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Mission day : 60 minutes on Mars

The class attempts to carry out their planned mission by remotely controlling the robot rover across the Mars [Yard] surface.

You will need:

  • 60-90 minutes
  • Web and video conference access
  • To confirm booking for Mars Lab
  • Get your login code and connection procedure (from Mars Lab team)
  • IMPORTANT: Make sure you have been able to successfully log into and open the Teleoperation Interface prior to Mission Day. CheckDot
  • Connecting the Mars Lab requires access to a H.323 standards based video conferencing system (such as a Polycom or Tandberg unit). Make sure your standards based VC system is ready and available for Mission Day.


1. Prepare your mission teams and control room

  • Ensure the class has sufficiently practised driving the rover in the Virtual Mars Yard. All rover drivers must have first driven the rover in the VMY
  • Look at our recommended Mission Control Room setup diagram (page 22) and choose the most suitable room at your school for the mission. Note: you need a video conferencing and internet access.
  • Arrange tables and screens as best as you can to match the mission control room setup diagram.
  • Print off a set of MISSION STATION TABLE CARDS. Follow the instructions on each card to set up the stations for each mission role.
  • Assign groups to each of the stations. Groups will rotate through each of the stations during the mission.
  • Ensure everyone is familiar with the workings and features of the teleoperation interface.
  • Ensure students know there Mission Day station teams and that everyone knows the order of operations and have prepared a set of rover commands.

2. Connect to the Mars Lab

  • Using the information provided to you by the Mars Lab team, dial into the Mars Lab on your video conferencing unit (or Zoom enabled computer).
  • Your class will be welcomed and successful connection to the rover will be confirmed before you commence your mission.

3. Execute your 60 minute mission

When everything is ready, the Mars Lab team will start your 60 minute countdown. You will be given exactly 60 minutes of rover time to complete your mission, so it is important to work together within this constraint.

4. Data confirmation and Mars Lab sign off

When your mission is complete or your allocated time expires, the Mars Lab team will terminate your connection to the rover.

At this point you should confirm with the Mars Lab team that images and data have been captured and when you will be able to review your findings.

The Mars Lab team will then present a brief (about 2 minutes) comments and sign off to your class.

5. Post mission reflection

Take a few moments with your class to reflect on the mission, what worked well, surprises, highlights, etc (you will do this more formally in the next lesson). End of section


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