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Mission Prep Zone 2: Joining a Stellar Crew

Challenge Question:
What Strengths Do You Bring to a Team?
The four Polaris crew members going into orbit were chosen with their scientific, engineering, and operational expertise in mind. However, their professional experience is only part of what makes them a strong team. Excellent teams–whether they’re going to space, playing soccer, performing a symphony, or taking on any other collaborative challenge—are made up of members whose personal strengths and unique qualities complement one another.

Each member of the Polaris Dawn crew brings unique traits, special qualities, and skills they’ve developed while exploring interests and passions beyond their dedication to space exploration. Hear Sarah Gillis explain some of the ways her love of music prepared her to take on the Polaris Dawn mission and discover the personal passions that have helped her fellow crew members as they come together to create a truly stellar team. Then, get a pro tip from Joe Tanner on one of the top traits for finding success in whatever you dream of doing!

Music Can Teach Skills
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Multiple Paths to Success
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Joe Tanner —Perseverance

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Through her dedication to the violin, Sarah Gillis learned about patience, perseverance, and how to tackle difficult problems by following projects step-by-step to their completion. Now, she adds all these qualities to her work as part of the Polaris team! Explore how the activities you love also help you gain skills and find your unique strengths. Like Sarah, you might even see ways that your different interests connect, and how the strengths you discover can be used in many different situations. Follow the steps below to create your own Loves and Strengths web and answer this Zone’s Challenge Question:
What Strengths Do You Bring to a Team?
Start your Loves and Strengths web by drawing 3 or 4 bubbles or hearts on a piece of paper. Inside each one, write down one of your most-loved activities.
Borrow and build on ideas from the box [below] to brainstorm which qualities and Life Learnings you strengthen as you pursue these interests and loves. Add these to your Loves and Strengths web, drawing lines of connection wherever you can. You can also check out an example web below to help you get started.
Life Learnings
Loves and Strengths Example
Finally, looking at your Loves and Strengths web, take a moment to reflect on how these qualities may appear to those around you, and imagine how these strengths will continue to help you in the future.
  • Which of these strengths do you think your friends or family might notice most about you? What are some ways they see them in action?

  • Think of a dream you have for your future—maybe it’s a goal for your time in school, or an idea for a future career. How might the strengths you’re developing help you get there?

  • If you were aiming for the stars (literally!) and wanted to join a future space exploration mission, which of these skills do you think would help make you a stellar crew member?

Want to share your Loves and Strengths web? Post your on social media using the hashtag #space4music. We will be sharing selected submissions in this Zone’s Challenge Accepted! space. A few messages may even make it to space with Sarah Gillis!

Space Insights
How Do You Tackle A Space Walk?

The challenges one faces as part of living and working in space can seem impossible to manage, and yet space explorers continue to take them on!

For the Polaris Dawn crew, one of those challenges is their mission’s history-making space walk. Find out from Jared Isaacman the inspiration behind this mission objective, and why the crew is so motivated to use the newly designed SpaceX EVA suits in orbit.

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Traits of a Planeteer
SpaceX has the immense goal of one day getting humans to the surface of our closest neighbor planet, Mars, making life multi-planetary. Missions like Polaris Dawn are important stepping stones toward that future. For example, the Polaris Dawn crew will be trying out new technologies like new EVA suits which could one day be used to walk out onto the Martian surface!

While waiting for travel to Mars to be a reality, scientists continue to dream of wilder possibilities. Imagine traveling even further, out beyond our own solar system, to the Exoplanets! Use what you know about your strengths and traits as you take this silly quiz to discover what kind of Planeteer or even Exoplaneteer you would make in the future of deeper space exploration!