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Exploration Through Navigation Challenge
Fall 2008 NASA Quest Challenge Webcast
Closing Webcast Archive

Exploration through Navigation logo

During this Challenge, students were tasked to chart a course from the Big Island of Hawai’i to Rapa Nui (Easter Island) using ocean navigation skills that were used in early Polynesian exploration.

Joining us again live from Hawaii was Kälepa Baybayan Polynesian Captain and Navigator of Hawaiian deep-sea voyaging canoes, and he shared his experiences along this same route.

Download Kalepa's slides for more detailed viewing.

<< several minutes of missing text >>

>> Once you start the lose those miles you'll have to make it back sometime.0It probably be more feasible to continue the same track you did out of Hawaii towards maybe -- otherwise excellent work

>> Okay. So our third proposal was submitted by the team burn homeschool.
They say congratulations on doing such a thorough job of planning your voyage. You wisely considered the hurricane seasons of the northern and southern hemispheres. Chose excellent navigational stars and factored in the winds to help you complete your journey. We particularly like how you mentioned arriving during the day to safely avoid the reefs arriving during the full Moon to increase your chances of seeing the island at night. The journey will last over two months which is a long time to be at sea. How much you shorten your travel time to carry so many supplies. All in all, excellent work.

>> I was very pleased to see that you had a very nice selection of bright stars and the stars appear at a variety of times from the evening sky for you at the beginning of your journey and to another star that shows up much later in your evening. You have good stars that will appear at a variety of times of night.

>> I would like to echo Brian. This is an excellent plan. Truly excellent. You know, in the planning process, as important as navigation is, you have to understand it's the winds that will carry you to your destination. Our canoe is powered by that. Our source of power. The fact that you began your plan by considering the hurricane season, which really tells you the season that's the safest for you to sail and you broke it down into hurricane seasons between the northern and southern hemispheres. You're talking between two hemispheres. That's excellent planning.

The second part was you began to identify when the wind is going to reverse in the southern hemisphere so that you would get a wind that was behind you to blow you towards the target. Continue research on hurricane seasons and identify the latitudes where the hurricanes are the most active because you'll find that around the equator there is no hurricanes at all and it's a relatively safe time for you -- safe place for you to sail. The other part if you know the season when the winds are going to switch to the west which will blow you towards Rapa Nuiy you might plan a longer stop in the islands. Excellent plan.

>> Great. Moving on we're looking now at the ALAMEDA homeschool plan. Our team of experts say great job in planning such a well thought out voyage. We like how you plan to use a variety of navigational signs such as clouds, birds, ocean swell patterns and key navigational stars and consolations. It's wise to make use of natural resources such as rainwater and islands located around your journey. Your zigzag approach to finding Rapa Nui is very interesting. The voyage is scheduled to last two months or more. You might want to consider staying at the Kaymen islands for two or three days instead of a week to shorten your journey. The name of your vessel is sadness of the sea is very poetic. Nicely done.

>> A very nice choice of stars. Using Polaris is a good way to judge your latitude when you're in the northern latitudes. Your other stars including SPIKA and ANTARIS are good to navigate by and they'll be visible along the various latitudes you're traveling.

>> Yes, I found this also excellent in terms of the navigation of the stars that you are choosing to use but I would encourage you to look at maybe stopping at someplace between -- do a little more research on the geography of pit gurn that will be hard to target a small island and not much safe Anchorage on that island. You're solid for getting into the south Pacific waters.

>> Okay, our fifth plan today comes from a class at an elementary school. They say thank you for your voyage plan. The name of the ship is very intriguing. It is good that you plan to use a variety of navigational signs and instruments. Rapa Nui lies east of French Polynesia. You may want to consider how you'll sail your vessel against the winds and currents. Nice job.

>> Sounds like a wonderful trip. I wish I could go along. Again, you're looking at the idea of using celestial navigation. Give some thought and look at star charts and take a look at some of the constellations and stars that you might consider using as guides to take you on this fascinating trip.

>> Yeah, you just need to spend a little bit more time developing your navigational plan as well as identifying specifically the stops you're going to make along the way in terms of what islands you're going to be targeting. Thank you.

>> Okay. Our next proposal was submitted by Mr. Chung's class. You aprop naturally named your crew after the Hawaii shark guard who protected fishermen from sharks and guided lost canoes to land and great work choosing primarily navigational stars such as Polaris, oh Ryan and the southern cross. How might ocean currents and trade winds affect your journey? And also what time of year do you intend to sail? Nicely done.

>> Yes, again a very nice selection of stars here. Very much appreciate how you do use the northern star Polaris when you're in the northern latitudes but as you then cross the equator to the southern latitudes you switch to other stars and the constellation of oh Ryan and the southern cross, nicely done.

>> I like the way you broke your trip down into zones between different latitudes. It shows a lot of forethought in your planning process. I would encourage you to break your trip down into smaller legs. You have this really long leg between the March case yas and Rapa Nui. You could put another resupply stop. Because of your school, I would encourage you to invite Miss CHING a staffer at the school who sailed in a canoe. An excellent resource for you guys to interview.

>> Sounds like they have a great local resource there. Our next plan was submitted by miss courier's class. The name is foot strong. Our panel of experts says most excellent job in making your star compass. They saw the pictures of you hard at work and they were very excited to see those. You've done a nice job of identifying key stars along each leg of your journey and they liked how you noted the wind patterns on your star compass chart. Keeping an eye out for native birds is wise and for fun you may want to read about the legendary bird man competition of Easter islands. We noticed that you are choosing first to sail southwest of Hawaii in route to Tahiti and westward to Rapa Nui. It's interesting and unique compared to other plans we received. What made you select this particular route? Great work.

>> Again, the star compass that you did here is really very, very well done. It shows a lot of research and a lot of thought that goes into this. You chose very good stars and you're looking at the rising and setting of your guide stars, very nicely done.

>> I like that you used the Penn museum website. It's informative and found it helpful in my own work. What I liked best of all are the pictures of your team members working together because that's the intangible element that makes the trip successful is the ability of many people with diverse skills to work together on a canoe and I appreciate the teamwork that you demonstrated in developing this plan.

>> Okay. Our next team is actually a combination of two teams from miss Hoffman's class. We have the lions and the fire exchange and the comments from our panel for you are that we like the use of your math skills in projecting how far away from Rapa Nui you'll be able to see the island using the topography theorem to calculate the miles during your journey. One thing to consider is why you -- there is a difference in the length of time. You had six days versus 13 days for legs one and legs two of your journey. It looks like the lions and fire exchange learned a great deal.

>> Yes, your choice of the con selllation is a very good one. It's a large constellation and will remain in the sky for an extended time during the course of the night parts of it rise and set but you'll have a nice trail of stars across there to guide by. It has a lot of bright stars in it, too. And its location in the sky means there will be good visibility of this constellation across the various latitudes you're traveling. URSA minor has a lot of dim stars in it except

>> I like the fact that you used is math technique for establishing distances on this leg. I understand why your length of time in segment two is longer, because you're considering the slowing down of the winds in the DOLDRUMS which would naturally lead to a slower passage from 9 degrees north past the equator. I thought this was very excellent work by both teams.

>> Okay. Our next proposal was submitted by the QUIGLEN homeschool. Avoiding the high tropical storm season was winds. Other teams felt it would take two weeks and 500 miles longer for their trips. How confident are you that you can keep your course in a straight line? Nice work.

>> There is great planning in this in terms of using the stars as guides but also as looking at points on the ship as your guide. So noticing where a star rises and sets relative to markers on the ship. That was very, very pleasant to read. You gave some good thought to this.

>> Again, I would encourage you to identify a stop somewhere or maybe one or two stops somewhere between Rapa Nui. I like that you looked in your navigation plan in terms of the direction you were choosing to hold once you left the March caseis that you would be saying -- and ANTARIS will be rising above the bow. You're already synthesizing where you'll be looking for stars as they rise above the visual horizon and as they move through your canoe. That shows me that you have some grasp of what life on board a canoe and navigating on board a canoe would be like.

>> Our next plan is from the St. Joseph school and our panel says congratulations on having a most outstanding Rapa Nui voyage plan. The plan included a wide variety of considerations, nautical facts and Polynesian history. You provided a preview of what the weather would be like once you arrive at your destination. Other teams have estimated the canoe speed of five nautical mile-per-hour yet your team seems to be planning for half that speed and twice as much time on the ocean. Do you have any ideas on how to double-check your calculations?

>> It was good to read about your use of star charts and the star compass. That will give you a good chance in succeeding in this voyage. In the northern latitudes you talk about using the little diper to help you determine the location of true north. As you cross the equator, that north celestial pole is going to dip beneath the horizon so you'll probably want to change your emphasis from looking and determining where true north is to where true south is. So again here I would highly encourage you to take a look at the stars of the southern hemisphere and see how they can guide you in finding true south.

>> I would echo what Brian says, you need to identify the stars or the star pointers that point towards the south celestial pole and all navigators have a series of stars that they use that allow them to point to either the north celestial pole or the south celestial pole. Once you cross the equator it's important you transition to using stars in the south to identify what a south celestial pole and complement the fact that you considered other -- the kinds of materials you would need to bring on board the canoe. It shows me that you are moving beyond just navigation but you're looking seriously at how you're going to survive on board the canoe on these long durations at sea.

>> Okay. Moving on to our next plan from miss Smith's class at the wall dron island school our panel says it looks like you had fun learning about non-instrument navigation. Good job of anticipation resistance to your course below the equator with prevailing winds and currents. One thing to consider is with the 6,000 nautical mile voyage your plan is the longest one we received in the challenge.Is there any way you can check this part of your plan with those who have gone before you? And again, nice job.

>> This trip was a great example of something that I was really glad to see in a number of these plans, people realizing the use of the little diper and particularly POLARIS in the northern latitudes but how it changes when you cross the equator. It's a concept that a lot of adults don't grasp. I'm very pleased to see these students are very much catching on to that.

>> Yeah, I would like to echo what Brian says. They are recognizing when they move through -- as you move across the equator they'll lose the north star. I am interested about how you came up with your sail plan because it shows here that you recognize that once you get into the DOLDRUMS the current moves you eastward, which is an excellent plan as long you stay in the DOLDRUMS the further east you'll get. The longer you stay there, the more food and water you're going to use up. So it's very different plan than any of the other ones that I reviewed. Thank you

>> Okay. Our next team is from miss Sullivan's fifth grade class at arch way school. They were the Pacific crew of the U.S.S. intrepid. Our team says nice job on planning your trip to Rapa Nui. Looking for the southern cross each night is wise. We like how you've embraced the Hawaiian directional time. One thing to consider is to sail for Tahiti is doable. Most of our other challenge teams decided to stop at the MARKASIS islands. What might be the advantages or disadvantages to each of these stops?

>> Your choice of using the southern cross as a guide is an excellent one. It is very bright. Very prominent and is a good guide for finding that very critical entity of true south. In the northern part of your trip, you might want to consider that the southern cross will not be in the sky all night long. So you might want to consider what other guide stars you would use.

>> Yeah, I would say the -- the route you chose and, you know, I myself as a navigator have done something similar to that in going to Tahiti but being that you have to get to Rapa Nui and Rapa Nui is almost quite frankly 2,000 miles upwind from Tahiti, it would be better to consider a more easterly track towards your target and avoid losing all that east by sailing towards Tahiti. Thank you.

>> Okay. We're now going to our last plan which was submitted by the SIEGERT elementary school. There were many parts of the plan they were impressed it. Your rainwater consideration and planning for seasonal fish migrations was good and studying when and where the winds would be strongest would make crew scheduling effective. One thing to consider is that you're right to be considered about the lack of current and wind power in the DOLDRUMS. With a little searching under the wave fighting course strategy you might develop a more accurate estimate of 50 days.

>> Again a very exciting-sounding trip! Boy, I'm getting the urge to travel here. I'm pleased to see that you mentioned using celestial navigation as you continue to think about this, again, it's probably a lot of fun to see if you can take out some star charts and take a look at the constellations and the stars that you would want to use as guides as you go sailing to the south seas.

>> Your sail plan reflects accurately on a voyage to Rapa Nui in 1999. I like what you're looking at what the currents do in the DOLDRUMS because it does pull you eastward. I would just have you do a little more research on that area. Know that they are a belt of -- a windless belt that's stationed halfway between the southern hemisphere winds and the northern hemisphere winds and that the DOLDRUMS get wider and more active as the zone as the Sun moves northwards. So in July if you're sailing through the DOLDRUMS like you noted you'd probably be stuck in a very wide, windless belt for, you know, up to two weeks possibly. Thank you.

>> Okay. Well, that concludes the presentation review part of the webcast and right now we'd actually like to take about 15 minutes or so and talk about his experience in making this very journal. Could you tell us a little bit about your trip? I understand you have some really good pictures and some things to share with us about what this experience was like for you back in 1999.

>> Okay. You know, first of all to the students, the challenge you worked on sailing a canoe from Hawaii to Rapa Nui is the most difficult challenge that myself and any of my voyaging companions have faced. We began sailing our canoe back in the mid 70s and it took us from the mid 70s until 1999, you know, 25 years before we could even consider -- consider a trip to Rapa Nui just because the challenge is so great. So I appreciate all the hard work you did knowing what a difficult task that is.

If we look at the map of Polynesia, next slide, we know that historically the Polynesians moved from southeast Asia into Polynesia and this map is flipped around so they moved from southeast Asia. The arrows point in the direction that the people moved in but the winds move in the opposite direction so the big question is, how can -- how could these canoes who had limited ability make a passage there was in the direction of the prevailing trade winds?

Rapa Nui lies right in the direction the wind blows from. So a trip such as the one that you worked on where you would have been sailing towards -- right into the direction of the -- where the winds come from would pose a tremendous challenge to any navigator whether it was navigating a canoe 2000 years ago or one modern yachtsman navigating today. The question is how can you get your canoe to sail upwind.

I'm a big Star Trek fan and there is a movie where there is a new recruit that comes aboard the enterprise and she questions captain Kirk about he was the only one in the space academy that solved the problem. This space challenge. And the way he went about doing it was he reprogrammed the computer so that he changed the conditions which allowed him to succeed.

In navigation it's much the same way. You have to look at or change the conditions to allow you to get your canoe upwind. I think it was team burn looked at the wind going in the westerly reversal to blow you to the target. The key with our voyage is to know the winds going through the wind reversals and we needed to identify the times of years when the winds would go into reversals and position ourselves on an island that was close enough to Rapa Nui so that we could take advantage once the winds went into reversal we got in our canoe and we started sailing.

So the way navigation works here from the time you leave land you begin navigating. If you look in the back of the crew members on this -- in this slide you can see the peaks of mountains. MONGAREVA was the second stop on the trip. Next slide. And once you start leaving your destination you're already navigating, right, so you know each and every second where you're going based upon solid clues.

In our departure we had the island in the back of us as a bearing and then as we sailed, the navigator looks out at the Sun and he's using the Sun as a bearing in the morning. The Sun is our daytime star that we're going to use. Once you see the Sun he looks at where the waves are coming from, he lines the swells up to where the Sun rose and then he feels where is the wind blowing from in relationship to the swells and Sun?

The wind won't switch radically throughout the day. Switching the wind is a gradual process. The wind is a very consistent bearing that you can use. Then we look at the long low clouds that are way off on the horizon. They don't move very quickly.

That's the third or fourth bearing and the fifth thing is the motion the canoe makes as it climbs over the swells in a certain rhythm, a pitch and yaw that you as a sailor will start to internalize based upon the direction you want to hold, the direction the wind is blowing from and causing it to blow over the swells and you learn to use your body, next slide.

And the heights of stars, the heights of stars are really -- and your ability to measure the altitude as these stars move across the celestial Meridian, this imaginary line that runs from the north celestial pole to the south celestial pole will be able to help you determine latitude, yeah, your position north or south of the equator.

If you look at the -- this drawing of the person measuring the southern cross as it arcs through the Meridian. It's a pear star. If you draw a line through that top star through the bottom star it points almost due south. So this is a clue that you could use for finding the direction south as opposed to using the polaris and URSA minor. It's another navigational clue.

Knowing the position of your canoe in latitudes will give you clues as to, next slide, as to your close to land. The stars will give you the clue when you're approaching land but once you get to where you think land lies, then you need to start to look for the land clues, seaweed and then the next slide is really the best clue for finding the direction for land is these white turns. They don't fly very far out from land. If you see more than one of them, two or three you are probably within 24 hours of finding land. And especially when you're sailing in the south Pacific around there, your ability, next slide, to find land is real important to be able to predict when you're going to arrive at land.

The tallest things on these islands are the trees and you can maybe see these islands on a good, clear day maybe four miles off the coast before you actually see them. And lastly since we did do a column about getting to Rapa Nui I would like to talk about the trip, Rapa Nui. Next slide.

The Rapa Nui, it's a very, very small target and it is an isolated target and that's why it took us almost 30 years to figure out -- or at least to be brave enough to attempt to find it. There is no screen of islands that surround it that would increase the target. I believe the dimensions of the island is probably like six miles wide by 12, 14 miles long so it's a very small, isolated target. Next slide.

On our trip to targeting Rapa Nui the strategy we applied was to break the long trip between Hawaii and Rapa Nui down into a series of smaller trips. Our first target from Hawaii was to stop at the MARKASIS. The navigator on this trip before we got there saw the white birds and decided to follow the white birds and he actually turned the canoe too soon and he actually started to sail away from the islands. He ended up 200, 300 miles away from the islands and then he no longer saw the white birds. We were watching him do that in Hawaii because we had a tracking device on him and we were getting worried. The navigator was smart enough that once he didn't see the birds he surmiseed he must have turned too soon. Eventually found them in three days.

We asked him about the fact being lost. He said how can you be lost if you know where your home is? Metaphorically for the Polynesian navigators these islands are home so we can never be lost. He's not only memorizing the direction he's sailing towards but the direction he came from so he could always turn his canoe and round and sail back where he came from if he ever got disoriented.

A lot of you put PITKERN. It is a hard target to find. It's a mile wide by a mile long and it is solitary there. There are no islands around it. Next slide and if you know the story of that island. It was an island that was the bounty MUTINEERS and they ended up settling it. It is a very small target. 42 people live on the islands that are descendants of the original bounty MUTINEERS.

That trip to Rapa Nui is going to take a lot of teamwork. I have mentioned that before. It will take, as you can see, a serious demeanor because you're targeting a very small target. The whole time we were out at sea the navigators are constantly at work with the steersman issuing instructions and that you as a crew member would be given the task of making sure the canoe sails are trimmed properly. Now, when we sailed to Rapa Nui, we expected a trip of 40 days given we had winds that were blowing from the direction of Rapa Nui but we chose to -- next slide -- we chose to sail at the time we knew the winds were going to go into reversal so we're able to get to Rapa Nui in about half the amount of time.

Also while you're on the canoe, besides steering you'll be assigned tasks like fishing. There is a question about how much food you should take on board the canoe. Don't suppose that you're going to be catching fish every day. A fish this size will probably feed crew members for three days. Now next slide.

On your approach to -- into a small island you have to -- there was one sail plan that showed this zigzaging sailing maneuver which is called tacking. And we did the exact same thing where we predicted where we thought the island would be and then at sunset we started to sail in a zigzaging motion. Next slide. Then in the morning we will position crew members on the corners of the canoe to look both ahead of the canoe and behind to make sure we didn't pass the canoe at night and then at sunrise sunset you start sailing in one direction and sunrise you must sail back in the opposite direction so you make the zigzag.

We were fortunate that on our first night in the early morning when we were getting ready to turn the canoe around on our second tack we were ready for Rapa Nui. Which part of that, you know, is the next slide, is a skill of the -- not just the navigators but the crew and their great fortunes of being able to plan well enough to predict when the winds would go into the reversals which allowed us to make the 1600 mile passage a lot faster.

And then once we arrived on Rapa Nui, you know, there was a great celebration there between the crew members. Next. And the inhabitants of the island. Rapa Nui has a very storied culture there. You know that the natives of the land there are noted for building these huge stone statues. All these statues come from -- next -- one single quarry on the island where -- you see in the foreground there are the stone statues, up right.

What they would do is carve away the rock from the quarry and then they would slide it down the slope into these pits and stand it up there and then they would finish these stone statues and then after they finished the stone statues, next, they would transport it to a different locations throughout the islands, different tribal lands and they would stand it up.

Then the last phase of the stone construction is they would place these on top of the stone statues. Now these -- the last step is to place the white coral eyes into them. Once these eyes were placed into the stone statues the natives believed that they became the embodiment of your -- it would be an embodiment of the ancestors. They sit above a burial ground. When a member of the tribe passed away the members would be buried in the vicinity of the stone statues and why they believed these stone statues had great spiritual force.

There was a period of upheaval on the island. They began fighting as the supplies and resources became very diminished and what emerged next with this call. Different members from the different tribes would go to these stone enclosures where they would wait there for the bird call to happen. Surrounding these stone sites are a number of thousands of bird petroglyphs that they would carve into the rocks. On the bird call at the certain time of the year it would happen on this small island which is about a half mile away from the main Rapa Nui island.

All the competitors would come out and they were skilled on this 2,000 foot cliff and they'd have to swim to this island and once they got there, they would wait for the bird, the first bird to lay an egg and then they would attempt to retrieve that egg and they would swim back to the island and present the egg to the reigning chief and that would allow that competitor that brought the first egg back to the island to be named the bird man for the year and what that allowed him was that he would be able to control all the food resources, be able to take care of his family and his tribe before he took -- before the rest of the island got to be able to tap into those resources.

Lastly, I would just like to congratulate all of you. I thought you did excellent work in preparing your proposals for this project and I hope this allows you a good base to launch you into your next navigational challenge and I hope we get the opportunity to work together again in the future. Thank you.

>> You've done a really nice job highlighting the parts of your journey. Some amazing photographs there. Now I would like to invite the students to use that chatroom and this is your opportunity to ask any questions you have of him. If you have questions about the LCROSS mission or the upcoming challenge, so please go ahead and post those questions on the chatroom and we will answer them right away.

>> Apparently our students have been enthralled by the presentation and not responding in the chatroom with questions yet but perhaps he could fill us in on some of the things he's brought that are surrounding him in the background. I don't know.

>> You know, maybe we'll just -- can you see that? (indicating the Polynesian star compass) This is probably too hard for you to see, huh? I've basically -- this basically points toward the fact that the canoe doesn't have really great performance and it could probably only sail 67 degrees into the wind, which is about -- if you were sailing and the wind was coming straight towards the canoe that makes a 90 degree angle to the wind, you can only probably sail because the hull of the canoe is rounded is about one hand span into the wind.

So if you're sailing towards Rapa Nui just 1600 miles from MOGARAVA where we left, and if you could only sail a hand span it would take 40 days to get there. That's what we planned and that's where you need to evaluate or think outside the box because if wind is going to allow you to get to your destination, what you've got to do is wait for an opportunity when the winds change and when we went to Rapa Nui, we were very fortunate in that we did our research and we understood -- we understood the times when the wind would break down and were patient enough -- were patient enough to allow the winds to switch to change.

When I read a lot of the proposals, a lot of the students were saying we'd spend maybe two days most at these stops. Realistically on our trip we spent waiting for the winds up to four weeks. That's how long it took us to get the favorable winds. So if you're going to attempt to do in real life a trip like this, you have to bring a lot of patience with you because again, it's about the winds that allow you to get there.

Once you understand that the winds are going to blow you there, then it's just a matter of executing a navigational sail plan and as Brian pointed out, you really only need about half a dozen stars to get you through the night sky because once you get into the routine throughout the night, that routine is going to repeat itself day after day after day and it becomes very slow, chronic cycle of getting the -- of navigating your canoe.

>> Okay. We just have an input here from -- let's see -- is it CRINER class and MELINA schools. What causes the winds to change direction?

>> I'm not a meteorologist but the winds blow in a certain direction based upon the turning of the Earth which creates these. In the northern hemisphere the winds turn in a clockwise motion and they come through Hawaii out of the northeastern direction. In the southern hemisphere you have these winds that turn in a counter clockwise motion, which would mean that they come out of the southeast. Now, in between these cycles of wind, you have these normal patterns of winds blowing in the opposite direction which are low pressures or what brings on the stormy weather.

In the northern hemisphere our trade winds are fairly constant out of the northeast and that's because of the North American continent joins very closely with the Asian continent that creates this pocket that captures the northeast trade winds. In the southern hemisphere if you know the geography there is a wide expanse of ocean and nothing contains those jiers between New Zealand and the JIRES of the trade winds move very quickly. In between them you'll find you have breakdowns or opportunities for these winds that blow in the opposite direction to develop and blow.

And they are just seasonal tendencies when these winds are more prevalent than not and this usually occurs in the southern hemisphere, late summer, which is around October or -- excuse me, in the southern hemisphere spring which is October or November.

>> One of the things to consider also is that the winds here on the Earth are to a very large degree driven by the Sun. They are heat driven so as the Sun shines on the Earth, the surface of the Earth, it causes the Earth to warm the air above it and that causes motion of the air along with the spinning of the Earth. Now, think of the Earth going through its seasons. And as the Earth goes through its seasons, those heating conditions change and therefore the winds that are generated by those heating conditions will change and so you'll see different patterns of winds in different seasons.

>> Thank you, Brian.

>> Well, it doesn't look like we have any additional questions from the chatroom. If you have them now would be the time to post them.

I want to go ahead and extend a special thank you to our host today and the institute of astronomy at the University of Hawaii and Gary at the helm there.

Teachers, we're interested in the feedback of the content of this challenge. We'll be sending you an email with a link to a feedback form. Once we receive that your class will receive a certificate of participation.

Do we have any questions before I ask Brian to update us on the LCROSS part two challenge that's coming next?

>> Thank you, I want to thank all of the students for their participating in this challenge. This was a lot of fun and very, very interesting for all of us who were involved. I think that one of the things that you probably have learned as you did your research and as you listened to the wonderful stories, you see what a huge adventure and challenge these seafaring people going across the Pacific faced.

In many ways for them back in these times long ago exploring across the Pacific was every bit as big a challenge as we face today in exploring across space. One of the things that you have also gained an appreciation for is how critically important the science and the art of navigation is.

And it's really amazing to think of these brave people going across these vast distances without using magnetic compasses, without using GPSs. And we talked earlier about how there are parallels between that adventure and the adventures that we face now as we explore space. And once again, as we head out into space the navigation tools that you were familiar with, compass and GPS, once you leave the Earth behind those don't work anymore.

So as you start thinking about the next challenge and how you would navigate across space, think what kinds of tools you might use. How would you get from here to the Moon without being able to use a magnetic compass, without being able to use GPS? What would you use?

Again, I want to extend a great deal of thanks to Alicia, Linda and to our intrepid captain and navigator from Hawaii.

>> Yeah, I also like to say thank you to Alicia, Brian it was great. Linda, thanks for all the work and the students did a great job. They really inspired me and I'm glad that they -- I had this opportunity to participate with them, and I look forward and I wish them much success in navigating to the Moon. Take me along.

>> Thank you. So students, your challenge is set before you. We hope that you'll be able to participate in part two of our challenge and we look forward to seeing you in February.


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Editor: Linda Conrad
NASA Official: Liza Coe
Last Updated: October 2008