Challenger Center for Space Science Education is working in cooperation with the Mars Institute to host the project "Earth as a Classroom for Exploring other Worlds". The project takes place July 16-20, 2007, from Devon Island in the Arctic Circle.

Devon Island, a dry polar desert environment similar to Mars, is situated 800 miles from the North Pole and is the location of a large ancient meteorite impact, Haughton Crater. The Haughton-Mars Project, established in 1996, is a research platform for simulating space exploration on other worlds.

Former astronauts William Readdy and Leroy Chiao, and astrobiologists Matthew Reyes and Keith Cowing comprise the science research team at Devon Island in Nunavut, Canada. During this week, they will work in an environment simulating a research outpost on the Moon or Mars.

Students from 12 participating Challenger Learning Centers will interact with the astronauts and astrobiologists during five webcasts. Topics for the webcasts include: living in a remote base camp; an automated greenhouse for the moon and Mars; testing spacesuit concepts; and going deep inside an impact crater.

As part of their stay on Devon Island the science team will visit a memorial constructed to honor the crew of the Space Shuttle Columbia, and will also build a memorial to the crew of the Challenger 51-L mission.

For information on the nearest Challenger Learning Center participating in "Earth as a Classroom" visit www.challenger.org or www.spaceref.com/blogs/earthclassroom .

For information on the Haughton-Mars project, visit http://www.marsonearth.org or for information on the Mars Institute, visit http://www.marsinstitute.info/

Challenger Center for Space Science Education is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization founded in 1986 by the families of the astronauts tragically lost in the Challenger 51-L mission. Dedicated to the educational spirit of that mission, Challenger Center programs continue the crew´s mission of engaging students in science, math and technology and foster in them an interest to pursue careers in those fields. Visit us at www.challenger.org

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