Global Virtual Field Trip to Mars – Oct 4

Sponsored by Lockheed Martin and Discovery Education, middle school students from around the World are are invited to explore STEM Careers in Deep Space Exploration with this Inaugural Virtual Event on October 4, 2016.

WHAT: Global Virtual Field Trip for Middle School Classrooms, which features unique access to:

  • Orion crew module and the test lab team simulating and testing Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1) mission to Mars
  • Massive 3D printer that uses metal and its engineers
  • A 50′ x 50′ asteroid wall and lead designers
  • Full size mockup of the habitation module that will be used to house the astronauts on the first trip to Mars and its program manager.

WHEN: October 4, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. ET / 10:00 a.m. PT, held during World Space Week 2016, a global celebration of contributions to space science and technology.


  • To introduce students in grades 6 – 8 to STEM careers in deep space exploration and for them to gain a deeper understanding of how space flight leads to innovation on Earth.
  • Meet Lockheed Martin experts and ask questions as they explain their career paths and experiences exploring deep space.
  • Classrooms receive lesson plans and activities ahead of the event, during the event, and after the event, to help reinforce learning.

WHERE: Broadcast live from the Lockheed Martin Spacecraft Operations Simulation Center in Littleton, Colo. Advanced classroom signup available at:

HOSTS: Larry Price, Orion Deputy Program Manager, Lockheed Martin Space Systems;
Crystal Dilwoth, Molecular Neuroscientist and Host of DNews on Discovery Digital Networks

  • Mission Support: Where flying missions are operated. Meet Will Santiago who monitors the temperature for the missions including Juno which is orbiting Jupiter.
  • 3D Printing Lab: Massive 3D printer that uses metal. Here, the Propulsion team works with welding engineers (Wes Martin, Mike Fitzpatrick) to test and understand the equipment before its journey to space, and we speak with Tim Held, Sr. Manager of Propulsion.
  • CHIL (Collaborative Human Immersion Lab): Learn how virtual reality simulations are used in design and testing for human space flight with Darin Bolthouse, CHIL Manager.
  • Orion Test Lab: Exclusive access to the Orion crew module and the Test Lab where engineers configured it with the exact harnessing, electrical power, sensors, avionics and flight software needed to support EM-1 which will test the core capabilities needed to enable the journey to Mars. We meet some of the Orion’s team of engineers who will simulate and test every aspect of the Orion EM-1 mission, including Rachel Davis, Sr. Mechanical Engineer and Colin Nugen, Systems Engineer.
  • Habitat Module: Bill Pratt, Program manager for the NextSTEP Habitat Program, walks us through the full size mockup of a habitation module design that could be used to house the astronauts on the first trip to Mars.
  • Space Operation Simulation Center (SOSC): Features a 50′ x 50′ asteroid wall, models of common spacecraft such as communications satellites and the Mars habitation module. We meet two of the lead engineers and designers: Dave Huish, SOSC Lead Engineer / Payload Specialist and Neil Eshleman, Mechanical Design Engineer.
  • Asteroid Wall: Katie Cardon, Mechanical Design Engineer shows us how the receptacle she designed will be used to collect asteroid dust and return to Earth for study.