But it’s much more than just an adventure. “The reason this project has been so successful is that it addresses a topical need to verify the impacts of global warming in the field; in this sense, the project has a real social utility,” said Bernard Burel, chief executive of the Cité de l’Espace space theme park in Toulouse, at the last press briefing with the youngsters yesterday.
And they aren’t losing sight of their ultimate objective: to contribute to a better understanding of global warming. “If we can help to characterize the desert environment, we will be advancing research on desertification in a small way.”
1st live link-up on 6 April
The Sand Travellers will be giving their 1st videoconference 6 April, at 4:00 p.m. CET. Until 12 April, daily updates from mission HQ at the Cité de l’Espace will be providing pictures and commentary on how the adventurers—and the desert—are faring.
Besides the protocol aspects, communications have been strengthened to cater for the fantastic response to this unique adventure. The heads and teachers at the 3 high schools involved all confirm the educational value of the Science Travellers expeditions. “The adventurers’ expedition is getting everybody enthusiastic,” says a head teacher. “It forges ties with the world of research, spurs interest in science and opens a window onto the amazing range of space technologies out there.”