Calling All Space Enthusiasts!

Opportunity: NASA’s Mission to Mercury, September 29th

On September 29th, NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft will fly by the planet Mercury at 5:55 pm EDT (2:55p.m. Vancouver time) . It is a historic mission to the last of the eight planets in the solar system that has not been fully seen. The event, and the 2 days of analysis of the science data following the event, will be covered LIVE from MISSION CONTROL and the Science Operation Center by 7 MESSENGER Fellows (some of the best science educators in the nation).


NASA have set up a special Blog on the Universe (BotU) that provides everything students need to ACTIVELY participate. It’s an opportunity for students to get a remarkable behind-the-scenes look at REAL science and engineering in this moment of history.

At the post: an overview of the opportunity; the educational goals; the schedule of events; bios and links to twitter/facebook for all the “Voices of Mission Control”; how to connect and participate (it’s easy!); and MOST importantly, ideas for lessons leading up to and after the Mercury flyby, and full details of the specific questions that scientists are going to be asking through the eyes (the instruments) of the MESSENGER spacecraft.

For the two days following the flyby, they’ll be reporting live on what the scientists are finding in the information pouring back to Earth through NASA’s Deep Space Network. And they invite you to jump into the conversation! Students can get invested in the questions being posed by the scientists before the spacecraft arrives, and get involved in the live conversation regarding what the scientists are finding in the preliminary data in the 2 days following the flyby. They are inviting students to slip on the shoes of a scientist that is eagerly waiting for MESSENGER – a robotic emissary of the human race – to arrive at another world. Pretty cool!

The link to the Special Post at BotU:

What a wonderful opportunity to help inspire our next generation of scientists and engineers!

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