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Challenger Center Heads to Arizona for NASA Desert RATS

Press Release From: Challenger Center for Space Science Education
Posted: Tuesday, September 7, 2010

image Coalition for Space Exploration Continues its Support of Participatory Exploration at NASA

For the next ten days Challenger Center will be reporting live from NASA's Desert RATS in Arizona as humans use robots and rovers to learn what it would be like to live and work on another world. This is the second year in a row for Challenger Center's participation in Desert RATS. Challenger Center's participation in this NASA activity is facilitated by a Space Act Agreement between the Challenger Center for Space Science Education, and NASA.

This year, the Challenger Center is pleased to have the enthusiastic support of the Coalition for Space Exploration. The Coalition is providing a generous stipend to support travel, logistics, and communications activities. The Coalition has a strong interest in participatory exploration as is evidenced by their support of this and other activities.

According to Coalition Chairman Glenn Mahone "we are excited about our participation in this year's education and public outreach activities at Desert RATS with the Challenger Center and look forward to seeing this unique technology translated into real hardware roaming about on other worlds".

Between 8-16 September Challenger Center will be providing live webcasts, photo reports, written updates, and other updates from both Desert RATS Base Camp and out in the desert. The intent is to provide students and others with a fundamental understanding of the value of planetary analogs in developing the hardware that will be needed to explore other worlds - and how they can pursue a career in the various fields associated with this research.

As was the case last year, Challenger Center will be providing a large portable solar/wind generating system to power its activities and also recharge various NASA hardware. Use of this system, the GSW7000, is once again being donated to Challenger Center Green Trail Energy.

The GSW7000 can provide 2.4 KW of wind power and 4.4 KW of solar power. With its extendable 110 foot tower, it can also serve as a cell phone node and provide WiFi and WiMAX connectivity. This unit can be deployed by one person and be operational 30 minutes after arrival at a remote location. The entire unit compacts into the volume of a standard shipping container and can be pulled by a 1 ton pick up truck.

For Internet and broadcasting access, Challenger Center will utilize a Datastorm XF2 mobile satellite Internet system specifically designed for rapid deployment in rugged and extreme locations such as Desert RATS. Use of this system is being donated by MotoSAT.

Challenger Center updates from Desert RATS can be found at SpaceRef Interactive's OnOrbit website at http://onorbit.com/DesertRATS . You can also follow along on Twitter at either http://twitter.com/onorbit or http://twitter.com/ChallengerCtr - or via the Twitter hashtag #DRATS

NASA's Desert RATS activities can be followed at http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/analogs/desert_rats.html

About The Challenger Center for Space Science Education

Using space exploration as a theme and simulations as a vehicle, the Challenger Center for Space Science Education and its international network of 47 Challenger Learning Centers create positive educational experiences that raise students' expectations of success, fosters a long-term interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), and inspires students to pursue studies and careers in these areas. Challenger Center's network of Challenger Learning Centers across the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and South Korea reach more than 300,000 students each year through simulated space missions and educational programs, and engage over 40,000 educators through missions, teacher workshops and other programs. To learn more about Challenger Center for Space Science Education, visit http://www.challenger.org.

About The Coalition for Space Exploration

The mission of the Coalition for Space Exploration is to ensure the United States remains the leader in space, science and technology by reinforcing the value and benefits of space exploration with the public and our nation's leaders, and building lasting support for a long-term, sustainable, strategic direction for space exploration. For more information on the Coalition please visit http://spacecoalition.com/

About Green Trail Energy

Greentrail Energy was founded to address the market for mobile alternative energy systems coupled with mobile communications tower systems. Our customers are the military in far off deployments, the government or private companies during a disaster, or anyone who simply needs a lot of power and communications on a mobile platform. For more information visit http://www.greentrailenergy.com/

About MotoSAT

MotoSAT is a manufacturer of automated satellite television and Internet antennas. As a market pioneer, the company has become a leader in push-button automated systems that locate satellite signals from vehicles and mobile units for television and broadband Internet access. Our customer base includes the oil-and-gas market, a variety of emergency command and tactical response centers, medical applications, and recreational vehicle enthusiasts. For more information visit http://www.motosat.com/

About SpaceRef Interactive

SpaceRef Interactive was founded in 1999 to provide space news and information to a global audience. This is accomplished through its flagship website SpaceRef.com and other networked websites such as Astrobiology.com and OnOrbit.com. In addition, SpaceRef seeks to give back to the community it has served. As such, SpaceRef has donated and constructed a space biology greenhouse that has been in operation on Devon Island in Nunavut, Canada since 2002. SpaceRef has also supported various non-profit organizations and the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project. Learn more at http://www.SpaceRef.com

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