Due to technical difficulties we weren’t able to get our full Google Hangout experience “on air”. I hope you can still enjoy this short clip from the discussion where I got to ask Tanya Harrison my question.

Today my science class had the amazing opportunity to have a Google Hangout with Tanya Harrison. She is a planetary scientist that worked on the operations team for the Curiosity Mars Rover from 2008-2012. The main things she did while working on the operations team were reporting the weather on Mars and chosing what the Mars rover would take pictures of. Now she is a PHD student in Geology at the University of Western Ontario.


I really enjoyed the Google Hangout. It was very interesting and I learned a lot of cool things about space, Mars, photography, planetary science and what Tanya’s experiences have been like working with the Curiosity Mars rover. I was able to ask Tanya about the most interesting thing she experienced and learned while working on the Mars rover. You can view me asking her this question in the short video above.


I learned so many things from Tanya that it’s hard for me to remember everything she said. I was however able to remember some of her responses. Out of the many things she spoke about the one thing that interested me the most was the difference between the three Mars rovers. This was one of the things I was curious about going into the Google Hangout so it was really cool that I was able to learn about the difference in physical appearance and function between the three Mars rovers. From Tanya I was able to find out that the main difference between the Curiosity, Opportunity, and Spirit Mars rovers is in their size. Curiosity (the most recent rover sent to Mars) is much larger than Spirit (the first rover sent to Mars). She told us that the Curiosity Mars rover is in fact almost the size of a mini van. I had no idea that the Mars rovers are actually this big! She explained that the most recent Mars rover is so much bigger than the other ones because it is able to hold more gadgets and tools for doing research and taking photos.


As is mentioned before, I asked Tanya “what was the most interesting thing you experienced or learned while working on the Mars rover?” Her response to my question was that the most interesting thing she did was that she got to work on the cameras that went into space. This was really interesting and super exciting to find out about. It’s absolutely amazing to have something you worked on in space!

Even though I learned a lot during the Google Hangout I still have many questions about space and Mars.


For more information about Tanya Harrison and the work she’s done go Here

For more information about the Curiosity Mars rover go Here (also where I got the picture of the rovers)

Link to where I got the picture of Curiosity’s camera Here