One Giant Leap Australia Foundation was involved in bringing the inaugural Australian Virtual Space Mission to Australian students' computer screens in the holidays.
The virtual mission was organised by South Windsor-based One Giant Leap, with mentors provided by Microsoft Australia, and was delivered using the Space Teams program.
It allowed students and mentors from NSW, Western Australia, Victoria and Tasmania to participate together from the comfort of their own homes and workplaces.
Space Teams is led by former NASA astronaut and Director of Texas A&M's AeroSpace Technology, Research & Operations (ASTRO) lab, Dr Greg Chamitoff, and uses a new technology called SpaceCRAFT.
SpaceCRAFT is a collaborative mission design environment and space system that allowed participants to engage in space-focused lessons over six days.
Every morning they logged in to the system and participated in video tutorials and in the afternoons they undertook hands-on virtual reality simulations.
They learnt about space exploration, planetary science, spacecraft design and assembly, orbital mechanics and remote sensing, atmospheric entry and landing, habitat construction, surface exploration, rovers and robotics.
The local One Giant Leap Australia Foundation continues to inspire Australia's space STEM workforce despite these COVID-disrupted times.
The next Virtual Space Mission is The International SpaceCRAFT Exploration Challenge to be held September 20 to 25. Find out more at space-teams.com/international-spacecraft-challenge