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In this lab students will explore first hand what sorts of processes occur when scientists and engineers try to identify a landing site for a mission to Mars. This will mimic the process used to select the MER rover landing sites, and what will be used for future missions. First, students briefly become a planetary geologist, engineer or astrobiologist. Second, from the point of view the students feel is appropriate for their new position, and using the same constraints employed by the scientific teams preparing for forthcoming Mars missions, students will identify their top list of candidate landing sites and submit a short report describing them to me by the following class period. Third, in the following class period, all three groups of experts will work together to narrow down the site selection to a top candidate. Where would you send the next lander if the choice was up to you? Each student group, constituted randomly, is provided with the appropriate role-playing sheet from the lab assignment.
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