The Mars City Facility Ops Challenge is an initiative of the National Institute of Building Science, Total Learning Research Institute and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to inspire, engage, educate and employ students in building science related careers. The Challenge puts students in charge of operating a virtual base on Mars using the same software tools that facility managers currently use in the field. The Ops Challenge familiarizes students with buildings, building systems and Mars through an introductory curriculum. The program introduces students to the various responsibilities facility managers perform to assure the Mars base is maintained and operating effectively.
Using the same kind of Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) software that professional facility managers use, Mars City Facility Ops students respond to different scenarios and schedule work orders to address any issues in the facility. As professionals experience in the real world, the students must work in teams to address problems and resolve personnel resource issues to implement the most effective solutions.