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Student Navigators Drive Mars Rover Testbed

Jacqui Hayes, a 17-year-old Australian (center), and Kevin Hou (left side), United States.
Jacqui Hayes, a 17-year-old Australian, center, will start at the University of Sydney in March, taking advanced science. Always interested in science, one of her school projects as a child was to wire her doll house with electricity. She says, "I'd love to be part of the upcoming Australian space industry." She's also interested in biotechnology and genetics. This was her first trip to the United States, so she and her parents have enjoyed visiting tourist venues. Also shown is Kevin Hou, United States.
Students also commented that they had learned how helpless they could feel when they couldn't get an image they wanted and couldn't do anything about it, and when the answer they got was not what they thought it would be.

"Sometimes a negative answer is the answer," Anderson told them. "Part of learning is that technology doesn't always work."

Shaleen Harlalka, an Indian student, said "We're really lucky for this entire experience."

The students and their countries are: Paul Nicholas Bonato, 17, Australia; Avinash Chandrashekar, 12, India; Kimberly DeRose, 15, United States; Shaleen Harlalka, 17, India; Jacqueline Cherie Hayes, 17, Australia; Daniel Jan Hermanowicz, 11, Poland; Kevin Hou, 13, United States; and Bhushan Prakash Mahadik, 15, India.

They were accompanied by Glenn Cunningham, retired JPL Mars Global Surveyor project manager, Dr. Bruce Betts and Emily Lakdawalla from the Planetary Society and teacher Charlie Lindgren (CK).

The Planetary Society, Pasadena, Calif., created the Red Rover Goes to Mars project to give exceptional students worldwide a unique opportunity to participate in performing real science using robotic rovers. Student navigators were selected from well over ten thousand international contest entrants, all of whom wrote journals chronicling their experiences teleoperating LEGO rovers. The general public was also invited to participate in the program through the Red Rover Goes to Mars International Art Competition, at , and the Send Your Name to Mars campaign, at .

Red Rover Goes to Mars grew out of the successful Red Rover, Red Rover project. Red Rover, Red Rover allows classes of students to build their own Mars rovers from LEGO bricks and guide them through simulated Mars environments that they build. Students can also operate rovers built by other classes over an Internet connection.

For more information about the Red Rover Goes to Mars program, please see . For more information about NASA's Mars program, please see . The JPL home page is at .

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Student Navigators Drive Mars Rover Testbed
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