Iceland & Space Exploration on CBC Radio’s ‘Ideas’

Posted on June 12, 2020

Delighted to be featured in CBC Radio’s ‘Ideas’ podcast alongside our SANDE partners, Texas A&M and NASA.

From Iceland’s similarities to the Red Planet, mythology, NASA’s Mars 2020 Mission and space exploration in the Anthropocene age, it’s full of interesting ‘ideas’, and showcases why we selected to visit Iceland to test out our rover technology and simulate Mars missions!

Read about it, and listen to the podcast here:

Mission Control Academy – EPO

Posted on October 15, 2019

Part of the Mission Control Academy experience is letting our participants act out real roles in a planetary rover mission, including acting as our PAO (Public Affairs Officer) to do EPO: Education & Public Outreach!
Education & Public Outreach in a mission is incredibly important to help involve the public and encourage support and understanding of the exciting exploration work happening in space. EPO is a critical part of any science mission, keeping people and especially students engaged, and strengthening their understanding and connection to space missions.
Starting this Friday, Oct 18th, our new Mission Control Academy Twitter Account will be showcasing the experience of students at Waltrip High (Houston) & Woodroffe High (Ottawa) as they drive our Rover prototype all the way in Montreal at the CSA Mars Yard.

These 2 Mission Control Academies are delivered as part of our SANDE project.

Follow along on our social media accounts!

SAND-E & Mission Control Academy

Posted on October 1, 2019

Mission Control is excited to announce a deployment of Mission Control Academy, our immersive, technology-based education and outreach program for students this fall at Waltrip High School in Houston, Texas, and Woodroffe High School in Ottawa, Ontario.
The program will take place over 2 weeks, during which time Mission Control scientists and engineers will deliver lessons to educate the students on planetary science, engineering and mission operations. The program will culminate on October 18th, 2019, when students in both Ottawa and Houston, will remotely operate a rover prototype deployed at the Canadian Space Agency Mars Analogue Terrain in Saint-Hubert, Canada, replicating the experience of executing a real mission to Mars. Media are welcome to attend the missions on October 18th either at the two schools.

Topics for the lecture/workshops include: ‘An introduction to the solar system and our galactic back yard’, ‘Why we explore space, and the careers available’, ‘Planetary science and the search for life’, ‘Rover systems and design’, and ‘Planning a Mars exploration mission’
Follow along with our social media channels and the hashtags #MissionControlAcademy and #SANDE! – SAND-E Press Coverage

Posted on August 21, 2019

We are very excited to share the story about our SAND-E Mission, which took place from July 8-August 5th in Iceland. Our team tested the prototype rover and a drone meant to showcase the potential capabilities of NASA’s Mars 2020 helicopter. Read about our exciting research and mission here!

SAND-E French Press Coverage

Posted on August 17, 2019

Our SAND-E mission this summer in Iceland was a great opportunity to test and demonstrate our software in conjunction with our partners.
See our story covered in 20 minutes, FranceTV, and 24.

SAND-E story in Share America

Posted on August 13, 2019

SAND-E has been a brilliant opportunity to do exciting work at the forefront of planetary exploration research, and part of that experience has been working closely with our international partners. Check out our story on the Share America website, highlighting our international collaboration!

SAND-E News in AFP (Video)

Posted on August 13, 2019

SAND-E Mission

Posted on August 5, 2019

Our team is wrapping up their time in Iceland and very pleased with the amazing research the SAND-E team was able to do, along with the fact that we had the opportunity to test our ASAS technology in the field.
SAND-E will allow our science teams to examine and determine causes of variability in the geochemistry, minerology and physical grain properties of fluvial and aeolian sediments. SAND-E scientists got to study the movement of sediments in these unique formations in Iceland, in hopes that it will better inform us of similar landscapes on Mars. We were able to conduct a series of surveys using a variety of operational protocols to test the most efficient approaches of gathering data. Some scenarios allowed the rover to autonomously drive and select scientific sites without human input, and in others the team measured the benefit of short drone flights to scout the area ahead, similar to NASA’s proposed Mars 2020 Mission.

Keep up with us on twitter as we prepare for next year’s field test in Iceland!


Posted on July 18, 2019

We are so happy that SAND-E is inspiring people and bringing light to some of the awesome research and tech being developed for NASA’s MARS 2020 mission. Here is a video about the mission on NBC.

SAND-E 2019 – Team Arrives in Iceland!

Posted on July 17, 2019

SAND-E (Semi-Autonomous Navigation for Detrital Environments) is a NASA-funded project to study Mars-like volcanic sand environments in Iceland, in advance of NASA’s Mars 2020 rover mission. The study will help NASA prepare for scientific studies of areas on Mars and determine if new exploration strategies, including increased rover autonomy, would benefit future missions. The test site is in the outflow of a glacier, where the SAND-E scientists are particularly interested in the changes in physical and chemical properties of the geological material as it is transported downstream by water (fluvial) and wind (Aeolian) processes.

Our teams have arrived in Iceland and have commenced the testing campaign. Please follow along our social media channels and the hashtag #SANDE to keep up!