Aerospace company Lockheed Martin (NASDAQ: LMT) and Discovery Education have partnered to launch the Generation Beyond program. The initiative will give schools, teachers, and parents the resources needed for teaching space science to middle school kids.
The goal is to get the little ones interested in interstellar exploration careers with space-related science, technology, engineering, and math. The program’s online curriculum shows everything there is to know about the challenges of going to space and more specifically to Mars.
Lockheed Martin’s Generation Beyond program features a video challenge and a virtual field trip to start luring children into space.
The Generation Beyond Program prepares middle school kids for space traveling
In the first event, students have to create a short video, no longer than two minutes, which explains their design of the habitation module for the crew to Mars. The winner or winners (groups of up to four) will take home a $10,000 cash prize; the runner ups will get $5,000, and third place will receive $2,500.
And on October 4, during Space Week, students all over the world can take a virtual field trip live from the Lockheed Martin Spacecraft Operations Simulation Center in Littleton, Colorado. Lockheed Martin experts will share their career and experiences in space exploration as well as how space flight leads to innovation on Earth.
LMT joins SpaceX and Blue Origin in the Martian race
Lockheed Martin has supported several NASA missions and is currently developing technologies for the Orion spacecraft to help the space agency send humans to deep space destinations like Mars in the 2030s.
The Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (Orion MPCV) has two main modules: the Orion Service Module and the Orion command module. Lockheed Martin is building the latter at the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. Orion’s primary purpose is to carry humans to explore asteroids and Mars.
Aerospace competitors SpaceX and Blue Origin are also in the race to send humans to The Red Planet. Elon Musk’s X space company is the only private company ever to return a spacecraft from low-Earth orbit and to exchange cargo with the International Space Station (ISS).
And as of 2016, SpaceX has scheduled the first MCT Mars flight launching in 2022, followed by the first MCT Mars flight with passengers in 2024.
Meanwhile, Blue Origin, founded by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, is in the early stages. Back in January, it launched and landed a reusable suborbital rocket for the second time, and the company has several contracts with NASA to support future human spaceflight operations.