The Occupy Mars Learning Adventure

Training Jr. Astronauts, Scientists & Engineers

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Hydroponics for Cape Verde then Mars

What are the Cabo Verde Mars Colony Tiger Team Hydroponics Experiments?

We are exploring finding better and faster ways of growing food on Mars.  Our job is to help high school students from around the world to work together with the Barboza Space Center to explore AP chemistry, biology and space science.






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What is hydroponics?

A method of growing plants without soil, in which all the nutrients are supplied via the water. A distinction can be made between hydroponic systems in which plants are cultivated without using a substrate (NFT, aeroponics) and hydroponic systems that use an inert substrate (rock wool, perlite, clay pebbles). The type of nutrient that should be used depends on the type of system.

We are adding a small number of custom soil samples to jump-start the seeds to get them ready for Mars.  We believe the best soil samples will come from the Cabo Verde Island of  Fogo.

High School Students from South Korea, China, Japan, Vietnam, Australia, Russia, Span, France, Argentina, Cape Verde, Portugal, Italy, Africa, Ireland, UK, and Iceland will be participating in this project.IMG_6664.jpegIMG_6660.jpeg







We are still collecting soil samples from around the world.  Students are still working on Mars gardens in their different countries.  Students are working on integrating robotics into their various experiments.  We welcome your feedback in this area.

The Barboza Space Center is getting ready to run a new set of experiments with the Pedro Pires High School on the Island of Fogo in the Republic of Cabo Verde.   Students in the USA are getting all of the experiments ready to be transported to Cape Verde.   Students in Long Beach and Riverside, California are experimenting with a different form of hydroponics and we are waiting for specific soil samples from Cape Verde to take our experiments to the next round of tests.   We will keep you posted on the following websites: and



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NASA’s New Spacesuits

main article image
(NASA/Flickr/CC BY 2.0)

NASA Just Unveiled Its Brand New Spacesuits For The Artemis Missions

16 OCT 2019

Although humans might seem adaptable on Earth, outside of our perfect temperature-, gravity-, and radiation-controlled planet, we’re pretty fragile. Squishy even.

So to help us deal with the harsh conditions of the rest of the Solar System, NASA has just unveiled a new and improved spacesuit that astronauts will wear to the Moon as part of the Artemis missions.

At first glance, it looks similar to the ones worn by Apollo as back in the late ’60s and early ’70s, but there have been a lot of new additions to the new suits, which are officially called Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Units, or xEMUs.

48905773692 0b981d9b02 k(NASA/Flickr/CC BY 2.0)

Firstly, the xEMUs are way easier to move around in. The Apollo suits didn’t have a lot of leg movement, which is why there are so many great videos of astronauts falling over in the significantly lower gravity of the Moon.

The new suit also features joint bearings and shoulder enhancements for better upper body motion, and gloves that allow astronauts to move their fingers for easier grabbing.



Check out images from today’s event showcasing prototypes of @NASA‘s 2 newest spacesuits designed for Moon to Mars exploration: 1 for launch and re-entry, and 1 for exploring the lunar South Pole! More 📸 

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In a demonstration of the suit with NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, Advanced Space Suit Engineer Kristine Davis bent down to pick up a rock. Although it looked clunky, this kind of movement would have been significantly harder in the Apollo suits.

xEMU spacesuit lifting rock(NASA)

The suits are designed to protect against a temperature range between -156 to 121 degrees Celsius (-250 and 250 degrees Fahrenheit), and can be built for everyone from “first percentile female to the 99th percentile male,” Davis said in the briefing.

But not everything has changed. We still haven’t worked out how to deal with the removal of bodily fluids while in the suit, and so our Artemis astronauts will still be wearing diapers.

The xEMU is only going to be used for spacewalks and while on the Moon. The other suit showcased during the presentation – the bright orange one on the right – will be used by astronauts for launch and re-entry.

If this doesn’t get you excited for the Artemis program – scheduled to begin by 2024, I don’t know what will.

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We need more women pilots at the Barboza Space Center and the rest of the World

All-female Delta flight crew flies 120 female students to NASA

Take notice on your next flight in the United States: While your flight crew might be female based, chances are that your pilots are all male. Only five percent of pilots in the US are female, but Delta is trying to combat that statistic through its WING program, which just took its fifth annual all-female flight this past Saturday.

As part of the airline’s Women Inspiring Our Next Generation (WING) initiative, an all-female flight crew, including female gate agents, ramp agents and flight control, flew 120 female students aged 12 to 18 from Salt Lake City to Houston for a once-in-a-lifetime experience at NASA to meet with female leaders shaking up the male-dominated aviation and engineering industry. The teenagers also got to spend time with Jeanette Epps, NASA astronaut and aerospace engineer, to learn more about her groundbreaking work to help close the gender gap.

Courtesy of Delta

Since its inauguration in 2015, WINGS has flown over 600 female students as part of its work, introducing them to various STEM opportunities and consequently inspiring the next generation of female leaders.

“I am inspired by this next generation,” explained Captain Kimberly Gibson, who was part of WING’s most recent flight, to AOL Finance. “I think that there are more and more girls these days that understand that the world is an open door. I think this is one of the best things Delta can do to put themselves out there, to put our airline out there and to grow the next generation of pilots.”

Delta, which achieved 100 percent pay parity for its frontline employees and has been ranked as one of the “Best Workplaces for Women,” is also working with female middle school and high school students through a variety of initiatives with Propel, Solo Flight Academy and Aviation Career Education Academy.

“We know representation matters. At Delta, we believe you have to see it to be it,” said Beth Poole, General Manager Pilot Development, who helped start Delta’s WING Flight in 2015. “We’re taking ownership to improve gender diversity by exposing girls at a young age and providing a pipeline so that 10 years from now, they will be the pilots in the Delta cockpit inspiring generations of women who follow.”

“That is the most rewarding part,” she continued. “You see that glimmer in their eye and they know that there is some possibility that they could be doing this and it’s something they probably never thought of in many cases.”