Competition and simulated flight to the Mars – children as space crew. Only 10 of all the candidates make it to the final simulated space flight, based on the knowledge demonstrated in four rounds of the competition.
Goal: popularisation of science - technical and natural sciences, astronomy, inquiry and research
History: The first simulated flight took place in 2004 and the project has been repeated every year since. In 2014, it was already the 11th year.
Number of participants: There are 300 participants on average every year, and about 3,000 children had passed the selection procedure by 2014, 120 of whom have experienced the astronaut training and the space flight.
Professional collaborators and consultants: astronauts and patrons Vladimír Remek and Ivan Bella, together with Oldřich Pelčák, Milan Halousek, Jakub Haloda, Boris Valníček, Marcel Grün, Pavel Suchan, Dušan Majer, MUDr. Josef Dvořák and Vlado Milunič, among others.
Expedition Mars as a springboard: For many participants, the Expedition Mars project is a springboard to various prestigious national and foreign competitions as well as to the world of science. Successful finalists usually take part in the organisation of the following Expedition Mars in the next years. Here is a list of some of the numerous achievements:
- 5 participants of EM in 2008–2011
- International Space Camp 2009 (NASA, Huntsville, USA)
- 2 participants of EM in 2007–2008
- European Space Camp 2007 (Andoya, Norway)
- 3 participants of EM in 2013
- International Science and Engineering Fair INTEL ISEF, USA
- 4 participants of EM
- International Space Development Conference, San Diego
- Veronika Šímová
- ZeroG (simulated weightlessness) in 2007
- Michal Vyvlečka
- Internship at the Institute of Physics, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic (2010–2012); J. Heyrovský Fund prize winner (2012)
A number of EM participants have been awarded a medal or have won international competitions in astronomy and astrophysics.
Acknowledgment of Expedition Mars: The organising association (Klub Domino, Dětská tisková agentura) has been certified for work with children and youth by the Ministry of Education since 1995. In 2010, it was granted a Ministry of Education award for work to the benefit of the young generation. In 2012, it was awarded the Ministry of Education medal. The association was also awarded the Alexei Leonov medal at the World Astronaut Congress in Prague in 2009.
Country: Czech Republic
Coordinator: Dětská tisková agentura (Children's News Office), http://www.dta.cz/
Target groups: primary school students, secondary school students
Topic: Astronautics, Astronomy, Earth science, Engineering, Medical sciences, Technology
Start year: 2004
Contact person: Slávek Hrzal, Dětská tisková agentura (Children's News Office), dta (at) dta.cz