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LAPIS Student Mission Takes Off
March 15, 1999

Ithaca, NY-- The LAPIS Student Mission (involving four high school student groups from Los Angeles, CA, Phoenix, AZ, Ithaca, NY, and St. Louis, MO) is designed to involve small teams of high school students from four sites around the country in the development and implementation of a simulated Mars rover mission to be implemented during the scheduled FIDO rover tests at Silver Lake in the Mojave Desert in April 1999.

The students will be involved in all aspects of mission planning, culminating in a published CD-ROM containing the documentation and data from their tests. Using WITS (Web Interface for Telescience), a web-based tool that allows remote users to command the rover and see the data it returns, students will both follow the rover's progress over the two weeks of testing and control the rover during the two day student mission. Although involved only passively, The Planetary Society's Red Rover sites at over 300 elementary and middle schools around the country, will also be able to follow the progress of the rover as it completes tests during the scheduled Silver Lake tests April 19-30, 1999 and the LAPIS Student Mission. Students at Red Rover schools will be able to submit questions on the web site maintained by Washington University and read answers posted by mentors from the actual science team.

The LAPIS Student Mission program commenced in early February 1999 with an all-team teleconference in which roles and responsibilities were delineated and efforts were coordinated. The culminating activity will be publication of a CD-ROM containing LAPIS data from the mission, available for educational purposes, which will be completed by late May 1999.

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