Geo016 - Exploration of Mars

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Geo016 / Exploration of Mars / (M) 3:00-5:20 / Lincoln Field 105 / Prof. James Head

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Paul Rosiak (02/04/04)

Hey fellow classmates! My name is Paul Rosiak and I am an undecided/economics concentrator as well as a javelin thrower for the Brown Track and Field team. Being a native from New Jersey, I love my Italian food (even though I'm not Italian) and long nights at diners, but enough about the small stuff. As long as I remember, I was always fascinated with space and the NASA program and loved exploring wherever it may be. I remember it just used to be me, my Huffy Bike, and the open road following Route 17 North. As many of you had or still have, I also had boyhood dreams about becoming an astronaut some day. Even though I know that my intentions have changed, those dreams still never go away. Before coming to Brown, I knew that I would have to scratch that itch and take a course that dealt with space. Exploration of Mars! It could not be any more perfect.

Like most Brown students, I want to contribute as much as possible to the class. My knowledge about Mars and Space Exploration may just be limited to watching endless hours of Discovery Channel, but I hope that my small knowledge of that and my enthusiasm for space and the Mars Exploration coincide to help keep the entire class excited for this course. We are going to work with real NASA scientists using the CAVE and real live data from the rovers exploring Mars. Simply speaking, How Awesome is that! Not in my wildest dreams did I ever think I was going to do that my first year at college, or at all.

When I first signed up for this course, I thought that the class would strictly cover concepts of Mars, Space, and NASA's current project, but after class on Monday that all changed. Besides studying something that I think is fascinating, I am going to get a much greater perspective of all the different aspects involved with the space program from its economical effect to the impact on society as a whole. Not only do I think that this course will broaden my perspective on the space program, but also enlarge my perspective of what I do not know. In other words, the more you know, the more you do not know. Prior to class on Monday, I thought that NASA really had a lot figured out, but then I realized that it is only a glimpse of what else is out there. The only way for me to fully understand and even slightly grasp what it is that we do not know, I have to first understand what we currently know, and this course will put me on the right track.

Besides Spring Vacation and Long Weekend (just kidding), I think that being able to use the CAVE and virtually explore Mars on our own will be one of the most interesting and exciting things we will do during this class. It is not everyday that somebody can just use that equipment and have the opportunity to make scientific discoveries on Mars. Also, a very interesting topic and phenomena that I think we will discuss, which I never really gave much thought, was that fact that the human race went from learning how to fly a few feet off the ground on Earth for only a few seconds to basically exploring outer space in only 50 years. Beyond our guidelines, I feel that we should/will discuss different issues dealing with the President and his proposed policy, how future and present Mars explorations affect our technological advances, as well as how new discoveries may broaden our perspective about what is necessary to have life. Maybe discoveries will show that there can be different based organisms that do not require a carbon base like ours. Who knows? Overall, I am really excited and cannot wait to get started.


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