19 June 2017
Thirty first years spent the day in the Abingdon Science Partnership lab planning a Mission to Mars. This included building an air powered rocket; constructing a payload lander system and designing a Mars habitat capable of sustaining a team of astronauts on the red planet. Each team tested their rockets with a Mars target challenge to see whose rocket landed nearest the designated landing zone. The lander systems were loaded with a fragile payload, an egg, and launched on top of a water rocket before landing outside the Yang Science Centre when they were then checked for damage. In most cases, the damage was pretty evident immediately on impact, but two payloads actually remained intact. The teams then planned some imaginative designs for Mars bases, including ideas such as electromagnetic field generators to protect inhabitants from radiation. Feedback collected from the boys showed that they had learnt a lot during the day and had also had a lot of fun in the process.