COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado -- About 80 members from U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command G6 met for a team-building event August 22 at the Space Foundation Discovery Center here.

The G6 divided up into four teams that worked together to complete a series of design challenges and mission objectives related to Mars during several activities in the center's education laboratories.

Some of the activities included remotely driving a model Mars Rovers in the Mars Robotics Laboratory, designing a Mars astronaut suit, and designing a model spacecraft that could land astronauts safely to the ground.

The Space Foundation's Mars Robotics Laboratory provides simulated Martian terrain where participants program robotic rovers to complete mission objectives individually or in teams.

Peter Stauffer, director of G6 Satellite Communications, said the event was a great opportunity for people who do not normally work together to get to know each other and for those who do work together to get to know each other on a more personal level.

"I always look at opportunities to do things that are space related/science related," said Stauffer who is also a teacher liaison with the Space Foundation. "(The Space Foundation Discovery Center) is always a great place to do that because they have a lot of dedicated people and a lot of different activities that most people don't know about … everything from the Mars Rover Lab where we can do robotics to the Science on a Sphere to hands-on art. It's just a lot of fun.

"I think everybody's enjoying today's activities," Stauffer continued. "It's good to let your hair down every now and then … trying different things, doing different things. We've acted. We've drawn. We've done robotics. So it's been a lot of fun."

Mike Rhoades, an engineer in the G6 Engineering and Integration Division, said the event was great.

"I'm a geek at heart anyway, so space-based stuff has always been one of my favorite things," Rhoades said. "By far my favorite activity today has been driving the little Lego Mars Rovers."

Monica Booher said her favorite activity was also driving the Mars Rovers and she enjoyed the team-building event.

"It's been interesting and fun," said Booher. "It's good to get together with coworkers outside of the typical office environment."