to do together and something worthwhile to set up for your older parents or care recipients. Any simple computer or pad with internet access can be used to enjoy these resources. If your loved one doesn’t surf the web regularly, show him/her how to navigate the site and bookmark it and any other favorite sites to make things easier. There are also many activities, pictures and models that can be downloaded/printed.
Mars Rover Fun Facts:
The two Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, launched toward Mars on June 10 and July 7, 2003 and landed on Mars on January 3 and January 24, 2004.
Mission: This work is part of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program, a long-term effort of robotic exploration of the red planet. Primary among the mission’s scientific goals is to search for and characterize a wide range of rocks and soils that hold clues to past water activity on Mars.
Before landing, the goal for each rover was to drive up to 40 meters (about 44 yards) in a single day, for a total of up to one 1 kilometer (about 3/4 of a mile). Both have far exceeded this goal! You can view maps on the site of where they’ve been and where they are now.
Mars Rover Curiosity launched in 2011 (landed August 5, 2012–just celebrating 4 years on Mars and a recent birthday!) with the goal of assessing whether Mars ever had an environment able to support small life forms (microbes).
Space Exploration from Home
Check out the Mars Exploration Rovers page for everything from mission and technology information to all kinds of interactive activities.
Curiosity’s page also has a large library of information, multimedia experiences, games and more for the space explorer in all of us!
For those on Facebook, check out Curiosity’s Facebook page where you can get regular updates.
There are all kinds of interactive ways you can participate in space exploration from home on these pages. Here are just a few:
The 3DV mobile app allows you to examine several of NASA’s Deep Space Exploration projects that will take our space program to asteroids, Mars, and beyond. Download the NASA 3DV app from iTunes here
Send a postcard to Curiosity.
Play the Mars Rover game or download the “Be a Martian” app.
Watch videos and check out images.
Send your name to Mars (over a million names were submitted, learn about the next opportunity).
Find all the many ways to participate in space exploration on Curiosity’s “participate” page.
For the space buff in your life, this might generate some great gift ideas. Send a Mars card, print out posters, buy an iPad or other device and set it up with apps like these for your loved one.
For help with all kinds of great activities for older loved ones, contact EasyLiving about our Senior Concierge Services.
*Photo courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech. Information in this post comes from the Mars Rover and Curiosity pages as linked above.