PHOENIX (FOX 10) - For years, Arizona State University has been closely linked to some of the most exciting missions in space. We got a chance to meet some of the amazing professors at the university to learn about their latest missions - and what they're doing to spark the curiosity of students in classrooms all across the country.
Our first stop was the Clean Room where we got a chance to see the prototype of the spacecraft that's headed to the moon next year. It's tiny (about the size of two shoe boxes), but researchers at ASU and NASA have big hoped of how it could help future lunar landings.
"Our maps will be higher resolution maps that will tell us where the water is and [it] will inform future human explorers where they want to land," said Craig Hardgrove, assistant professor at the School of Earth and Space Exploration.
We also saw a group of researchers studying volcanoes - more specifically, what causes them to erupt and the signs to look for that can help us predict when those eruptions will happen.
"When we say 'Aha!' that's the signal of the beginning of the beginning of a volcanic eruption," said Christy Till, assistant professor at the School of Earth and Space Exploration.
Finally, we saw how ASU researchers are helping NASA better tell its story to students.
"NASA makes these amazing visuals, they design them for education but they don't really get used much actually in the classroom, at least not nearly as much as NASA would like to use them or as teachers would like to use them because they aren't really designed with the environment of the teacher in mind," said Ariel Anbar, president's professor at the School of Earth and Space Exploration.