Mobile native brings Mars to the Exploreum - FOX10 News | WALA

Mobile native brings Mars to the Exploreum

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Dr. Kirsten Siebach and Darryl Gaines meet with visitors at the Exploreum (FOX10 News) Dr. Kirsten Siebach and Darryl Gaines meet with visitors at the Exploreum (FOX10 News)
MOBILE, AL (WALA) -

It was a day of fun and curiosity at the Exploreum on Saturday. 

Special guests from NASA were at the science center to talk about the Mars Exploration Rover. The rover, named Curiosity, landed on Mars in August 2012. Since then, it has analyzed the rock record and made discoveries that have revolutionized our understanding of the Red Planet. 

Dr. Kirsten Siebach is a member of the Science and Operations Team for the Mars Exploration Rover. She talked to visitors about her in operating Curiosity for the past five years. 

"We're driving around on the surface of Mars, we've made a lot of new discoveries. We found out how much water there used to be. In the past on the surface, there were lakes that would have been there for tens of millions of years. So we're investigating those now in great detail," said Dr. Siebach. 

A Mobile native who currently works for NASA helped bring the exhibit to his hometown. Darryl Gaines is assistant to the center director at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

"It's an awesome opportunity to have Kirsten come. Yesterday, I think she talked to about 150 kids and just spreading the word about what's is going on at NASA with the Mars rover and what's in the future," said Gaines. 

After graduating from LeFlore Magnet School, Gaines earned a football scholarship to Mississippi Valley State University where he guarded teammate and standout NFL wide receiver Jerry Rice. Gaines launched an NFL career of his own when was signed by the Kansas City Chiefs in 1988.

These days, Gaines is dedicated to inspiring future generations of space explorers. 

Dr. Siebach said, "When people are inspired by what we are doing on Mars, they ask new questions about Earth. They think of new ways to explore and innovate and discover new things about other planets. It really drives that curiosity that then drives people in the STEM, and makes people just have a new set of questions and a new appreciation to the Earth around them."

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