Practice for Mars


“Anytime you’re in a remote place or harsh environment with a small group, you can learn something about what science on Mars might be like.”

In 2008, with support from a Burch Fellowship, Zena Cardman ’10 ’14 (M.S.) spent her summer with the Pavilion Lake Research Project in British Columbia, exploring modern stromatolites—living versions of our earliest fossil evidence for life on Earth. The harsh environment requires different logistics for scientific sampling. That’s why NASA uses Pavilion Lake as an analog site.

Flash forward almost a decade later when Cardman submitted her resume to the NASA Astronaut Candidate Program along with more than 18,000 other applicants. In August, Cardman reports to NASA’s Johnson Space Center, beginning training with 11 others as part of the 2017 class of astronauts.

Read the complete Carolina Story from the College of Arts and Sciences…

This is story number 120 in the Carolina Stories 225th Anniversary Edition magazine.

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