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July - September 2012     VOLUME 16 ISSUE 3
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A Science Lab on Wheels Lands on Mars this August!

A summer program to celebrate Curiosity
Linda Goff

Do you know why November 26, 2011 was a very special day? Well, that’s the day Curiosity, NASA’s newest Mars rover, was launched from Kennedy Space Center. On August 5, it will make a tricky landing on the planet Mars and begin exploring and sending information back to scientists here on Earth. What will we do with the new things we learn about Mars? Perhaps humans will one day, decades from now, begin to colonize Mars. It is the planet most like Earth in all the solar system, but there are many obstacles to overcome before a Mars home can become a reality.

Linda Goff, Youth Services Coordinator, was lucky enough to be one of 50 librarians invited to Kennedy Space Center last November to learn about Mars, NASA’s exploration of the planet and see the launch. This summer, in preparation for the landing of Curiosity, she will be presenting one-hour library programs for young people starting with her favorite activity – building a 3-D model of a future Mars home. First, you will use ‘found objects” to represent how to survive Mars’ freezing temperatures, dangerously high radiation levels, lack of oxygen, reduced atmospheric pressure, dust storms that sometimes cover the entire planet, low gravity, lack of water and no food sources. Second, imagine ways to help our Mars community thrive – sports, music, education, etc.