Connor Lynch, a 17-years-old will join the Mars preparation mission that will take place in the Utah Desert during this summer. The undergraduate will have the opportunity of wearing a space suit, and performing everyday tasks that the Mars mission members will undergo when they get to the Red Planet in 2030.
Connor Lynch dreamt of becoming an astronaut ever since he was a little boy. He wants to step on the surface of other planets one day, but for now, he is grateful to have been chosen by NASA to participate in their Utah Desert experiment.
This summer, NASA is preparing to run two weeks long simulation on the “Mars Desert Research Station”, or the MDSR, located in the Utah Desert. The novelty is that a 17-year-old boy will join the Mars preparation mission.
Lynch managed to get chosen to work with the best of the best after he entered his application to the Students for the Development and Exploration of Space organization. The group requested that any undergraduate or graduate students submit their requests in order to enter the competition for a two-week spot on the NASA team.
The 17-year-old proposed the usage of landscape photography as a means of capturing the landscape changes that occur in the Utah desert. Furthermore, the student advocated for the construction of meteorological stations intended to capture soil temperature, moisture, wind speed and humidity.
Lynch has ten months to modify his plan in order for it to work in the extreme conditions of the desert. The boy must take into consideration the fact that the area has restricted access to power supplies and no Internet connection. Water is also scarce in the area.
But this is not the first time that Lynch is participating in a landscape photography project. The 17 years old is the research assistant to Jim Head, a geological sciences professor. The boy assisted Head in a similar mission that took place in Antarctica.
Even though the 17-year-old will join the Mars preparation mission because he managed to win a contest, his role in the experiment is taking very seriously. Lynch will serve as an astrophysics concentrator. His task in the mission will be not only to accomplish the geological work that he included in his proposal but also to assist the crew’s astronomer with observatory research.
Lynch is hopeful that the conclusions from the two weeks experiment will be published.
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