Spaceward Bound New Zealand for youth started on the 27th of November 2016 with a

Powhiri at Te Takinga Marae, in the heart of Rotorua.

Te Takinga Marae has also been the host of the inaugural Spaceward Bound New Zealand expedition in 2015. Located at Mourea, Rotorua Te Takinga is the marae of the local tribe, Ngati Pikiao with Kaumatua Te Heru Tamati. Kaituna te awa, Rotoiti I kitea ai i Ihenga, Matawhaura te maunga.
(Ngati Pikiao’ river is Kaituna, Rotoiti that was gazed upon by Ihenga is the lake and Matawhaura is the mountain.)

Waiting to be welcomed at Te Takinga Marae

Nai-post ni New Zealand Astrobiology Network noong Sabado, Nobyembre 26, 2016

Nai-post ni Haritina Mogosanu noong Sabado, Nobyembre 26, 2016

Straight after the ceremony the students started working on the Team Bronze Crest award and

Plan the research questions for the expedition.

Making Jacob staffs for the expedition

Soon after, Professor Kathleen Campbell from University of Auckland set the scene for the week’s activities.

Her talk,

Astrobiology: Extreme Life – Hot springs and early life on Earth, and Mars?

is the keynote talk of Spaceward Bound New Zealand for Youth.

Astrobiology includes study of extreme environments and their biota to help us understand the conditions under which early life may have established itself and flourished billions of years ago. Finding the extremes under which life on Earth can survive may also help us find life elsewhere. Hot springs on land and in the sea are possible settings for early life on Earth and potentially Mars. They contain extremophile microorganisms that become rapidly entombed in minerals forming from the thermal waters, thus making them potential time capsules in stone, ready for discovery by astrobiologists, rovers and astronauts who one day may be combing the surface of Mars in search of past life there.

Watch this video to learn about what life is, why we are here and whether we are alone in the Universe!

 After the talk, the team took a trip to

Learn about the Motu and geothermal activity, Matauranga Maori and the stars.

Future planetary scientists and their mentor. Laura Penrose, Jen Blank, Haritoa Waaka, Gemma

The team took a boat ride on the lake to learn about the island (te Motu) and the geothermal activity . Raimoana Inia, was the guide to the Maori stories and the stories of the stars.

The day concluded back at the Marae.

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