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UPDATE # 23 - March 6, 1997

PART 1: Upcoming WebChat
PART 2: Planetary Explorer Toolkit Nears Completion
PART 3: New Project: Shuttle Team Online
PART 4: Travel, Travel, Travel!
PART 5: Subscribing & Unsubscribing: How to do it!


UPCOMING WEBCHATS

- Tuesday, March 11, 9-10 a.m., PDT, Bridget Landry
        Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA

- Wednesday, March 19, 10-11 a.m., PDT, Pieter Kallemyn
        Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA

- Tuesday, March 25, 9-10 a.m., PDT, Ted Roush
        Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

BRIDGET LANDRY teaches computers on the ground to speak the same
language as the Mars Pathfinder. As the deputy uplink systems
engineer, Bridget takes very complex, but general computer
programs and makes them understand all the commands that the
Pathfinder knows. The people on the science and instrument teams
then use this tool to build sets of commands called sequences,
which, when sent to the spacecraft, accomplish specific tasks, like
taking pictures, etc.

PIETER KALLEMEYN is one of three navigators for the Mars
Pathfinder, a 900-kg unmanned spacecraft who's final destination is
more than 150 million miles away. Pieter and the other navigators
are responsible for determining where the spacecraft is, predicting
where it will go in the near future, and determining the means to
correct the path in order for it to reach the surface of Mars.

TED ROUSH is a planetary scientist who studies the composition of
solid surfaces throughout the solar system. He is 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. His work
includes telescopic and spacecraft observations, laboratory work
and computer calculations. He use telescopes located on Earth and on
spacecraft to measure the sunlight that is reflected from the
surfaces of objects in the solar system.

Read more about Bridget, Pieter and Ted by going to their
biographies at: http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/mars/team
Please join us! RSVP to Andrea by sending a brief Email note to
andream@quest.arc.nasa.gov. This RSVP is very important, as it will
allow us to ensure that the chatroom does not become too crowded.



PLANET EXPLORER TOOLKIT NEARS COMPLETION

In a few short weeks classes all over the world will have the opportunity to put into action the special instrument package devised by a group of dedicated P.E.T. Lead Classrooms -- students and educators, who, during January and February, helped devise what they think might be the best Planet Explorer Toolkit. From March 3- 14, the group will finalize the specific instruments of the Toolkit, and will do so with the assistance David Mittman, a flight engineer and mission planner of the Mars Pathfinder mission. Your class may participate in online discussions with experts via our special email list called "debate-lfm" and may join the discussion at any time during the activity. Students from grades two through high school have been actively participating since December! Sanjay Limaye, planetary scientist advisor who guided the P.E.T. Lead Classrooms throughout January and February, recently noted that this phase of the activity is called the Critical Design Review. Once consensus is reached, classes will gather their Toolkit instruments, prepare for their data collection "mission" and "launch" their instrument package to record data on a local site convenient to them. Whether you and your students have been monitoring the P.E.T. online collaborative activity or have just recently become involved in the Live From Mars project, all classes are invited to join in the next phase, launch and data collection, by serving as a member of the Planetary Data Input team. In just two weeks, you will gather the instruments needed for your Toolkit, determine the best area (nearby your school/site) for data collection, and collect data that uniquely describe your region. All participating groups will submit their data (via email or web- based form), which will in turn become part of an online database and the basis for further interpretive activities. More details about P.E.T. are available online at the Live From Mars Web site under "Featured Events." Following is a schedule of key dates: - By March 14: Reach consensus on the contents of the Toolkit - March 15-April 4: Assemble Toolkit, initiate Launch phase and collect planetary data on site - By April 4: Submit data via email or web-based form - By April 11: Passport to Knowledge will select winning classes (one per grade-level range: elementary, middle and high school) on the basis of their overall involvement in the P.E.T. activity. These classes will receive special honors and one class will be selected to participate in the April 24 live broadcast. Each of the selected classes will receive a special award allowing them unique ways to participate in NASA's missions to the Red Planet. A special enrichment activity entitled "Where in the World is this P.E.T. Mystery Site?" will engage students in using Toolkit data to determine the location of five mystery sites. This activity will be detailed in future updates. Classes will be invited to submit answers through May 9. If you have questions about the P.E.T. activity send email to Jan Wee: jwee@mail.arc.nasa.gov >>>>>>> To join the debate-lfm email discussion forum <<<<<<<<<<< 1. Send a message to: listmanager@quest.arc.nasa.gov 2. Leave the subject blank 3. In the message body, write: subscribe debate-lfm 4. Send your message. You will soon receive a confirmation message noting that you have been added to the list. From that point on you will receive a copy of all postings to the debate-lfm list. 5. To contribute your input to the discussions, send your message to: debate-lfm@quest.arc.nasa.gov


NEW PROJECT: SHUTTLE TEAM ONLINE

An exciting NASA Learning Technologies project called "Shuttle Team Online" has just been launched. STO will be active from March through May 1997. You and your students will join the men and women who make the space shuttle fly and learn about their diverse and exciting careers. We'll peek behind the scenes as these folks train astronauts, prepare the shuttle between missions, launch the shuttle, successfully execute the mission from Mission Control and safely land the shuttle. The focus will be on STS-83, a 16-day microgravity lab scheduled for launch April 3, 1997. This project will provide many opportunities to interact with these enthusiastic people through email exchange and frequent live network events such as WebChats. As the project develops, the best way to stay up to date is to join the mail list. Send an email to: listmanager@quest.arc.nasa.gov In the message body, write exactly these words: subscribe updates-sto Visit our Web site at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/shuttle


[Editor's note: Peter is a member of the science teams that plan, and will analyze images sent back by the Mars Orbiter Camera on Mars Global Surveyor, as well as the Orbiter and Lander cameras on the '98 Mars Surveyor Orbiter and Lander. He also works on other planetary missions such as the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous Mission, the Galileo mission to Jupiter, and the Cassini mission to be launched to Saturn.] TRAVEL, TRAVEL, TRAVEL! Peter Thomas: http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/mars/team/journals/thomas February 16 -26, 1997 Most scientists working on planetary spacecraft are involved with more than one mission, so our attention, and travel, frequently are divided many ways. This journal is written just after returning from the latest trip. February 16: Fly to Phoenix, Arizona for a Galileo workshop on the satellites of Jupiter, Callisto and Europa, at the Geology Department of Arizona State University. After arrival, review materials I am supposed to present for Paul Helfenstien, who is unable to attend (another typical activity: sharing presentations to cut down on travel), on whether morning frost can be detected on Callisto. February 17: Meeting on Callisto; large photos recently sent back by Galileo are spread around the room, and the 20 or so attendees look closely at them during and between presentations on specific science questions, and on outlines for further study and joint writing of articles describing the results. Callisto doesn't look the way we thought it would from Voyager data, and much of the time is spent trying to come up with ideas on why it doesn't. After the workshop, a dinner is held at the host's (Ronald Greeley) house. Science decreases in talk at dinner, but doesn't go away. February 18: Europa workshop. More people show up for this one as Europa has attracted much attention for the possibility of an ocean under its ice cover. We don' solve the problem, but try to outline how best to use remaining orbits of Galileo to take the most diagnostic data. February 19: With Galileo meetings over, and a Mars polar science workshop in Houston several days off, I stop by friends at the University of Colorado at Boulder. It is supposed to be vacation, but we spend sometime every day talking about Mars: my hosts, Steve Lee and Todd Clancy, are on the Mars Surveyor Orbiter '98 camera team (as am I), and they also are active in Space Telescope observations of Mars. Steve has long studied the changes in surface contrasts on Mars caused by dust storms, and he has recent HST pictures that show dust storms in unusual places (the north pole in spring time). We also manage to see comet Hale-Bopp early the morning of the 22nd. February 23: Fly to Houston for the Mars Polar Science workshop at the Lunar and Planetary Institute. This is a meeting to get the planetary scientists studying Mars' polar regions together with people who specialize in studying terrestrial glaciers, especially Greenland and Antarctica. Mars' poles both have very distinctive layered deposits, and seasonal deposition of carbon dioxide and water frost (1/4th the whole atmosphere freezes out at the poles each winter). While there is the strong suspicion that these record cycles of climate driven by changes in Mars' orbit and rotation, we have little information on what they are made of, let alone what really controls their formation. The hope is the terrestrial record of going in and out of ice ages in recent geologic time might help figure out the Mars layers, or vice versa. The workshop is very informal, and includes some specific presentations of particular science investigations, but also a lot of discussion of how best to have Mars Global Surveyor instruments, and future missions, address some of the key questions: What are the polar deposits made of? Are they accumulating now or are they eroding? How does one try to detect layers at depth on Mars as can be done in Antarctica by radar and seismology. What are the resources available for refueling lander missions on Mars? In getting ready for Mars Global Surveyor such meetings help focus on some of the work to be done, and on the likelihood of changing our whole investigation strategy after we see some of the data, which will include higher resolution pictures than ever before, and types of data never taken at Mars: laser measured topography and mineralogic data from infrared thermal emissions. One of the fun aspects of this meeting, and most related ones, is the mix of people who have been doing science for decades with those just starting out professionally, as well as the wide range of specialties and points of view. Feb 26: Attend first part of last day of meeting, then race to catch plane home; flight home includes revising a manuscript on the Martian satellites. Editing papers on airplanes is another typical travel activity. Make it home ok, then check in at office for accumulated work. Back to the usual schedule!
SUBSCRIBING & UNSUBSCRIBING: HOW TO DO IT!

If this is your first message from the updates-lfm list, welcome! To catch up on back issues, please visit the following Internet URL: http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/mars/updates To subscribe to the updates-lfm mailing list (where this message came from), send a message to: listmanager@quest.arc.nasa.gov In the message body, write these words: subscribe updates-lfm conversely... To remove your name from the updates-lfm mailing list, send a message to: listmanager@quest.arc.nasa.gov In the message body, write these words: unsubscribe updates-lfm If you have Web access, please visit our "continuous construction" site at http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/mars

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