Header Bar Graphic
Astronaut ImageArchives HeaderBoy Image
Spacer

TabHomepage ButtonWhat is NASA Quest ButtonSpacerCalendar of Events ButtonWhat is an Event ButtonHow do I Participate Button
SpacerBios and Journals ButtonSpacerPics, Flicks and Facts ButtonArchived Events ButtonQ and A ButtonNews Button
SpacerEducators and Parents ButtonSpacer
Highlight Graphic
Sitemap ButtonSearch ButtonContact Button

 

Mars Team Online WebChat

Date: July 24, 1997

Featuring: Jack Farmer
Exobiologist
NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California


Sandy/NASA Chat Host: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 8:46AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Hello! Welcome to yet another Mars Team Online WebChat. Our Mars expert today is Jack Farmer from NASA's Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, California.

Sue, Tuolumne Co: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 8:42AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Hi, Sandy, thanks for sending the info. I am signed on, but my students won't arrive until 9:00. We'll probably listen for awhile and then join in. I have 34 GATE students preparing for a Challenger Mission at the Challenger Learning Center at Castle AFB in Merced, CA.

Sandy/NASA Chat Host: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 8:46AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Good Morning Jeannie, Trish and Sue! The early birds! Glad to see you here! I just spoke with Jack and he'll be ready in about 15 minutes! Chat with soon!

Nick/Homeschool: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 8:49AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
hi :)

Bruce/Blake School: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 8:50AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Hello, this is Bruce Jones from The Blake School in Minneapolis, with a group of students.

Jeannie/Weaver: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 8:52AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Do you guys have school year round?

Nick/Homeschool: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 8:53AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
I do year round.

Trish/Jessup Elem, MD: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 8:55AM PDT (-0700 GMT)BR> Hi Sandy. Jessup is here and ready.

Jennifer/Jessup Elem., MD: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 8:55AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Jennifer's group from Jessup Elementary is ready to begin.

Nick/Homeschool: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 8:57AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
I'm from Las Vegas, where is everyone else from??

Jennifer/Jessup Elem., MD: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 8:58AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Our students are from a town south of Baltimore named Jessup.

Jeannie/Weaver: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 8:59AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
I am a teacher south of Atlanta, GA called Macon.

Nick/Homeschool: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:03AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
What age group is everyone?? I'm 12.

Jennifer/Jessup Elem., MD: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:04AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Our space camp students range from 8 to 12.

Cindy/compukids: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:04AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Hi everyone, Compukid Camp kids are here.

Cindy/compukids: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:05AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Our children are ages eight to 15.

Bruce/Blake: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:05AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
We are a group of 6th and 7th graders in Minneapolis.

Kurt/SSAS Middle: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:06AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Hello everyone ... I'm with Sarasota School of Arts and Sciences, a charter middle school in Sarasota, Florida.

Nick/Homeschool: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:05AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
What is space camp like?

Jessica/Jessup Elem, MD: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:06AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
It's fun and challenging. It is held at our home school. We are learning about Mars and doing hands-on science stuff.

Sandy/NASA Chat Host: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:07AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
HELLO EVERYONE! Jack is here and ready to go! Jack is an exopaleontologist--a searcher for fossils on other worlds. His most important contribution to the Pathfinder mission to date was to recommend the landing site at the mouth of Ares Vallis, a large outflow channel.

Jack at NASA: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:07AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Hi everybody! I'm here and ready to answer some questions.

Bruce/Blake: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:07AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Do you think that there could be life forms that don't need water being that you only know life on Earth?

Jack at NASA: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:10AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Dear Bruce: Based on what we know of life so far, water seems to be a universal requirement.

Chris - Brittan Acres K-5 School: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:07AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Hi, my name is Chris and I am a 4th grade GATE student in California. Hello to everyone and thank you for letting me be in this chat.

Bruce/Blake: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:08AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Are there plans to explore the Polar Ice Cap for fossil life and future missions?-Annika

Jack at NASA: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:11AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Dear Bruce: We have a mission called Mars Polar Pathfinder which has yet to be funded. Its still a possibility. And Mars '98 will land at ploar latitudes, although not on the actual cap.

Daniel/Jessup Elem., MD: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:09AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Do you still have your rock collection from when you were a kid?

Jack at NASA: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:12AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Hi Daniel: Yes. I still have parts of it. But my collection is a lot bigger now!

Nick/Homeschool: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:09AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Hi Mr. Farmer! Was this a perfect landing?? What could have made it better??

Jack at NASA: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:13AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Dear Nick: Pathfinder was about as perfect as they get. What would have made it better is if the airbags had been more fully retracted earlies, allowing the rover ramps to deploy more quickly.

Sue: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:09AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
How long did it take for the Pathfinder to get to Mars?

Jack at NASA: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:14AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Dear Sue: Pathfinder took about 10 months to get to Mars.

Brandon/Jessup Elem, MD: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:09AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
What was the oldest and most interesting fossil you have ever found and how old was it?

Kurt/SSAS Middle: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:11AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
How did you come about choosing the site for the Pathfinder landing?

Stephanie/Lake Worth H.S.: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:12AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Where did you study paleontology?

Jack at NASA: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:18AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Dear Stephanie: I learned most of my paleontology at two places--the University of Kansas in Lawrence and at Univ. of California, Davis.

Lauren/Jessup Elem., MD: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:13AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
You said that you get to meet interesting people. Have you met Neil Armstrong or Sally Ride?

Jack at NASA: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:19AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Dear Lauren: No. I would love to meet them, but have not so far. I know Story Musgrave though. He's the astronaut who lead the Hubble telescope repair.

Sue: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:14AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Do you think humans could live on Mars?

Jack at NASA: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:20AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Dear Sue: I do think it will be possible for people to live on Mars. But it will take lots of preparation, and we will need to learn a lot more about the Martian environment using robots first. Nick/Homeschool: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:14AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Why are scientists so eager to have mars soil to evaluate??

Chris - Brittan Acres K-5 School: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:14AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
My dad is here too,and is doing the typing. The chat screen comes up very slowly. Maybe the internet is busy this morning. What is your job at NASA?

David/Willard MS: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:15AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
If Mars is volcanically "dead" now, what would be the source of heat for possible subterranian life?

Jack at NASA: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:22AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Dear David: Mars is probably not volcanically dead. My guess is it still has lots of internal heat. There are lava flows on the slopes around Tharsis (Olympus Mons in particular) that have no impact craters. This suggests they are very young.

Cindy/compukids: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:15AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Andrew (age 11) would like to know how you decided to pick the area? And how did scientists guess what the terrain was like from here on Earth?

Jack at NASA: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:25AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Dear Andrew: If you are referring to the Pathfinder site, I should be clear that it was the Pathfinder team under the leadership of Matt Golumbek at JPL that actually made the final decision. We were of course delighted when they selected Ares Vallis floodplain because that had been our top recommendation. One way we tried to understand what it might be like was to go visit an area called the Channeled Scablands in eastern Washington (state). It was also formed by a large catastrophic flood during the last ice age. It helped a lot in trying to predict the terrain.

Jessica/Jessup Elem, MD: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:15AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
If we could, would you want to live on Mars someday and why?

Cindy/compukids: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:16AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Josh (age 7) would like to know how do they know what colors the rocks on Mars are? And do the lasers zap the rocks to analyze them?

Jack at NASA: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:28AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Josh: We know the colors by the color cameras on the lander. The cameras are calibrated to a color panel we sent along with the lander. WE are just getting a laser-zapping capability here in the next few months. Up til now we had them zapped for us in another lab.

Northern: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:16AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Carbon is a necessary element for life on Earth. Are you looking for carbon-based compounds on Mars?

Jack at NASA: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:29AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Hi Northern: We will be looking for carbon-containing compounds during the missions in '01 and '03. Pathfinder really can't do that very well.

Travis/Jessup Elem., MD: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:16AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
What is the largest fossil you have found?

Jack at NASA: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:31AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Dear Travis: The largest fossil I found was a fossil tree, an extinct form that lived in the Carboniferious period about 300-350 million years ago. It was called Lepidodendron.

Cindy/compukids: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:17AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Alexis (age 13): if there once was water on Mars (to form the rock) where is it now?

Jack at NASA: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:32AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Dear Alexis: We think that a lot of the water is still there as ice. But certainly a lot was lost by being broken up into hydrogen and oxygen in the upper atmosphere. Once that happens the hydrogen is lost to space and the oxygen combines with iron in the crust to form rust, That's why Mars is red!

Sue: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:17AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
What types of rock are found on Mars?

Christine/Jessup Elem, MD: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:18AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
What type of fossils do you hope to find on Mars other than bacteria?

Jack at NASA: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:34AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Dear Christine: We really are planning mostly around finding something small and bacteria-like. That's because for most of the Earth's history (85%) the biosphere has been microbial. Because Mars lost its atmosphere and liquid water at the surface billions of years ago. We believe that microbial life is the most likely form.

Larry/Jessup Elem., MD: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:18AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Why don't people go to Mars and explore?

Chris - Brittan Acres K-5 School: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:19AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
My dad is here too,and is doing the typing. The chat screen comes up very slowly. Maybe the internet is busy this morning. What is your job at NASA?

Tony/Jessup Elem, MD: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:19AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
If we could live on Mars what would we do there?

Jeannie/Weaver: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:20AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Are teachers ever invited to go on a dig with you?

Jack at NASA: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:35AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Dear Jeannie: So far I have not had that pleasure. But the work is often complex and physically challenging that everyone would have to prepare in advance. Perhaps we will have a chance to do that soon!

David/Willard: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:20AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
How well will you eventually be able to characterize the rocks on Mars using the MPF data? Will you be able to put them in exact categories compared to earth rocks?

Sue: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:20AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Why are the rocks that the Pathfinder found named after cartoons?

Jack at NASA: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:37AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Dear Sue: I think that approach was taken so that no person would be offended if they were left out in the naming process. They have just avoided trying to hurt anyone's feelings. Cartoons don't really get bothered by that sort of thing!

Sandy/NASA Chat Host: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:21AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
EVERYONE: PLEASE HOLD UP ON YOUR QUESTIONS FOR 5 MINUTES so that Jack can get caught up. There's only one of him and at least 25 of you asking great questions.... thanks :-)

David/Willard: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:24AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Jack, I thought you might be getting inundated. We humans only have a low gain antenna!

James/Jessup Elem, MD: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:28AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
What do you expect and hope to find on Mars' surface?

Jack at NASA: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:38AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Dear James: We really hope to find the right kinds of rocks to bring back to our labs on Earth to search for microfossils. Mars is a big place, so choosing the right place and the right rocks is very important.

Sue: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:29AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
What is the oldest rock on Mars?

Courtney/Jessup Elem., MD: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:30AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
How long does it take to see a fossil that the sojourner has found?

Chris - Brittan Acres K-5 School: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:31AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Mr. Farmer, if you could choose one place to explore with robotic ships, would it really be Mars? It is my understanding that Europa, the moon of Jupiter, has the greatest chance of having liquid water and potentially life. (Chris's Dad)

Jack at NASA: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:41AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Dear Chris: I think Mars is still the best choice for now. First, Mars probably still has liquid water beneath its surface, just like Europa. The problem is we will need to drill through rock for it, and that will be hard without people. We still have a lot to learn about Europa as well. We think its possible it has a subsurface ocean, but , but as on Mars, we need to do some additional testing to be sure. That will take us well beyond the planned Mars missions, so why not get busy with Mars? It is afterall, the most Earth-like planet.

Tete/Jessup Elem., MD: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:32AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Do you name the rocks that you have in your personal collection?

Jack at NASA: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:43AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Dear Tete: Yes, all of my rocks are named, just not after cartoons. Instead of Scooby-Doo and Barnacle Bill, my rocks have names like Andesite, Limestone and Shale. I do have a Pet Rock named Rocky, but he is special and is kept at home.

Jeannie/Weaver: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:32AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Are we going to be able to recognize fossils on Mars, if life form as we know it may be different?

Stephanie/Lake Worth H.S.: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:32AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Is there any evidence that can show that when something happened on earth that made dinosaurs extinct, something also happened on Mars? What is your theory of the dinosaur's extinction?

Jack at NASA: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:45AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Dear Stephanie: Well, we certainly have good evidence that Mars has had both large meteorite impacts and large volcanic eruptions, which are the two leading ideas for the extinction of the dinosaurs. So I'd say yes, things have also happened on Mars, but they probably were not effective for causing an extinction of microbial life if it ever developped there.

Lauren/Jessup Elem., MD: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:34AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
If you could choose another job what would it be?

Jack at NASA: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:47AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Dear Lauren: In doing geology and paleontology all these years, I have come to realize how similar it is to solving a crime. Sometimes I feel like Sherlock Holmes solving a mystery. If I were to have to choose another career, it would probably be in forensics.

Cindy/compukids: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:34AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Nevin (age 10) would like to know what type of rocks the Sojourner has found?

Nick/Homeschool: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:34AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Will Rover explore the icecaps on mars?

Jack at NASA: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:49AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Dear Nick: There are presently no plans to land on the polar caps of Mars, although in an earlier message I mentioned the idea of Mars Polar Pathfinder, a mission that has been proposed but not funded. Rovers on polar caps are difficult from a technology standpoint because of the very cold temperatures. But it could probably be done.

Stephanie/Lake Worth H.S.: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:36AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
How old is Mars?

Travis/Jessup Elem., MD: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:36AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
What attracted you to rocks as a child?

Jack at NASA: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:50AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Dear Travis: I'm not quite sure what drew me to rocks. I guess because they are so varied and colorful, and because I was very curious about how they formed.

Jeannie/Weaver: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:36AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Is it true a rock from Mars was found on Earth?

Cindy/compukids: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:36AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Raichia (age 9) wants to know how long you have to research Mars before you send an astronaut?

Jack at NASA: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:53AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Dear Raichia: We are still trying to decide when would be the best time to send astronauts to Mars. We hope to make a decision by 2004 based on what we have learned by then from the robotic missions that are planned. Then we will probably send materials for a surface base and fuel factories to make fuel for the return trip, followed by humans. Humans might go as soon as 2015.

Sue: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:37AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Is there enough carbon-dioxide in the atmospere that plants can grow?

Jessica/Jessup Elem, MD: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:38AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Do you enjoy learning new things about science?

Cindy/compukids: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:38AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Charlie (age eight) wants to know what happens if Sojourner falls into a cavern?

Jack at NASA: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:55AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Dear Charlie: First, there probably aren't any big caverns or holes where Sojourner is right now. It is sitting on a floodplain and such areas tend to be filled in with sediment. Plus Sojourner also has a hazard avoidance program that keeps it from moving if it looks like there is a hole. If it did fall into a hole, it would probably get stuck. So it's important we be careful.

Brandon/Jessup Elem, MD: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:40AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Did you or do you still collect shells and if so where and what type?

Jack at NASA: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:57AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Dear Brandon: I used to teach marine ecology and oceanography, and collected lots of shells from the places I worked. Mostly these were placed in museums. I collected many while diving, and from all over the world. I have also bought a few from shell shops which used for teaching purposes.

Sue: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:41AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
How small is Mars compared to Earth?

Cindy/compukids: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:42AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Sarah (age 9) wants to know how did the team get the materials to build the pathfinder? Did your team recommend the lasers to explore the surface?

all/Jessup Elem, MD: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:43AM PDT
If there is possibly a subsurface ocean, could there be subsurface life other than bacteria?

Sue: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:43AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
What is Mars atmosphere made of?

Jeannie/Weaver: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:45AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Is there ever a possiblity of Mars entering our orbit?

Jack at NASA: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:58AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Dear Jeannie: This would require that something like a huge impact knock Mars out of its present orbit and move it close to the Earth. This is very unlikely, but possible.

Sue: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:46AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
If the Pathfinder is computer oriented and you can see what is going on why does it keep getting stuck on rocks?

Jack at NASA: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 10:01AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Dear Sue: Driving the rover is a difficult task. It involves a comination of seeing and guessing distances with cameras and the laser range finders on the rover. Driving cant be done in real time, that is, we cant just joy stick the rover like we can a model car. So we have to send a command and have the rover carry it out on its own. It turns out to be imprecise enough at this point that we can make mistakes. Still it is working pretty well and the next rover will be easier as we learn more about what we need to do.

Bruce/Blake: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:46AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Could are spacecraft be contaminating Mars with bacteria?

Sue: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:46AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
How many rocks have you studied?

Chris: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:47AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
It would be interesting to bring some Earth life to Mars, and see if it could survive. If we do not find life on Mars, should we do this or not?

Jack at NASA: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 10:05AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Dear Chris: We have probably already delivered bacteria there on the spacecrafts that have landed (2 Viking landers in 1976 and now the Sagan lander with Sojourner). It is really not possible to produce a perfectly sterile lander, so forward contamination is inevitable. But we have tried to minimize that as much as possible and have no evidence that any organisms survived. Personally I don't think we should attempt to introduce organisms until we have studied the planet to know if life is there already. I guess you could say I'm a Mars environmentalist on this issue.

Sue: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:47AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
How does Pathfinder work?

all/Jessup Elem, MD: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:48AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Jack, thanks for answering all our questions. We will read the rest of the answers in the archive.

Bruce/Blake: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:48AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
What do you think Mars would be like in 1,000 years?

Sue: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:48AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
How many days does pathfinder stay on Mars?

Nick/Homeschool: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:48AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
My dad works at Yucca Mountain---everyone complains about neuclear waste there. Why don't we put all on mars??

Travis/Jessup Elem., MD: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:48AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Thank you for answering our questions. We look forward to hearing all of your answers. Good-bye from Jessup Elementary.

Cindy/compukids: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:49AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Travis (age 11) wants to know if Olympus Mons ever erupted. Also, Tricia (13) and Justine (7) would like to know if there were any surprises?

Jack at NASA: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 10:08AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Dear Travis, Tricia, and Justine: Olympus Mons has porbably been active throughout most of Mars' history. We have not seen it erupt yet, but as I mentioned earlier today, there are lava flows in that area of Mars that have no impact carters at all, suggeting the flows are very young. The most recent Mars surprise was Barnacle Bill which has a lot of the element silicon, far more than anyone would have predicted.

Sue: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:50AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Right now is it possible to get a person on Mars?

David/Willard: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:50AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Since Mars is proabably still volcanically "alive," are there sensors that could be used by an orbiter or a lander to detect and monitor subsurface thermal activity?

Bruce/Blake: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:51AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
If there is only one tectonic-plate on Mars would there be Mars quakes?

Sue: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:51AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
How long have you been doing your job?

Sue,: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:51AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
What makes you interested in science?

Sue: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:53AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
We have to leave thanks. Bye!!!

Chris: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:54AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Do you believe that the Mars rock, found on earth, really did have Mars fossils in it? How can they finally answer this question?

Jack at NASA: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 10:10AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Dear Chris: I am sceptical about the so-called fossils in Martian meteorite ALH84001. They are so much smaller than the smallest cells on Earth and so far we have no evidence that they have a cellular structure or any assocaited organics, I think they could just as easily be inorganic. We have been given some of the meteorite to study and should begin in a month or so. So hopefully soon we will be able to decide for ourselves!

Nick/Homeschool: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:56AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Is there a magnectic field on mars (like the earth's true north and magnectic north)??

Jeannie/Weaver: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:57AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Thanks for giving us so much great information!

Compukids/Cindy: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:57AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Thanks so much, Mr. Farmer! We will continue to watch and listen.

Chris: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:57AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Here is another question for after the chat ends, if you could be so kind as to put the answer in the archives. Can you describe, briefly, the composition of the rocks of Mars. How much oxygen is there? And if the oxygen is low in the rocks, wouldn't that make a manned mission rather difficult? Secondly, if there is not available water, wouldn't that also make a manned mission difficult to do? Bruce/Blake: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 9:58AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Could the creation of iron oxide affect the amount of oxygen in Mars' atmosphere?

Bruce/Blake: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 10:00AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Do you think the meteorite from Mars contain fossil bacteria, or is it something else?

Sandy/NASA Chat Host: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 10:03AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
EVERONE: Jack has agreed to stay on an EXTRA 15 MINUTES to try and catch up! Please hold up on your questions for 5 minutes to give him a chance! His fingers are starting to get tired!

Chris: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 10:06AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
We have to go; thanks for the chat. Good luck in the future!

Nick/Homeschool: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 10:15AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
(My sister Brooke--age 6) What is mars like??

Sandy/NASA Chat Host: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 10:18AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Brooke (Nick's sister): Jack is gone now, but I can answer your question. Mars is cold, dusty, the soil is the color of rust and it has no air so we wouldn't be able to breathe on our own! Yuck!

Sandy/NASA Chat Host: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 10:16AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
EVERYONE: Now it really is time for Jack to go back to work! Thanks to all of you for sending in such terrific questions! You did your homework! I will work on archiving this chat this afternoon and will put it up on our Web site. And a very special THANK YOU to Jack for your awesome answers. I know we all learned something new today! Jack apologies for not being able to answer everyone's question and hopes he can do another WebChat in the future.

Nick/Homeschool: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 10:17AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Thank you Mr. Farmer, for answering my questions!

Nick/Homeschool: . . . . Thu, Jul 24, 10:18AM PDT (-0700 GMT)
Bye, and thanks again!


BACK
 
Spacer        

Footer Bar Graphic
SpacerSpace IconAerospace IconAstrobiology IconWomen of NASA IconSpacer
Footer Info