Colorado’s left-brain, right-brain contributions to the MAVEN mission to Mars
The Mars probe “MAVEN” launched from the Kennedy Space Center on Monday with lots of help from Colorado.
The unmanned spacecraft, which will study the Red Planet’s atmosphere, was designed and built by Lockheed Martin in Littleton. Centennial-based United Launch Alliance built the rocket that lifted it into space. University of Colorado professor Bruce Jakosky is leading the mission on behalf of NASA. And the University of Colorado’s Laboratory of Atmospheric and Space Physics designed two of the instruments that will be used to measure Mars.
One Coloradan masterminded the right-brain parts of the mission –- art and poetry contests in which the winners’ work was burned to a disk that was Velcroed onto the spacecraft.
“We were looking for a way that offers a voice to everyone. We wanted to give earthlings a chance to think about the beauty of the universe and make a personal connection with Mars,” Stephanie Renfro, head of education and outreach for the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado’s Going to Mars Campaign, told The Independent last summer.
Out of hundreds of submissions made from students throughout the country, first place went to an installation of eight Mars models made by kindergarteners in the Boulder Valley School District.
The DVD also is carrying more than 1,500 Haiku poems that Earthlings wrote about the mission. Renfro had hoped the relatively simple five-seven-five syllable Japanese style of poetry form would allow school-aged writers to compete with even the most accomplished bards. It also gives wordsmiths who may not have much knowledge about space exploration equal footing with science geeks who may not be as keen writing poetry.
Here are the five poems that received the most critical acclaim on the Internet:
Mars after the God of War
Have a look at Earth
— Benedict Smith, United Kingdom
miles of whispering welcome.
Mars, you called us home.
–Vanna Bonta , USA
cheerfully observe the Earth
while we long for them
— Luisa Santoro, Italy
the dreams of earth beings flow
we will someday roam
— Greg Pruett , USA
unknown for humanity
we want to know you.
–Fanni Redenczki, Hungary
Fly safe, MAVEN. We send Mars our best from Colorado.
Like this story? Steal it! Feel free to republish it in part or in full, just please give credit to The Colorado Independent and add a link to the original.
SIGN UP FOR OUR WEEKLY NEWSLETTER
To celebrate 50 years of the Colorado Open Records Act, the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition presents “Sunshine in Your Pocket,” offering tools for both […]Read More
The Home Front: A top District Attorney investigator in Pueblo has been ‘charged with multiple crimes’ but the indictment is sealed
“Court records show that the former deputy chief investigator of the Pueblo District Attorney’s office has been charged with multiple crimes, including official misconduct, misuse […]Read More