PART 1: January Web Chat Schedule
JANUARY WEB CHAT SCHEDULE
Thursday, January 15, 9:30-10:30 a.m., PST, Ken Edgett Back by popular demand is Ken Edgett! Ken is the director of the Arizona Mars K-12 Education Program, a Mars Global Surveyor Thermal Emission Spectrometer Team affiliate, and, as if that weren't enough, he's also the editor of "Mars Underground News" at Arizona State University. Thursday, January 29, 10:30-11:30 a.m., PST, Mark Adler Mark is the Mars Exploration Program architect and Mars Sample Return study manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. This will be a good opportunity to ask about NASA's upcoming plans for going to Mars and what we plan to do once we get there! To participate in these chat you'll need to do two things: 1. preregister by going to: http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/events/interact.html and clicking on RSVP 2. prepare for the chats by reading both experts' biographies at: http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/mars/team/edgett.html http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/mars/team/adler.html Look forward to chatting with you!
TRANSITIONING TO MARS TEAM ONLINE
As part of this project's transition from Live From Mars to Mars Team Online, you may have noticed that the discuss-lfm list has been terminated. In its place are two different lists. One list is focused on the next Passport to Knowledge project called Live From the Rain Forest and is hosted on a different computer. You'll hear about that list separately from PTK. The other list remains on Quest and is simply called discuss. The purpose of this list is similar to discuss-lfm, namely a place where teachers share ideas, information and help. However, the focus of discuss is broader then just Mars. This dialogue on discuss includes all of the projects on Quest, covering NASA topics like shuttle/station, aeronautics, women role models for girls, etc. Certainly, Mars is included so this list will continue to be useful for information on teaching about Mars. We've taken the liberty of including everybody from the discuss-lfm list on the discuss list. We figured this was the best way to maintain continuity without unduly burdening you with having to resubscribe. If you'd like to catch up with the past messages on the list go to: http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/lwgate/DISCUSS/archives/ Recently the discussion has been about hands-on science, the role of writing in teaching science, and other things. No doubt, some people will not want to be part of this list. If you want to unsubscribe, send a message to: email@example.com and in the message body write: unsubscribe discuss PLEASE DO NOT SEND A MESSAGE TO UNSUBSCRIBE TO THE DISCUSS LIST!!! If you have any problems with unsubscribing, please send a note to our friendly human interface, Chris (firstname.lastname@example.org) and he'll see to it that your name is removed from the list. Thanks for bearing with us during this transition. I hope you'll consider contributing to the discuss list with some of the same vigor which has made discuss-lfm such a great success.
JOURNAL REPORT: BRIDGET LANDRY'S FINAL DAYS ON PATHFINDER
Bridget is the deputy uplink systems engineer on Pathfinder. What this really means is that she makes the computers on the ground talk the same language as the computers on the spacecraft. All Good Things Must Come to an End..... December 15, 1997 The final press conference has been held. We will keep trying to contact the spacecraft, but we don't hold out much hope. Pathfinder has been such a success, and yet....we always want more. Because the data rate was so much higher than anticipated, we received more data in the 87 sols we were active than we would have in a full 1-Earth-year extended mission at the expected rate. However, we missed the dust storm season, and we covered less than a quarter of Mars' year (which is just about double Earth's) which means we saw less than one season. We wanted to document seasonal changes in the atmosphere and the surface, to measure the growth of the dust storms, and study their high winds. We wanted to try to take a picture of a dust devil, if we could predict when they might happen...we *always* want more. But what we achieved was spectacular: more than 16,000 IMP images, several hundred rover images, 20 rock and soil analyses, innumerable temperature, pressure and wind measurements. We'll be chewing on this data for a long while. And yet... We held a wake for the spacecraft last Saturday. It was good for everyone, I think, to talk about her, remember her in her glory days. Many people have moved on, and it was good to see them again, right that we all be together once more. I know "closure" and "resolution" have become over-used words, but it was what we all needed. I feel better, and more able to move on, now.
Back to the Beginning...
January 7, 1998 I hate looking for a job, but it has a rhythm to it: hear (or read) about an opening, send out a resume, call for an interview. Make sure friends in the biz know you're looking, in case they hear something. Find out who you know on projects you'd like to join, and drop them a line. Lots of things stirring here. Cassini has launched, and is in for a seven-year cruise, which means people who build things are leaving and people who plan things are just getting started. Galileo is moving into extended missions, which can be very improvisational. And there's a whole slew of Mars missions, imaginatively named: Mars '98, Mars '01, Mars '03. Mars Global Surveyor is in the same laying off/hiring mode that Cassini is in, complicated by the fact that their aerobraking mission has to be revamped, due to the problems with their solar panels. Ideally, I'd like to stay on Mars, and move more toward being an interface between scientists and engineers. (Although both can be incomprehensible to a lay person, they do NOT speak the same language--worse yet, they use the same words to mean different things! (Rather like what often happens between men and women!) In addition, they have different priorities, which often conflict. Since my degrees are in sciences, but I've worked in engineering jobs, I can speak to both sides and interpret, and I think I'd be pretty good at it.) Where I'll actually end up is anyone's guess. Wish me luck!
MARK YOUR CALENDARS: LEARNING TECHNOLOGIES CHANNEL JANUARY SCHEDULE
You may remember that the Learning Technologies Channel provides you with a location on the Internet to participate in online courses and to remotely attend some NASA workshops and seminars. Below is a schedule of events for January. Sign up now! Friday, January 9: * Registration for Teach With the Internet begins. * This extension credit course is all about using Internet projects and resources to teach. This course is being cosponsored by the Autodesk Foundation and San Francisco State University. Monday, January 12: * Every Monday and Wednesday from 11:00 - 11:30 a.m. PST. This series will continue through May 29, 1998. * Young Astronauts Two. This course will continue the space themes introduced in Young Astronauts One, with more emphasis on the Earth. Students will discover how humans affect our planet and how science and technology are used to monitor and improve our quality of life. The program will feature guest appearances by astronauts and scientists. Tuesday, January 13: * Every Tuesday and Thursday from 12:00 - 12:30 p.m., PST. This series will continue through May 29, 1998. * Young Astronauts One: This course will introduce students to the structure and nature of the universe including units on flight rocketry, spacecraft and space stations. The program will feature guest appearances by astronauts and scientists. Wednesday, January 14: * 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. PST * A chat with the "Aerodynamic in Sports Technology" research team. Thursday, Jan 15: * A day celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King's Birthday and launching the Quest Project's recognition of Black History Month. * Today Peggy Motes, the director of the Muncie Community Schools Planetarium in Muncie, Indiana, will host a day of lectures on the use of the Polaris to assist slaves to freedom. Tuesday, Jan 20: * 5:00 - 6:00 p.m. PST * U.S. Department of Education's Satellite Town Meeting: "Serving Students With Disabilities: What Families, Schools and Communities Need to Know." Thursday, Jan 29: * 10:30 - 11:30 a.m. PST * Attend a live lecture and chat session with the "Aerodynamic in Sports Technology" research team. This team has been recording data from some of the top tennis players around the world to study how the tennis ball flies. For more information on the Quest Team's Learning Technology Channel, visit the Web site at: http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/ltc/schedule.html
MARS GLOBAL SURVEYOR FLIGHT STATUS REPORT
December 23, 1997 The dust storm that the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft successfully side stepped last month has largely faded in intensity. Although haze and other effects in the Martian atmosphere continue to be observed, the core of the storm has dissipated, and the Surveyor spacecraft has resumed its normal pace of aerobraking. However, the flight team's atmospheric advisory group will continue to monitor conditions closely because the dust storm season on Mars extends well into next year. Over the last 10 days, eight passes through the atmosphere have reduced the altitude of the orbit's high point by 1239 miles (1994 km) and decreased the period of revolution around the red planet by 1.9 hours. In addition to aerobraking operations, members of the flight team are currently developing operational scenarios for detailed science observations between May 1998 and September 1998. During that time, are currently developing operational scenarios for detailed science observations between May 1998 and September 1998. During that time, aerobraking will be temporarily placed on hiatus. This pause will provide the science teams with an opportunity to conduct detailed observations of the red planet free from the operational constraints imposed by atmospheric operations. The final mapping orbit will be reached in March 1999. After a mission elapsed time of 411 days from launch, Surveyor is 196.1 million miles (315.63 million kilometers) from the Earth and in an orbit around Mars with a high point of 23,229 miles (37,384 km), a low point of 76.1 miles (122.4 km), and a period of 27.7 hours. The spacecraft is currently executing the P71 command sequence, and all systems continue to perform as expected. The next status report will be released Friday, January 9. Happy New Years from the Mars Global Surveyor Flight Operations Team!
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