NASA Spaceward Bound

The Spaceward Bound Program is an educational program developed at NASA Ames Research Center. More information here.

The objective is for participating scientific researchers, educators and students to visit remote and extreme environments in different parts of the world and conduct astrogeological/biological experiments, make observations and learn about the origin, sustenance and adaptation of living organisms within such biospheres.

Previous spaceward bound expeditions have been conducted in the Mohave Desert USA, North Dakota USA; Idaho USA, Western Australia, Namibian Desert, UAE, Antarctica; high Arctic regions, New Zealand. More information here

Traditionally, after the scientific theme of the expedition has been defined, (for example, hot acidic lakes, cold-dry desert, hot-dry desert, etc.), a team consisting of scientists, educators and students visits the site, each with their own objectives to accomplish.

The scientists collect samples, conduct preliminary on-site sampling, make observations, and the work usually results in publish worthy data. The educators acts as science communicators and help bridge the scientists with the students and enable the participating students to observe and record important features and outcrops along the course of the expedition. The students absorb everything and engage in discussions with the scientists,sometimes also helping them conduct their experiments.