High School Students Land on Mars NASA

While their peers sweat out their next geometry quiz, high school students Courtney Dressing and Rafael Morozowski are sweating out the commencement of surface activities with the rest of the Mars Exploration Rover team. Dressing, a sophomore from Virginia, and Morozowski, a senior from Brazil, are members of an international team of students working directly with scientists and engineers overseeing the science payload on the Mars Exploration Rovers. The two 16-year-olds are the first of 16 “Student Astronauts” aged 13 to 17 who, all told, call twelve different nations home. They won their places aboard the Mars Exploration Rover team through an essay contest run by the Planetary Society followed by oral interviews. This is the first time that an international group of young people has been selected through open competition to participate in an active planetary spacecraft mission.