NASA Chose A Teenager To Pick The Next Mars Rover Landing Site

Admin | Published 2016-09-05 10:00
[embed][/embed] Scheduled for 2020, NASA's next rover to land on planet Mars might not happen anytime soon but it hasn't hinder the space agency from looking for a proper landing site. To everyone's surprise, Nasa will be getting suggestions from a teenager instead of inputs from hardened scientists Alex Longo, a big fan of NASA's space experiments and explorations, has been updated with NASA's missions for as long as he was aware on how to remember. He started at the age of 5 and since then, Longo has been in very close contact with NASA, reports.
Longo stated, "Each time, they sent me cool space shuttle mission posters or patches....I'll have my very small say in this, and maybe they'll send me some cool stuff." to express how indulged he is with the space agency's exploits.
He then came across a life-changing announcement in 2014 that was about NASA's rover mission to Mars. NASA was on a search for abstracts about Mars landing sites initially from scientists. The hyped up Longo then created a proposal and sent it to NASA. Instead of receiving the usual patches and posters, the teenager was invited to the very first landing site meeting. Longo proposed to NASA to land in the same place Spirit had landed in 2004, called Gusev Crater. Spirit had found interesting signs that there might have been life in Mars and Longo believed the place was worth a second look. NASA agreed and they sent Longo an email invitation to attend the first landing meeting.
"At first, I didn't believe it. I thought it was a dream or something. So I just got up, walked away, and a while later I came back and that email was still there. And I was like, 'Wow, I actually just got invited to go to a NASA conference!' How cool is that?" exclaimed Longo.
The said landing meeting was held at a hotel nearby NASA's Washington headquarters. Longo went to the conference with his parents. He was the last one to speak up during the session. With more than 125 PhD and grad students in attendance, Longo was initialy "scared" considering there were 125 grad and PhD students but this didn't hinder him from impressing everyone in that meeting.
"When he finished, the entire room burst into applause. Everybody recognized how special this was for this young person," shared Longo's mother.
Two years later (2016), Longo is now working with Mars scientists to implement one of his proposals. This doesn't end here, Longo has also been cordially invited for another landing site meeting. This time for the human expedition to Mars.        
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