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h2. KiwiSpace helps Wellington students talk to 'Mars'

AUCKLAND, NZ, 20 April 2011 - On Friday 21 April, students from Wellington's Tawa College will be communicating with scientists and researchers performing a simulated Martian mission in the deserts of Spain.

The Austrian Space Forum and University of Innsbruck will be conducting a series of field tests at a Mars analogue site in the Rio Tinto region of southern Spain. In collaboration with international research teams, including representatives from US and European space agencies, the prototype for future spacesuits will be tested.

Students from Tawa College will be connected live via the Internet to the 'astronauts' and mission control, and given the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about this important experiment. Students will also be able to watch recordings of the event, and contribute questions and tasks for the astronauts to perform.

The linkup, facilitated by KiwiSpace Foundation, is designed to provide an engaging experience for the students and boost their interest in STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). KiwiSpace aims to provide more opportunities for New Zealand students and graduates to access international space education and training programmes, and inspire the next generation of rocket and space scientists.


Education Coordinator for KiwiSpace, Haritina Mogosanu recently returned from Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in Utah where she was the Executive Commander of the team in training. She spent two weeks 'living on Mars', performing scientific experiments and outreach at this unique site, run by the US Mars Society. Haritina is currently doing a number of lectures around New Zealand on her experiences of the mission and will lead the first New Zealand team to 'Mars' next year. 


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*PRESS IMAGES AND VIDEO*

Images associated with this media release can be found on our media releases portal at: [http://www.kiwispace.org.nz/x/o4Ct]


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*ABOUT KIWISPACE*

KiwiSpace Foundation is a new non-profit organisation seeking to make space accessible to New Zealanders.  The Foundation aims to showcase the benefits and opportunities that space applications provide NZ; highlight the many opportunities for New Zealanders to work in the global space community; and enhance national space capabilities and education programmes. To learn more about KiwiSpace, visit [http://www.kiwispace.org.nz]

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*MISSION LEADER*

Haritina Mogosanu
[mailto:haritina.mogosanu@kiwispace.org.nz]
\+64 2 1269 2908


*KIWISPACE CONTACT*

Mark Mackay
[mailto:mark.mackay@kiwispace.org.nz]
\+64 21 622 379
PO Box 301780, Albany, Auckland 0752, New Zealand.


h3. Attached Images
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h3. KiwiSpace Brand Material

| !PORTAL:SHARED IMAGES^kiwispace_tightvertical_1000x1000.gif|thumbnail, border=0! | KiwiSpace Logo (vertical orientation) |
| !PORTAL:SHARED IMAGES^kiwispace_horizontal_1000x340.gif|thumbnail, border=0! | KiwiSpace Logo (horizontal orientation) |



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h3. Featured Images

!mars1.jpg|thumbnail,border=1!
_View over the 'Mars' desert during a simulated EVA (Extra Vehicular Activity) for the ROMARS mission, 2010._

!20110418-_4180699-santek-600x450.jpg|thumbnail,border=1!
_Prepping the Austrian space-suit for testing._

*See below for all images associated with this release*
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