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Black History Month QuestChat
Date: February 29, 2000
Featuring: Oran Cox
QuestChat Project Manager
NASA Ames Research Center, Moffet Field, CA

[ Sandy/NASAChatHost - 0 - 08:14:01 ]
Thanks for registering for our Black History Month chat with Oran Cox from NASA Ames Research Center. Oran's chat will begin on Tuesday, February 29, at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time. Be sure you've read Oran's profile at http://quest.nasa.gov/qchats/ocox to prepare your questions.

[ Sandy/NASAChatHost - 1 - 08:15:37 ]
If you try to post questions or messages in the chat room right now, they won't show up on your screen. But we'll keep them in our chat queue and try to post them during the chat. Please join us on Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. for our chat with Oran Cox. We look forward to hearing from you then!

[ Sandy/NASAChatHost - 3 - 08:58:15 ]
Good Morning! And welcome to another in our series of Black History Month Chats. Our guest today is Oran Cox. Oran is responsible for managing all of the NASA Quest webchats, and is standing by and ready to take your questions!

[ OranCox/ARC - 4 - 08:59:03 ]
Good morning everyone!

[ Sandy/NASAChatHost - 5 - 09:06:28 ]
Oran's job as manager of all of NASA Quest's chats keeps his very busy. Each month he works hard to recruit 15-20 NASA experts in the areas of aeronautics, the space shuttle, women in science and space science. After the "recruits" sign on, Oran creates chats rooms for each individual chat, advertises the chat, and then conducts practice sessions with the chat experts.

[ OranCox/ARC - 9 - 09:11:30 ]
RE: [bevwebs/Swift] Hi Oran! My kids are having a lot of fun building a model of their Mars Milennium Community! They have almost finished it and are now writing to compare Earth with Mars. They are concerned with how to use and recycle water on Mars. What would you suggest?
Hi Bev. Water reclamation and purification is a rather involved process. I would suggest first thinking about the different ways in which waste water is created. You can then discuss the different mechanisms you would need in order to begin the process. For example, on Earth, waste water is created through everyday activities such as bathing, gardening, laundry, etc. If we were to do these same things on Mars we would want to have a way of separating solids and other contaminants from the water and then collecting and purifying the liquid. Try using an Internet search with "water reclamation" and "water purification" and see what come up for you.

[ OranCox/ARC - 10 - 09:13:18 ]
RE: [Jon] what does the ames research center do?
Jon, the primary focus of the Ames Research Center is aeronautics. The center has the world's largest wind tunnel, as well as a motion simulator used by the astronauts as part of their training.

[ OranCox/ARC - 12 - 09:17:24 ]
RE: [Jon-Mrs.Morret/MechanicsburgIntermediateSchool] Our class is designing a community on Mars, and we can't figure out how to get gravity. Do you have any suggestions
Jon, I'm certainly not a Mars expert. But we've all heard about artifical gravity being created with something called centripetal force. For example, if you put a marble in a container and rotate the container very fast, the marble tends to be pushed outwards. However, the container walls keep the marble from flying off into space. So you might consider how that concept might work involving humans. Again, I reccommend an Internet search with key words such as "artifical gravity" or "centripetal force."

[ OranCox/ARC - 15 - 09:18:32 ]
RE: [Sandy/NASAChatHost] DID YOU KNOW... About a year and a half before Oran graduated from San Jose State University, he decided to change his major to anthropology, after accumulating a whole bunch of knowledge, coursework and research experience in math and science. Shortly thereafter, he began my internship at NASA and that's how he became the NASA Quest Chat King :-)
Sandy, looks like I'm putting some of my science backgruond to work today!

[ Sandy/NASAChatHost - 19 - 09:25:00 ]
ANOTHER LITTLE-KNOWN TIDBIT ABOUT ORAN... "The best part about the work I've done has been being able to meet many different people throughout NASA and offer them opportunities to share their personal and professional lives with children and the general public. I enjoy receiving letters from young people about how much they enjoy being able to 'talk' to NASA people during chats, or read about their interesting lives in their autobiographies."

[ OranCox/ARC - 20 - 09:25:19 ]
RE: [Jon-Mrs.Morret/MechanicsburgIntermediateSchool] I know you said that you aren't a Mars expert but i was just wondering if there were any shapes for our community that could help make the artificial gravity?
Jon, I'm not exactly sure. However, if we continue I'd imagine the community would need to incorporate some kind of spherically construction to allow the centripetal force to be created.

[ Sandy/NASAChatHost - 21 - 09:26:17 ]
THE HARDEST PART OF ORAN'S JOB... "I think the hardest part of my work is trying to coordinate with NASA experts for chats. Many of them are very busy, especially when a mission is being planned or when a shuttle launch is near. The process of trying to communicate with them can be frustrating. I'd have to say that patience really plays a part in my work because results are not instantaneous. But I think the results are worth it!"

[ OranCox/ARC - 22 - 09:29:49 ]
RE: [Jon-Mrs.Morret/MechanicsburgIntermediateSchool] Do you think magnetic walls and boots would also work as well as artifical gravity?
Jon, you must have seen the movie "2001..." Certainly, magnetic walls and boots would keep us "grounded." But you need to think about if that would be an obstacle to mobility, and if the amount of energy humans would need to expend just to move around. Also, the entire community would need to be equipped with material that allows magnetic attraction. This means we would either have to mine Mars for such material or bring much of it with us, thereby increasing the cost of a mission dramatically.

[ OranCox/ARC - 23 - 09:30:44 ]
RE: [Jon-Mrs.Morret/MechanicsburgIntermediateSchool] Your dog Anxious is very cute!
Thanks, Jon. Although he's now almost 14 years old, he's still very "Anxious" in his old age.

[ Sandy/NASAChatHost - 25 - 09:33:04 ]
ORAN'S "STICK-TO-IT" PHILOSOPHY... "Follow the path you believe is best for you. People will offer you suggestions about what they believe is best for you, or criticize your decisions throughout your life. However, as long as the United States upholds individualism, you are ultimately responsible for choosing your own path in life. Therefore, if you are willing to work hard to achieve your goals, then you can be successful at whatever you pursue. The road may not be an easy one, but just keep pushing for what you want and never forget where you ultimately want to be."

[ OranCox/ARC - 26 - 09:48:11 ]
For those of you still with us, I'm ready for more questions. Please send them in!

[ OranCox/ARC - 27 - 09:53:29 ]
EVERYONE, Sandy, our moderator is having technical difficulties. She has asked that you please send your comments about today's chat to us using our online surveys. The surveys are located at http://quest.nasa.gov/qchats. We hope to hear from you!

[ OranCox/ARC - 28 - 09:57:43 ]
I will need to sign off so that I can return to my "normal duties" as NASA QuestChat moderator. (I'll be moderating another chat in just a few minutes!) Thanks to all who joined us for today's chat. Good luck to you in the future!


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