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Dr. Edgar Bering, Friday, 1-30-15 January 31, 2015

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Dr. Edgar Bering, Friday, 1-30-15


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Guest:  Dr. Edgar Bering; Topics:  “Mars Rover Model Celebration and Competition,” Dr. Bering’s undergraduate student balloon projects, cubesat project to Mars.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.  For those listening to archives using live365.com and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience.

We welcomed Dr. Edgar Bering  to the show to discuss the “Mars Rover Model Celebration and Competition ” and his undergraduate student balloon projects to study the Northern Lights and more.  During our one segment one hour program, we focused the first half on the Mars Rover Celebration aimed at both elementary and middle school students while in the second part of the segment, we talked about Dr. Bering’s balloon projects and even a possible cubesat to Mars project.  Dr. Bering explained the Mars Rover Model competition which has the students doing a six week Mars course in preparation for their rover mock-ups.  You can learn more about this competition at their website, http://marsrover.phys.uh.edu/about.php.  Dr. Bering took us through the requirements, differences in the competition for the elementary school students compared to the middle school students and he even responded to a question as to how to get a six week Mars curriculum into the school program.  He said the rover categories included a free form model rover made of “stuff” plus a solar power model, and for the older students a radio controlled model made from the parts of an RC model car.  Our guest would asked if the model rover program would work for going to the Moon, not just Mars.  He said yes but don’t miss his full reply.

In the second half of our segment, we talked about his high altitude undergraduate student balloon projects to study the Northern Lights and its effect on the upper atmosphere.  He will be taking his students to Alaska to  see the Northern Lights and to conduct the balloon studies.  He talked about the significant improvements in miniaturizing with the needed electronics, sensors, and cameras, plus today’s high reliability of these components.  He point out that instruments capable of doing the work of today’s instruments would have weighed around 120 lbs. in previous years.  Now they are shooting for a total mass for the instruments of less than 6 lbs for doing meaningful science.  In 1985, the ultra-lute instrument package would have been 50 lbs.  Dr. Bering was asked if his students did cubesat projects and he told us about a possible Mars cubesat project.  He was confident they could get telemetry back from Mars with a cubesat and talked about new antenna improvements.  Toward the end of our discussion I asked if he had any stats on students doing these programs from elementary and middle school and if they went on to careers in space, science, etc.  Don’t miss his response.

Please post your comments on TSS blog above.  You can reach Dr. Bering through the Mars Model Rover website or me.