Published on March 4, 2016 by Sean Flynt  

Samford University’s Christenberry Planetarium will offer a unique new summer program June 27–30 [2016]. The Martian Frontier will allow a select group of rising high school juniors and seniors to spend four days at Alabama’s top private university exploring cutting-edge science and the challenges of a human mission to Mars.

“With all the talk about Mars these days, the public is becoming more and more interested in taking a trip,” said David Weigel, camp organizer and planetarium director. “But what would that take?” Weigel said Martian Frontier participants will explore that question as they consider the details of planning a mission to Mars: from mission goals to planning spacecraft trajectories to assembling the spacecraft, building a Martian base and eventually surviving on Mars.

Camp highlights:

• Expert faculty and guest speakers, leading discussion of the technology, biology and philosophy of long-distance space travel and colonization
• Interactive exploration of Mars in Christenberry Planetarium
• Hands-on activities in physics, astronomy and computer science
• Guidance in academic preparation for careers in space exploration

The $395 tuition includes lodging, supplies and all meals.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 37th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 97th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,758 students from 48 states and 22 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 3rd nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.