This year I noted an anomaly in one of my class assignments…
In my class, that just finished, as part of some of the short writing assignments, I ask the students to look at past, current and future space science missions, NASA or ESA, and to describe one of each to me : 1-2 pages at a level aimed at a science educated audience.
I usually get a nice set of diverse descriptions as people choose their favourites, but this year, for the future mission assignments, there was something strange.
About two thirds of the students chose NuSTAR for their description.
Now, NuSTAR is a nice little mission, I know many of the people involved.
But, why did so many students pick it to write about?
I fb’d it, as a curiousity, and one of our ex-students pointed out why:
google “future nasa missions”
It takes you to http://www.nasa.gov/missions/future/index.html
there is only one future NASA space science mission, NuSTAR.
The others listed are the International Space Station, the Landsat Data Continuity Mission and the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN)
I fear my students learned an interesting, and possibly valuable, lesson.
As did I.