Presentation / Interview at the Space Museum

Lady space explorer inspires area Girl Scouts

Maggie Duckworth is one of 100 people selected for the colony on Mars by a private space venture dubbed Mars One Project.

She spoke recently to a large group of area Girls Scouts at The Space Museum in Bonne Terre.

Duckworth who is an electrical engineer herself says, “The venture will bring more focus on women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields.”

According to NASA, 58 women including cosmonauts, astronauts, payload specialists, and foreign nationals have flown in space as of May.

“It would really be cool if the first person (on Mars) was a woman,” Duckworth said. “I want more girls to be engineers and mathematicians.”

Her statements received some cheers from the youngsters.

“I want to continue to inspire future generations,” Duckworth said. “I think Maggie the Martian has a good ring to it.”

Mars One supporters speculate that the permanent colony of Mars inhabitants will be able to teach many things. Among those instructions are the affects of one-third gravity on the body and mind; and the shrinking of the ecological footprint.

The final selection of “Martians” will be a group of four individuals: two women and two men, who will land on the planet in 2028.

Every step of the process has a definitive plan including equipment, supplies, life support units, living quarters, and vehicles. Obviously the propellant and crew will be last. All of this will require several launches and they are slated to begin in 2024.

The scouts wanted to know about space food, plants, water sources, air supply, technology, communications, recycling, housing, weather, and mining. Water is available on Mars and is embedded in the soil in the form of ice. Overall temperatures there range from about minus 50 degrees up to only 60 degrees in the summers. Therefore, the residents will have a system to extract the water from the soil and which will allow recycling of both resources, she explained.

Recycling is a large portion of what it will take to survive, especially since there will only be very limited supply replenishment. A new group of four additional inhabitants and supplies will only arrive every two years.

The new permanent residents on Mars will have to develop processes for mining, innovating, technological advancement, and repairing necessary items. The Space Museum Founder and President Earl Mullins compared the tasks ahead of the Mars colonists, to those faced by the first people to arrive in this land. The challenges are much the same for any traveler who is the first to land in a new world, he said.

Originally posted by Traci M. Black on the Daily Journal Online here.