Director of NASAs Mars Exploration Program goes "LIVE"
with college students in Puerto Rico via videoconference
Orlando Figueroa, the Director of NASA's Mars Exploration
Program Office, will pay a "visit" to his alma mater in Puerto Rico
and give a talk there -- and at two other universities at the same
time -- to discuss the goals and objectives of the ambitious
multi-year program of exploration.
Nearly 200 Hispanic students and faculty from Hispanic
Educational Telecommunications Systems (HETS) member institutions,
including the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez; the University
of Puerto Rico, Bayamon; and the San German campus of the Inter
American University of Puerto Rico, will participate in Figueroa's
videoconference presentation entitled "Mars: Robotic Exploration in
the Coming Decades." The program is scheduled for Thursday, Oct.
31, 2002, at 1 p.m. EST.
"I am delighted to have the opportunity to interact with space
and Mars enthusiasts from Puerto Rico in this way," said Figueroa.
"I hope we can really take advantage of this technology to continue
to educate and motivate the next generation of explorers," he
Figueroa will discuss the goals and objectives of the Mars
Exploration Program, provide a historical perspective leading to
the present state of knowledge about the Red Planet, describe the
program's architecture in this decade, and outline NASA's plans for
the next decade of Mars Exploration. Following the simultaneous
videoconference among the three campuses, students and faculty from
each university can participate in a question-and-answer session
The virtual-learning videoconference is part of an alliance
between the Center for Distance Learning at NASA's Langley Research
Center, Hampton, Va., and the HETS. Called NASA LIVE: Learning
through Interactive Videoconferencing Experiences, the series of
free videoconferencing programs is available from Langley's Center
for Distance Learning.
HETS is a distance-learning consortium of 16 colleges and
universities in the United States and Puerto Rico. This NASA/HETS
initiative uses videoconferencing to communicate mathematics,
scientific and engineering knowledge among Hispanic students
attending colleges and universities affiliated with HETS. The
program also encourages collaboration between NASA researchers and
Hispanic college and university students.
Linking students and faculty to NASA in an interactive, virtual
setting, NASA LIVE fosters interaction between universities and
NASA experts by facilitating the exchange of ideas, information and
knowledge, as well as raising awareness of and interest in NASA
student and faculty support programs.
"Students and faculty attending this videoconference can learn
more about the Mars Exploration Program directly from those experts
at NASA who are leading this significant research project," said
Nitza Hernandez, HETS Director. "The fact that Mr. Figueroa
graduated from the Mayaguez campus of the University of Puerto Rico
is a challenge and inspiration to Hispanic students in engineering
and the sciences. He is a great role model for our students," she
For more information about NASA LIVE, visit:
http://live.larc.nasa.gov or contact Katrina L. Townes, NASA
LIVE Program Manager, at 757/864-3868 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the HETS online mentoring program,
http://www.hets.org or contact Dr. Nitza Hernandez at
787/766-1912, ext. 2222, or email@example.com.
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