Date: September 16, 1998
Featuring: Ted Roush
Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA
[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 7 - 08:31:14
Hello to our early arriving Mars Team Online participants! Mars Team
Online chat with Ted Roush from NASA Ames Research Center will begin
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[ TedRoush/ARC - 10 - 09:00:47 ]
Good morning Everyone! I'm Ted Roush a space scientist at NASA Ames
Research Center. I study what materials the surfaces of other planets
and satellites in our solar system are made of. I hope I can answer
any questions you might have today.
[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 12 - 09:02:43
Welcome to today's Mars Team Online chat with Ted Roush from NASA Ames
Research Center! Ted explains: "I am a planetary scientist who studies
the composition of solid surfaces throughout the solar system. This
means that I am interested in the minerals and rock types found on the
surfaces of rocky bodies and the various ices found on the surfaces
of icy bodies. Knowing what these materials are is important for understanding
how the interiors and surfaces of the bodies originally formed and how
they evolved over time. My work includes telescopic and spacecraft observations,
laboratory work and computer calculations."
[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 14 - 09:02:58
And now, here is Ted Roush to answer your questions.
[ TedRoush/ARC - 23 - 09:06:45 ]
RE: [Joshua/NBC-Mrs.Hodges/NBC] I am planning
on being a future astronaut. What are your suggestions?
Joshua, It takes a lot of effort and dedication to become an astronaut.
You must have skills that are valuable in space such as a strong background
in biology, astronomy, or geology. I recommend you identify a skill
that is useful in space that you enjoy and become an expert. Some experience
in flying airplanes is also an advantage.
[ TedRoush/ARC - 24 - 09:07:18 ]
RE: [Devon/NBC-Mrs.Hodges/NBC] Have you ever
been in space before?
Devon, I have never been in space.
[ TedRoush/ARC - 25 - 09:08:35 ]
1.Is there a plan to probe Mercury?
Raya, Currently there are no missions scheduled to Mercury. There have
been and continue to be several missions to Mercury proposed.
[ TedRoush/ARC - 26 - 09:10:30 ]
Is there life on Europa?
Kasey, Right now we don't know if there is any life on Europa. There
is a continuing mission mapping the surface of Europa now. There are
future missions intended to search for a sub-surface ocean that MAY
exist on Europa. IF such an ocean exists, then it might harbor life.
[ TedRoush/ARC - 27 - 09:12:20 ]
RE: [Duncan/NBC-Mrs.Hodges/NBC] How much
does the space suit weigh?
Duncan, Sorry I don't know the weight of a space suit. However, in addition
to the protective suit, astronauts need to carry their own air supply,
much like skin divers on Earth. New materials are making the suits lighter
and more manuverable.
[ TedRoush/ARC - 29 - 09:14:20 ]
RE: [Julie/NBC-Mrs.Hodges/NBC] How did you
decide to be a planetary scientist?
Julie, I became a Planetary Scientist after working with a professor
in college. He encouraged me to think about what materials on other
surfaces were made of and provided me with some initial research experience.
After that I went on to graduate school, undertook more research, and
eventually became a planetary scientist.
[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 30 - 09:14:45
Many of your questions can be answered by reading Ted Roush's autbiography
Please read his autobiography if you have not already done so, before
posting new questions to the chat room. Thank you for your cooperation.
[ TedRoush/ARC - 34 - 09:16:36 ]
2.How long would it take to get to Mercury from Earth?
Raya, It really depends upon the speed at which one travels. For example,
light from the sun takes only about 8 minutes to reach the Earth. However,
spacecraft carrying astronauts travel much slower than light. If a spacecraft
were on a direct course to Mercury, it would probably take a few months
to reach the planet.
[ TedRoush/ARC - 35 - 09:19:04 ]
RE: [steve] When did we first go to
Mars to get information?
Steve, Mars has been viewed by astronomers for over a century. The first
spacecraft to visit Mars were from the Soviet Union, now known as Russia,
and visited Mars in the mid-1960's.
[ TedRoush/ARC - 37 - 09:21:50 ]
RE: [JEFFREY] 1) When are you going
to visit Pluto?
Jeffrey, Unfortunately I doubt if I will get a chance to personally
visit Pluto. Even the most optimistic travel times to Pluto are 7-10
years after launch. Although talked about many times, there are currently
no missions planned to Pluto. If you get a chance to visit Pluto in
the future, be sure to bring along some warm clothes as the surface
is so cold that the Earth's atmosphere would freeze there.
[ TedRoush/ARC - 40 - 09:23:58 ]
RE: [steve] Have you touched a moon
Steve, No I've not touched a Moon rock. This is because NASA attempts
to keep the rocks free from contamination. If I handled a Moon rock
I would leave behind the oils from my fingers. I have visited the "clean"
room where the moon rocks are kept and studied. We had to put on special
overalls and caps to keep the room "clean".
[ TedRoush/ARC - 42 - 09:26:31 ]
RE: [Mike] This question started off
as a joke, but now we'd l;ike to know if there is an answer. The question
is: If a vehicle travels at the speed of light and then turns on its
headlights, what will happen to the light?
Mike, I recall reading an answer to this question somewhere, but I can't
think of it now. Let me know when you create such a vehicle!
[ TedRoush/ARC - 45 - 09:29:51 ]
RE: [Devon/NBC] Do you know what kinds
of minerals are in the rocks on Mars?
Devon, Based on a whole bunch of measurements of Mars from the Earth,
spacecraft in orbit and on the surface of Mars, and studies of meteorites
believed to have come from Mars the minerals believed to be there are
known. They include minerals we find on earth in volcanic regions such
as olivines, pyroxenes, and plagioclases. There also appears to be evidence
for some sulfate minerals, some carbonate minerals, and some basaltic
[ TedRoush/ARC - 49 - 09:32:24 ]
RE: [Duncan/NBC] How far can you see
with your telescope?
Duncan, We can look beyond our solar system with telescopes. In fact
if you stand outside at night and look at the stars you can also see
beyond our solar system. Within our solar system we can view different
regions on distant Pluto that have areas the size of a few hundreds
to thousands of miles.
[ TedRoush/ARC - 50 - 09:36:07 ]
RE: [TaSheena] 1.How would you know
how the sun has started and when it will die out?
TaShenna, What we know about stellar evolution comes from studying other
stars that are similar to the sun. The sun finally "starts" when it
gives off lots of energy. This is due to nuclear reactions occuring
on the sun. Over its lifetime the nuclear fuel is slowly consumed, the
sun will expand, and eventually "die out".
[ TedRoush/ARC - 54 - 09:38:28 ]
RE: [Joshua/NBC] Were you involved
in the creating o the Mars Team?
Joshua, I'm not sure what Mars team your refering to. For each mission
to Mars there are many scientists involved with each instrument carried
on-board the spacecraft. Each instrument may well have an associated
"team". I am currently a member of the Mars Global Surveyor, Thermal
Emission Spectrometer team.
[ TedRoush/ARC - 55 - 09:42:25 ]
RE: [Malcolm] What is Saturn made
Malcolm, We do not see to the surface of Saturn because it's atmosphere
is so thick. The gases we identify in the atmosphere include methane,
hydrogen cyanide and other hydrocarbons.
[ TedRoush/ARC - 56 - 09:45:00 ]
RE: [steve] Are ther pieces of asteroids
on earth? Could we actually pick up those pieces?
Steve, Meteorites are the objects which fall from space and land on
the earth. It is believed that most of these meteorites originally came
from asteroids, although a few from the moon have been identified and
a few are believed to come from Mars. Yes, you could pick up these meteorites
if you were lucky enough to identify them from the local rocks.
[ TedRoush/ARC - 57 - 09:48:41 ]
RE: [Anthony] What are the differences
between rocks found on the Moon and rocks found on Mars?
Anthony, While we have rocks we have returned from the moon, in the
meteorite collection we only have samples we believe have come from
Mars. If we compare these samples, the moon rocks typically are much
older than the martian samples, and the martian rocks appear to be more
"weathered" than the moon rocks.
[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 58 - 09:49:13
As a reminder, please let us know what you thought about today's chat
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Your feedback is important to us!
[ TedRoush/ARC - 59 - 09:50:34 ]
RE: [DeanMontgomery] Is there a surfis
Dean, Yes, somewhere below the thick atmospheric clouds there is a surface
[ TedRoush/ARC - 62 - 09:52:09 ]
RE: [Clarissa] 1.Does Mercury have
Clarissa, Mercury has a very, very thin atmosphere composed mostly of
atoms of sodium. With such a thin atmosphere, there is no weather as
we think of it.
[ TedRoush/ARC - 63 - 09:53:16 ]
RE: [Devon/NBC] have you ever seen
the rock from Mars that landed in Antarctica?
Devon, I have seen only pictures of the antarctic meteorite believed
to have come from Mars, although they were pictures taken by the person
who found it!
[ TedRoush/ARC - 67 - 09:55:03 ]
RE: [Sammie] Do you think it's possible
to create an atmosphere on another planet so that humans can live there?
Sammie, Theoretically it is possible to create an atmosphere on another
planet. However, it would require some source of the gases for the atmosphere,
and a lot of energy to force the gases to become trapped around the
[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 72 - 09:57:55
As Ted answers the final questions from today's chat, we would like
to thank allof you for joining us online today. A special thanks to
Ted Roush for sharing his time and expertise with us in today's chat!
[ TedRoush/ARC - 71 - 09:56:47 ]
RE: [Andrea] What is the best thing
about your job?
Andrea, The best thing about my job is interacting with people who think
about many subjects related to solar system evolution. It's always great
to see data from an object before anyone else and try to understand
what it means.
[ TedRoush/ARC - 73 - 09:57:57 ]
RE: [Kimberly] How long do you work?
Kimberly, I am usually in my office about 9 hours a day, and take some
homework with me when I leave at night.
[ TedRoush/ARC - 74 - 09:59:30 ]
RE: [grassi/lomitapark] How hot is
it on Mars?
Grassi, At the height of summer, in the warmest locations on Mars the
surface temperature typically does not reach above the freezing temperature
[ TedRoush/ARC - 75 - 10:02:21 ]
RE: [Alyssa/NBC] What does Mars' surface
look like from a telescope or space craft?
Alyssa, There are probably many world-wide-web pages that illustrate
what Mars looks like. It depends partly on the telescope and ability
of the cameras on the spacecraft. From the telescope mars has three
distinct colors, red, blackish, and white. The red corresponds to "bright
regions", the black to "dark regions", and the white to the polar caps.
From a spacecraft (http://www.msss.com)
we can see some indivdual rocks (6 ft. or 2m).
[ TedRoush/ARC - 80 - 10:07:32 ]
RE: [MrCrittenden] Do you perform
environmental impact statements with respect to our visiting Mars and
elsewhere in space?
Mr. Crittenden, Yes NASA is required to address not only environmental
impact issues when visiting other planets, but also potential bio-contamination
of the environment to visit. It would be unfortunate to visit Mars,
contaminate it with bio-markers from the spacecraft, and then "discover
life" on Mars based on these bio-markers.
[ Duncan/NBC - 68 - 09:55:37 ]
We enjoyed this chat because it was informatave and fun. Right now we
need to go to lunch.
[ Joshua/NBC - 70 - 09:56:32 ]
We really apreciate you talking to us, and we thought it was inspirational
[ Oran/NASAChatHost - 76 - 10:02:52
This concludes today's chat with Ted Roush from NASA Ames Research Center.
Be sure to let us know what you thought about today's chat at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/qchats/qchat-surveys.
[ steve - 77 - 10:03:12 ]
This has been very informative and has provided students in my class
to realize the power of the internet and the good work that NASA is
doing. Please keep it up and thank you Mr. Rousch It is important to
share with students the opportunities af NASA. Thanks again
[ TedRoush/ARC - 78 - 10:04:38 ]
To All, I'm sorry if I didn't get to your question. I enjoyed the opportunity
to meet with you all today. Ted Roush
[ Mike - 79 - 10:04:47 ]
Everyone at our site would like to thank Ted for his time and expertise.
Tahnks a lot Mr. Roush.