Blog | World Space Week day 2: The Red Planet
It’s World Space Week, and this year the focus is on the planet Mars. Recent space missions have sought to find out more about Earth’s closest planetary neighbour.
The most famous of these is the Curiosity rover, a car-sized robotic rover that is currently exploring Gale Crater on Mars as part of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission. Curiosity was launched from Cape Canaveral on 26 November 2011 aboard the MSL spacecraft and successfully landed on Aeolis Palus in Gale Crater on Mars on 6 August 2012. The rover will help scientists investigate the climate and geology of the red planet, while also looking for evidence of water and microbial life. This will form the basis of a planetary habitability study that may one day prepare the way for future human exploration.
Inspired by the Curiosity Rover, 2nd Aldershot Scouts have been working with web developer Fubra on a project called the Fubra Universe. This scheme aims to introduce young people to computer programming.
The Scouts learned basic programming with 10 Raspberry Pi workstations, which they used to set up an Internet Relay Chat (IRC) channel in order to take part in the annual Jamboree on the Internet. Having mastered the basics of computer hardware and the Linux operating system, they went on to program a mini Mars Rover of their own, exploring a Mars terrain that they had created. The project has helped the Scouts work towards the IT Staged Activity Badge.
Fubra head of product Hannah Bird said: ‘I’ve seen for myself how learning to code can open so many doors, allowing people to bring their own ideas to life and transform their passions into a career. As such, I believe children should be learning how to code from a young age.
‘By introducing the Scouts to coding and getting them excited about it using the Arduino-powered Mars Rover and Raspberry Pi classroom, we want to inspire and teach the next generation of developers so that they can get creative and forge a career for themselves.’
Find out more
World Space Week runs from 4 to 10 October. Visit worldspaceweek.org
IT and computing are just some of the amazing activities open to Scouts. Find out more at scouts.org.uk/what-we-do