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Welcome to Student Stumpers

Student Stumpers is a site created for students to connect with other kids who are also participating in the project. In this section, students make up challenging questions about this project that they think would be difficult to answer. Below we will list the questions. Other students then email their responses directly to the student author of the question. Send your Student Stumpers to me: Dan Helfman. In the subject, write Mars Student Stumpers, and I will put them online for others to respond directly to you.

Things to consider before you post: Please read this at least once!


Received July 23, 1998:

    What is in the soil of Mars that can make enough cement for a terristrial Jamestown?
    Answer to: Ashley Wyatt


Received March 14, 1998:

    I have been told that there is point in time when Mars and all the planets align in a straight line. Every how many years does this happen?
    Answer to: Ashley Shepard


Received July 22, 1997:

    Are Phobos and Deimos from the asteroid belt?
    Answer to: Bart


Received July 13, l997:

    How many times bigger was the flood on Mars that happened 1 to 3 billions years ago to the Icelandic flood from thousands of years ago?
    Answer to: Joseph

    How did the Mars Pathfinder land safely on Mars without damaging the Sojourner rover inside.?
    Answer to: Joseph


Received June 9, l997:

    How will Mars be terraformed and about how long will it take?
    Answer to: Rebecca DuBose

    Who recently dicovered a miniplanet beyond Pluto that orbits our Sun?
    Answer to: Rebecca DuBose


Received April 11, l997:

    What would work better on our Rover, treads or regular tires? We want the Rover to run on Mars smoothly.
    Answer to: Nancy

    Will the gases on Mars effect the way the Rover will move?
    Answer to: Jesse

    If we use a tread on the Rover, what type of a tread would be most effective?
    Answer to: Alex

    What's the best way to control the Rover?
    Answer to: Samuel

    How long can we expect the Rover to function properly on Mars?
    Answer to: Jiang Shan

    On Mars what kind of motor should we use to build a transportation vehicle? Should we use the motors that we use on Earth and add heaters?
    Answer to: Davis, Internet Team

    Will a pneumatic system in a transportation vehicle work in the same way on Mars as on Earth?
    Answer to: Sebastion, Internet Team

    If my car is going to melt ice and get suck it in, how am I going to do it?
    Answer to: Siavash, Internet Team

    How will solar flares affect the solar panels that we have on our transportation vehicles?
    Answer to: Mr. Clemo, Internet Team

    If my car is going to cut the ice on Mars from the polar ice caps, what kind of material should I use? What kind of material should I put on my vehicle so it can survive the temperature -129C?
    Answer to: Oggi, Internet Team

    What type of wheels do you need on Mars? Tread wheels or caterpillar wheels? Which would be better?
    Answer to: Davis, Internet Team

    What energy source should I use on Mars to power my transportation vehicle?
    Answer to: Davis, Internet Team

    Can you fly planes on Mars? Why or why not?
    Answer to: Oggi, Internet Team

    How much would an average car weigh on Mars?
    Answer to: Siavash, Internet Team


Received April 10, l997:

    How many months are there on Mars?
    Answer to: Internet Team at Church St. School

    Does being on a different planet affect the human brain? Does it make you smarter or not so smart?
    Answer to: Internet Team, Church St. School

    How do scientists name stars, planets and volcanoes in space? Do they just pick anything they want?
    Answer to: Internet Team, Church St. School


Received March 25, l997:

    Mars the god of war, married Venus the goddess of beauty , they had two children: Deimos and Phobos. These two children were sent to the Asteriod belt where they stayed for a long time. So their mother thought of sending her son from Mercury to the Asteriod belt also to be with them. As soon as her son arrived Deimos and Phebos were, for some reason, heading towards Mars to take orbit around him, so the lonely son was left in the asteriod belt till now waiting for another miracle to happen in order to go and join his brothers. So, who is that son?
    Answer to: Thabet P. Al Fishawi


Received March 23, l997:

    What's weightless, can be seen by the naked eye, and if you put it in a barrel, the barrel gets lighter?
    Answer to: Tim Laferriere

    If Mars is the Fourth Planet from the sun and Earth is the third from the sun do you think Mars is hotter or colder?
    Answer to: Hannah LeVecque


Received March 5, l997:

    Because the rover is operating in an environment where it will be impossible to see what is happening (telerobotics); then there must be sensors for parts to determine if they are working. However, how does one determine which parts are necessary to "sense" if weight is a consideration.
    Answer to: Seth Tinkham


Received February 18, l997:

    How far does Phobos orbit from the surface of Mars?
    Answer to: Rebecca DuBose

    What is the Hottest star known?
    Answer to: Nathan Cohn

    Could Mars be an older, dead version of our planet?
    Answer to: Amelia Blair

    What are the mission objectives of the Mars Rover?
    Answer to: Brad Templeman

    When NASA sends the astronauts to Mars, which will be sent up first? The astronauts or Earth Return Vehicle.
    Answer to: Rebecca DuBose


Received February 16, l997:

    What will the astronauts on Mars do once they get there?
    Answer to: Rebecca DuBose


Received February 15, l997:

    Do you think life on Mars may have retreated underground many years ago? If so, why?
    Answer to: Carmelo J. Ayala

    How soon should a mission to Mars take place? Explain any reasons for mission difficulties.
    Answer to: Carmelo J. Ayala


Received February 14, l997:

    What powers the Mars Rover? How much power can it supply?
    Answer to: Matt Hinson

    What evidence exists on Mars that there was an atmosphere and the possibility of life?
    Answer to: Davis Zarfas

    How could you possibly create an atmosphere using natural resources already existing Mars?
    Answer to: Davis Zarfas


Received February 13, l997:

    What exists directly under the surface of Mars that if warmed up would release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, thus initiating the terraforming process?
    Answer to: Carmelo J. Ayala

    What is terraforming and what would the process involve?
    Answer to: Carmelo J. Ayala


Received February 6, l997:

    Do you think Mars could support life? If so explain why.
    Answer to: Rebecca DuBose


Received January 28, l997:

    It's 2540. You and your family live at the Valles Marineris colony, you love astronomy and you keep watching Mars' two beautiful moons. In the summer you left with your soccer team for an expedition to the South Pole. One night after you finished your work you looked up in the sky, but you could see only one moon! Where did *______ go?
      note : *________ stands for the missing moon name
    Answer to: Thabet Peter Al Fishawi


Received January 20, l997:

    We all know that the first human-made object to crash on the moon was Luna 2, but what was the second object to crash on the moon?
    Answer to: Thabet Peter Al Fishawi


Received December 5, l996:

    What was the first satellite to travel to Mars?
    Answer to: Spencer Morgan

    Who first saw Mars' gibbous phase?
    Answer to: Matt Ziegler

    Can Mars be viewed from Earth with the naked eye? When is the best time to look for it?
    Answer to: Taylor Erickson

    Where and when was the meteorite ALH84001 discovered? How long ago did it land on Earth?
    Answer to: Kelly Radford


Received December 2, l996:

    Mars Pathfinder will enter the atmosphere of Mars at a very high speed which is about 7 km/s as it will not go in orbit before landing. Also the density of the atmosphere of Mars is about 0.6% of the density of Earth's atmosphere. With all these factors MPF will carry a very small parachute which is about 12.5 meters in diameter.
    Why is it not going to carry a larger one?
    Answer to: Thabet Peter Al Fishawi


Received November 28, l996:

    We know that Mars is called the red planet due to its reddish appearance but within a couple of million of years it might have another name, maybe the 5th ringed planet in the Solar System or the "asteriod-like" planet.
    Why will it be called these uncommon names?
    Answer to: Thabet Peter Al Fishawi


Received November 25, l996:

    Are there two planets in our system that can support life?
    Answer to: Brian Vrouvas


Received November 20, l996:

    Where did Mars come from?
    Answer to: Henk Pechler


Received November 19, l996:

    I believe there is life on Mars. Do you? If yes, please reply to me and tell me what you think it's like. Thank you!
    Answer to: Matthew Bisgaier


Received November 6, l996:

    Do you think there is life on Mars? If so what kind of life and how did it become extinct?
    Answer to: Gary Woodward


Received October 30, l996:

    Where did Mars come from?
    Answer to: Tucker


Received October 27, l996:

    Are the days of the week named after planets? and Which day contains the Old English name for Mars, the God of War?
    Answer to: Rebekkah


Received August 23, l996:

    Is there a planet X?
    Answer to: Alex Nick


Things to consider before you post: Please remember when your email address is on the Internet you are open to responses from anyone who wishes to reply. You will need to use good judgment when receiving and answering email from someone you don't know. Here are a couple of guidelines which can make this a truly worthwhile experience:

    Avoid giving your address, telephone, school location, or any information that could lead to an unwanted contact.

    Be courteous when you respond to email. Remember, there is a person who will be receiving your mail.

    If you have any question about what you read or if anything you receive is inappropriate or makes you feel uncomfortable, please report promptly to your teacher, parent and please let me know as well.

During the course of this project, I would like to hear from you as to how the experience as a Student Stumper is going.

A note to teachers: Whenever a student uses the Internet, it is important that they be aware of some guidelines for "acceptable use." In the event that you should need some help in formulating your policy, there are lists online of existing policies which can help.


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