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Sample records for astrobiology explorer abe

  1. AstroBiology Explorer Mission Concepts (ABE/ASPIRE)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandford, Scott; Ennico, Kimberly A.

    2006-01-01

    The AstroBiology Explorer (ABE) and the Astrobiology Space InfraRed Explorer (ASPIRE) Mission Concepts are two missions designed to address the questions (1) Where do we come from? and (2) Are we alone? as outlined in NASA s Origins Program using infrared spectroscopy to explore the identity, abundance, and distribution of molecules of astrobiological importance throughout the Universe. The ABE mission s observational program is focused on six tasks to: (1) Investigate the evolution of ice and organics in dense clouds and star formation regions, and the young stellar/planetary systems that form in them; (2) Measure the evolution of complex organic molecules in stellar outflows; (3) Study the organic composition of a wide variety of solar system objects including asteroids, comets, and the planets and their satellites; (4) Identify organic compounds in the diffuse interstellar medium and determine their distribution , abundance, and change with environment; (5) Detect and identify organic compounds in other galaxies and determine their dependence on galactic type; and (6) Measure deuterium enrichments in interstellar organics and use them as tracers of chemical processes. The ASPIRE mission s observational program expands upon ABE's core mission and adds tasks that (7) Address the role of silicates in interstellar organic chemistry; and (8) Use different resolution spectra to assess the relative roles and abundances of gas- and solid-state materials. ABE (ASPIRE) achieves these goals using a highly sensitive, cryogenically-cooled telescope in an Earth drift-away heliocentric orbit, armed with a suite of infrared spectrometers that cover the 2.5-20(40) micron spectral region at moderate spectral resolution (R>2000). ASPIRE's spectrometer complement also includes a high-resolution (R>25,000) module over the 4-8 micron spectral region. Both missions target lists are chosen to observe a statistically significant sample of a large number of objects of varied types in

  2. The AstroBiology Explorer (ABE) Mission Concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandford, Scott A.

    2004-01-01

    Infrared spectroscopy in the 2.5-16 micron range is a principle means by which organic compounds can be detected and identified in space via their vibrational transitions. Ground-based, airborne, and spaceborne IR spectral studies have already demonstrated that a significant fraction of the carbon in the interstellar medium (ISM) resides in the form of complex organic molecular species. Unfortunately, neither the distribution of these materials nor their genetic and evolutionary relationships with each other or their environments are well understood. The Astrobiology Explorer (ABE) is a MIDEX mission concept currently under study by a team of partners: NASA's Ames Research Center, Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corporation, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. ABE will conduct IR spectroscopic observations to address outstanding important problems in astrobiology, astrochemistry, and astrophysics. The core observational program would make fundamental scientific progress in understanding (1) The evolution of ices and organic matter in dense molecular clouds and young forming stellar systems, (2) The chemical evolution of organic molecules in the ISM as they transition from AGB outflows to planetary nebulae to the general diffuse ISM to HII regions and dense clouds, (3) The distribution of organics in the diffuse ISM, (4) The nature of organics in the Solar System (in comets, asteroids, satellites), and (5) The nature and distribution of organics in local galaxies. The technical considerations of achieving these science objectives in a MIDEX-sized mission will be presented.

  3. Astrobiology and the Human Exploration of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levine, Joel S.; Garvin, James B.; Drake, B. G.; Beaty, David

    2010-01-01

    In March 2007, the Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group (MEPAG) chartered the Human Exploration of Mars Science Analysis Group (HEM-SAG), co-chaired by J. B. Garvin and J. S. Levine and consisting of about 30 Mars scientists from the U.S. and Europe. HEM-SAG was one of a half dozen teams charted by NASA to consider the human exploration of Mars. Other teams included: Mars Entry, Descent and Landing, Human Health and Performance, Flight and Surface Systems, and Heliospheric/Astrophysics. The results of these Mars teams and the development of an architecture for the human exploration of Mars were summarized in two recent publications: Human Exploration of Mars Design Reference Architecture 5.0, NASA Special Publication-2009-566 (B. G. Drake, Editor), 100 pages, July 2009 and Human Exploration of Mars Design Reference Architecture 5.0, NASA Special Publication-2009-566 Addendum (B. G. Drake, Editor), 406 pages, July 2009. This presentation summarizes the HEM-SAG conclusions on astrobiology and the search for life on Mars by humans.

  4. Hydrothermal Exploration at the Chile Triple Junction - ABE's last adventure?

    Science.gov (United States)

    German, C. R.; Shank, T. M.; Lilley, M. D.; Lupton, J. E.; Blackman, D. K.; Brown, K. M.; Baumberger, T.; Früh-Green, G.; Greene, R.; Saito, M. A.; Sylva, S.; Nakamura, K.; Stanway, J.; Yoerger, D. R.; Levin, L. A.; Thurber, A. R.; Sellanes, J.; Mella, M.; Muñoz, J.; Diaz-Naveas, J. L.; Inspire Science Team

    2010-12-01

    In February and March 2010 we conducted preliminary exploration for hydrothermal plume signals along the East Chile Rise where it intersects the continental margin at the Chile Triple Junction (CTJ). This work was conducted as one component of our larger NOAA-OE funded INSPIRE project (Investigation of South Pacific Reducing Environments) aboard RV Melville cruise MV 1003 (PI: Andrew Thurber, Scripps) with all shiptime funded through an award of the State of California to Andrew Thurber and his co-PI's. Additional support came from the Census of Marine Life (ChEss and CoMarge projects). At sea, we conducted a series of CTD-rosette and ABE autonomous underwater vehicle operations to prospect for and determine the nature of any seafloor venting at, or adjacent to, the point where the the East Chile Rise subducts beneath the continental margin. Evidence from in situ sensing (optical backscatter, Eh) and water column analyses of dissolved CH4, δ3He and TDFe/TDMn concentrations document the presence of two discrete sites of venting, one right at the triple junction and the other a further 10km along axis, north of the Triple Junction, but still within the southernmost segment of the East Chile Rise. From an intercomparison of the abundance of different chemical signals we can intercompare likely characteristics of these differet source sites and also differentiate between them and the high methane concentrations released from cold seep sites further north along the Chile Margin, both with the CTJ region and also at the Concepcion Methane Seep Area (CMSA). This multi-disciplinary and international collaboration - involving scientists from Chile, the USA, Europe and Japan - can serve as an excellent and exciting launchpoint for wide-ranging future investigations of the Chile Triple Junction area - the only place on Earth where an oceanic spreading center is being actively subducted beneath a continent and also the only place on Earth where all known forms of deep

  5. Exploring Astrobiology: Future and In-Service Teacher Research Experiences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cola, J.; Williams, L. D.; Snell, T.; Gaucher, E.; Harris, B.; Usselman, M. C.; Millman, R. S.

    2009-12-01

    The Georgia Tech Center for Ribosome Adaptation and Evolution, a center funded by the NASA Astrobiology Institute, developed an educational Astrobiology program titled, “Life on the Edge: Astrobiology.” The purpose of the program was to provide educators with the materials, exposure, and skills necessary to prepare our future workforce and to foster student interest in scientific discovery on Earth and throughout the universe. A one-week, non-residential summer enrichment program for high school students was conducted and tested by two high school educators, an undergraduate student, and faculty in the Schools of Biology, and Chemistry and Biochemistry at Georgia Tech. In an effort to promote and encourage entry into teaching careers, Georgia Tech paired in-service teachers in the Georgia Intern-Fellowship for Teachers (GIFT) program with an undergraduate student interested in becoming a teacher through the Tech to Teaching program. The GIFT and Tech to Teaching fellows investigated extremophiles which have adapted to life under extreme environmental conditions. As a result, extremophiles became the focus of a week-long, “Life on the Edge: Astrobiology” curriculum aligned with the Georgia Performance Standards in Biology. Twenty-five high school students explored the adaptation and survival rates for various types of extremophiles exposed to UV radiation and desiccation; students were also introduced to hands-on activities and techniques such as genomic DNA purification, gel electrophoresis, and Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). The impact on everyone invested and involved in the Astrobiology program including the GIFT and Tech to Teaching fellows, high school students, and faculty are discussed.

  6. Astrobiology, Mars Exploration and Lassen Volcanic National Park

    Science.gov (United States)

    Des Marais, David J.

    2015-01-01

    The search for evidence of life beyond Earth illustrates how the charters of NASA and the National Park Service share common ground. The mission of NPS is to preserve unimpaired the natural and cultural resources of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education and inspiration of this and future generations. NASA's Astrobiology program seeks to understand the origins, evolution and distribution of life in the universe, and it abides by the principles of planetary stewardship, public outreach, and education. We cannot subject planetary exploration destinations to Earthly biological contamination both for ethical reasons and to preserve their scientific value for astrobiology. We respond to the public's interest in the mysteries of life and the cosmos by honoring their desire to participate in the process of discovery. We involve youth in order to motivate career choices in science and technology and to perpetuate space exploration. The search for evidence of past life on Mars illustrates how the missions of NASA and NPS can become synergistic. Volcanic activity occurs on all rocky planets in our Solar System and beyond, and it frequently interacts with water to create hydrothermal systems. On Earth these systems are oases for microbial life. The Mars Exploration Rover Spirit has found evidence of extinct hydrothermal system in Gusev crater, Mars. Lassen Volcanic National Park provides a pristine laboratory for investigating how microorganisms can both thrive and leave evidence of their former presence in hydrothermal systems. NASA scientists, NPS interpretation personnel and teachers can collaborate on field-oriented programs that enhance Mars mission planning, engage students and the public in science and technology, and emphasize the ethics of responsible exploration.

  7. Mud Volcanoes - A New Class of Sites for Geological and Astrobiological Exploration of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, C.C.; Oehler, D.Z.; Baker, D.M.

    2009-01-01

    Mud volcanoes provide a unique low-temperature window into the Earth s subsurface - including the deep biosphere - and may prove to be significant sources of atmospheric methane. The identification of analogous features on Mars would provide an important new class of sites for geological and astrobiological exploration. We report new work suggesting that features in Acidalia Planitia are most consistent with their being mud volcanoes.

  8. Micro-XRF : Elemental Analysis for In Situ Geology and Astrobiology Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allwood, Abigail; Hodyss, Robert; Wade, Lawrence

    2012-01-01

    The ability to make close-up measurements of rock chemistry is one of the most fundamental tools for astrobiological exploration of Mars and other rocky bodies of the solar system. When conducting surface-based exploration, lithochemical measurements provide critical data that enable interpretation of the local geology, which in turn is vital for determining habitability and searching for evidence of life. The value of lithochemical measurements for geological interpretations has been repeatedly demonstrated with virtually every landed Mars mission over the past four decades.

  9. Lunar Radio Telescopes: A Staged Approach for Lunar Science, Heliophysics, Astrobiology, Cosmology, and Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazio, Joseph; Bowman, Judd D.; Burns, Jack O.; Farrell, W. M.; Jones, D. L.; Kasper, J. C.; MacDowall, R. J.; Stewart, K. P.; Weiler, K.

    2012-01-01

    Observations with radio telescopes address key problems in cosmology, astrobiology, heliophysics, and planetary science including the first light in the Universe (Cosmic Dawn), magnetic fields of extrasolar planets, particle acceleration mechanisms, and the lunar ionosphere. The Moon is a unique science platform because it allows access to radio frequencies that do not penetrate the Earth's ionosphere and because its far side is shielded from intense terrestrial emissions. The instrument packages and infrastructure needed for radio telescopes can be transported and deployed as part of Exploration activities, and the resulting science measurements may inform Exploration (e.g., measurements of lunar surface charging). An illustrative roadmap for the staged deployment of lunar radio telescopes

  10. Exploring astrobiology using in silico molecular structure generation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meringer, Markus; Cleaves, H James

    2017-12-28

    The origin of life is typically understood as a transition from inanimate or disorganized matter to self-organized, 'animate' matter. This transition probably took place largely in the context of organic compounds, and most approaches, to date, have focused on using the organic chemical composition of modern organisms as the main guide for understanding this process. However, it has gradually come to be appreciated that biochemistry, as we know it, occupies a minute volume of the possible organic 'chemical space'. As the majority of abiotic syntheses appear to make a large set of compounds not found in biochemistry, as well as an incomplete subset of those that are, it is possible that life began with a significantly different set of components. Chemical graph-based structure generation methods allow for exhaustive in silico enumeration of different compound types and different types of 'chemical spaces' beyond those used by biochemistry, which can be explored to help understand the types of compounds biology uses, as well as to understand the nature of abiotic synthesis, and potentially design novel types of living systems.This article is part of the themed issue 'Reconceptualizing the origins of life'. © 2017 The Authors.

  11. Exploring astrobiology using in silico molecular structure generation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meringer, Markus; Cleaves, H. James

    2017-11-01

    The origin of life is typically understood as a transition from inanimate or disorganized matter to self-organized, `animate' matter. This transition probably took place largely in the context of organic compounds, and most approaches, to date, have focused on using the organic chemical composition of modern organisms as the main guide for understanding this process. However, it has gradually come to be appreciated that biochemistry, as we know it, occupies a minute volume of the possible organic `chemical space'. As the majority of abiotic syntheses appear to make a large set of compounds not found in biochemistry, as well as an incomplete subset of those that are, it is possible that life began with a significantly different set of components. Chemical graph-based structure generation methods allow for exhaustive in silico enumeration of different compound types and different types of `chemical spaces' beyond those used by biochemistry, which can be explored to help understand the types of compounds biology uses, as well as to understand the nature of abiotic synthesis, and potentially design novel types of living systems. This article is part of the themed issue 'Reconceptualizing the origins of life'.

  12. Science Applications of a Multispectral Microscopic Imager for the Astrobiological Exploration of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farmer, Jack D.; Sellar, R. Glenn; Swayze, Gregg A.; Blaney, Diana L.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Future astrobiological missions to Mars are likely to emphasize the use of rovers with in situ petrologic capabilities for selecting the best samples at a site for in situ analysis with onboard lab instruments or for caching for potential return to Earth. Such observations are central to an understanding of the potential for past habitable conditions at a site and for identifying samples most likely to harbor fossil biosignatures. The Multispectral Microscopic Imager (MMI) provides multispectral reflectance images of geological samples at the microscale, where each image pixel is composed of a visible/shortwave infrared spectrum ranging from 0.46 to 1.73 μm. This spectral range enables the discrimination of a wide variety of rock-forming minerals, especially Fe-bearing phases, and the detection of hydrated minerals. The MMI advances beyond the capabilities of current microimagers on Mars by extending the spectral range into the infrared and increasing the number of spectral bands. The design employs multispectral light-emitting diodes and an uncooled indium gallium arsenide focal plane array to achieve a very low mass and high reliability. To better understand and demonstrate the capabilities of the MMI for future surface missions to Mars, we analyzed samples from Mars-relevant analog environments with the MMI. Results indicate that the MMI images faithfully resolve the fine-scale microtextural features of samples and provide important information to help constrain mineral composition. The use of spectral endmember mapping reveals the distribution of Fe-bearing minerals (including silicates and oxides) with high fidelity, along with the presence of hydrated minerals. MMI-based petrogenetic interpretations compare favorably with laboratory-based analyses, revealing the value of the MMI for future in situ rover-mediated astrobiological exploration of Mars. Key Words: Mars—Microscopic imager—Multispectral imaging

  13. The Astrobiology of the Subsurface: Exploring Cave Habitats on Earth, Mars and Beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boston, Penelope Jane

    2016-01-01

    We are using the spectacular underground landscapes of Earth caves as models for the subsurfaces of other planets. Caves have been detected on the Moon and Mars and are strongly suspected for other bodies in the Solar System including some of the ice covered Ocean Worlds that orbit gas giant planets. The caves we explore and study include many extreme conditions of relevance to planetary astrobiology exploration including high and low temperatures, gas atmospheres poisonous to humans but where exotic microbes can flourish, highly acidic or salty fluids, heavy metals, and high background radiation levels. Some cave microorganisms eat their way through bedrock, some live in battery acid conditions, some produce unusual biominerals and rare cave formations, and many produce compounds of potential pharmaceutical and industrial significance. We study these unique lifeforms and the physical and chemical biosignatures that they leave behind. Such traces can be used to provide a "Field Guide to Unknown Organisms" for developing life detection space missions.

  14. The Argyre Region as a Prime Target for in situ Astrobiological Exploration of Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fairén, Alberto G; Dohm, James M; Rodríguez, J Alexis P; Uceda, Esther R; Kargel, Jeffrey; Soare, Richard; Cleaves, H James; Oehler, Dorothy; Schulze-Makuch, Dirk; Essefi, Elhoucine; Banks, Maria E; Komatsu, Goro; Fink, Wolfgang; Robbins, Stuart; Yan, Jianguo; Miyamoto, Hideaki; Maruyama, Shigenori; Baker, Victor R

    2016-02-01

    At the time before ∼3.5 Ga that life originated and began to spread on Earth, Mars was a wetter and more geologically dynamic planet than it is today. The Argyre basin, in the southern cratered highlands of Mars, formed from a giant impact at ∼3.93 Ga, which generated an enormous basin approximately 1800 km in diameter. The early post-impact environment of the Argyre basin possibly contained many of the ingredients that are thought to be necessary for life: abundant and long-lived liquid water, biogenic elements, and energy sources, all of which would have supported a regional environment favorable for the origin and the persistence of life. We discuss the astrobiological significance of some landscape features and terrain types in the Argyre region that are promising and accessible sites for astrobiological exploration. These include (i) deposits related to the hydrothermal activity associated with the Argyre impact event, subsequent impacts, and those associated with the migration of heated water along Argyre-induced basement structures; (ii) constructs along the floor of the basin that could mark venting of volatiles, possibly related to the development of mud volcanoes; (iii) features interpreted as ice-cored mounds (open-system pingos), whose origin and development could be the result of deeply seated groundwater upwelling to the surface; (iv) sedimentary deposits related to the formation of glaciers along the basin's margins, such as evidenced by the ridges interpreted to be eskers on the basin floor; (v) sedimentary deposits related to the formation of lakes in both the primary Argyre basin and other smaller impact-derived basins along the margin, including those in the highly degraded rim materials; and (vi) crater-wall gullies, whose morphology points to a structural origin and discharge of (wet) flows.

  15. Science applications of a multispectral microscopic imager for the astrobiological exploration of Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Núñez, Jorge I; Farmer, Jack D; Sellar, R Glenn; Swayze, Gregg A; Blaney, Diana L

    2014-02-01

    Future astrobiological missions to Mars are likely to emphasize the use of rovers with in situ petrologic capabilities for selecting the best samples at a site for in situ analysis with onboard lab instruments or for caching for potential return to Earth. Such observations are central to an understanding of the potential for past habitable conditions at a site and for identifying samples most likely to harbor fossil biosignatures. The Multispectral Microscopic Imager (MMI) provides multispectral reflectance images of geological samples at the microscale, where each image pixel is composed of a visible/shortwave infrared spectrum ranging from 0.46 to 1.73 μm. This spectral range enables the discrimination of a wide variety of rock-forming minerals, especially Fe-bearing phases, and the detection of hydrated minerals. The MMI advances beyond the capabilities of current microimagers on Mars by extending the spectral range into the infrared and increasing the number of spectral bands. The design employs multispectral light-emitting diodes and an uncooled indium gallium arsenide focal plane array to achieve a very low mass and high reliability. To better understand and demonstrate the capabilities of the MMI for future surface missions to Mars, we analyzed samples from Mars-relevant analog environments with the MMI. Results indicate that the MMI images faithfully resolve the fine-scale microtextural features of samples and provide important information to help constrain mineral composition. The use of spectral endmember mapping reveals the distribution of Fe-bearing minerals (including silicates and oxides) with high fidelity, along with the presence of hydrated minerals. MMI-based petrogenetic interpretations compare favorably with laboratory-based analyses, revealing the value of the MMI for future in situ rover-mediated astrobiological exploration of Mars. Mars-Microscopic imager-Multispectral imaging-Spectroscopy-Habitability-Arm instrument.

  16. Science applications of a multispectral microscopic imager for the astrobiological exploration of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nunez, Jorge; Farmer, Jack; Sellar, R. Glenn; Swayze, Gregg A.; Blaney, Diana L.

    2014-01-01

    Future astrobiological missions to Mars are likely to emphasize the use of rovers with in situ petrologic capabilities for selecting the best samples at a site for in situ analysis with onboard lab instruments or for caching for potential return to Earth. Such observations are central to an understanding of the potential for past habitable conditions at a site and for identifying samples most likely to harbor fossil biosignatures. The Multispectral Microscopic Imager (MMI) provides multispectral reflectance images of geological samples at the microscale, where each image pixel is composed of a visible/shortwave infrared spectrum ranging from 0.46 to 1.73 μm. This spectral range enables the discrimination of a wide variety of rock-forming minerals, especially Fe-bearing phases, and the detection of hydrated minerals. The MMI advances beyond the capabilities of current microimagers on Mars by extending the spectral range into the infrared and increasing the number of spectral bands. The design employs multispectral light-emitting diodes and an uncooled indium gallium arsenide focal plane array to achieve a very low mass and high reliability. To better understand and demonstrate the capabilities of the MMI for future surface missions to Mars, we analyzed samples from Mars-relevant analog environments with the MMI. Results indicate that the MMI images faithfully resolve the fine-scale microtextural features of samples and provide important information to help constrain mineral composition. The use of spectral endmember mapping reveals the distribution of Fe-bearing minerals (including silicates and oxides) with high fidelity, along with the presence of hydrated minerals. MMI-based petrogenetic interpretations compare favorably with laboratory-based analyses, revealing the value of the MMI for future in situ rover-mediated astrobiological exploration of Mars.

  17. NASA-ESA Joint Mission to Explore Two Worlds of Great Astrobiological Interest - Titan and Enceladus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reh, K.; Coustenis, A.; Lunine, J.; Matson, D.; Lebreton, J.-P.; Erd, C.; Beauchamp, P.

    2009-04-01

    Rugged shorelines, laced with canyons, leading to ethane/methane seas glimpsed through an organic haze, vast fields of dunes shaped by alien sciroccos… An icy moon festooned with plumes of water-ice and organics, whose warm watery source might be glimpsed through surface cracks that glow in the infrared… The revelations by Cassini-Huygens about Saturn's crown jewels, Titan and Enceladus, have rocked the public with glimpses of new worlds unimagined a decade before. The time is at hand to capitalize on those discoveries with a broad mission of exploration that combines the widest range of planetary science disciplines—Geology, Geophysics, Atmospheres, Astrobiology,Chemistry, Magnetospheres—in a single NASA/ESA collaboration. The Titan Saturn System Mission will explore these exciting new environments, flying through Enceladus' plumes and plunging deep into Titan's atmosphere with instruments tuned to find what Cassini could only hint at. Exploring Titan with an international fleet of vehicles; from orbit, from the surface of a great polar sea, and from the air with the first hot air balloon to ride an extraterrestrial breeze, TSSM will turn our snapshot gaze of these worlds into an epic film. This paper will describe a collaborative NASA-ESA Titan Saturn System Mission that will open a new phase of planetary exploration by projecting robotic presence on the land, on the sea, and in the air of an active, organic-rich world.

  18. Finding Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) Destinations for Human Exploration: Implications for Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landis, Rob; Abell, Paul; Barbee, Brent; Johnson, Lindley

    2012-01-01

    The current number of known potential NEA targets for HSF is limited to those objects whose orbital characteristics are similar to that of the Earth. This is due to the projected capabilities of the exploration systems currently under consideration and development at NASA. However, NEAs with such orbital characteristics often have viewing geometries that place them at low solar elongations and thus are difficult to detect from the vicinity of Earth. While ongoing ground-based surveys and data archives maintained by the NEO Program Observation Program Office and the Minor Planet Center (MPC) have provided a solid basis upon which to build, a more complete catalog of the NEO population is required to inform a robust and sustainable HSF exploration program. Since all the present NEO observing assets are currently confined to the vicinity of the Earth, additional effort must be made to provide capabilities for detection of additional HSF targets via assets beyond Earth orbit. A space-based NEO survey telescope located beyond the vicinity of the Earth, has considerable implications for planetary science and astrobiology. Such a telescope will provide foundational knowledge of our Solar System small body population and detect targets of interest for both the HSF and scientific communities. Data from this asset will yield basic characterization data on the NEOs observed (i.e., albedo, size determination, potential for volatiles and organics, etc.) and help down select targets for future HSF missions. Ideally, the most attractive targets from both HSF and astrobiology perspectives are those NEAs that may contain organic and volatile materials, and which could be effectively sampled at a variety of locations and depths. Presented here is an overview of four space-based survey concepts; any one of which after just a few years of operation will discover many highly accessible NEO targets suitable for robotic and human exploration. Such a space-based survey mission will reveal

  19. Summer Research Experiences for Science and Art Teachers to Explore Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cola, J.; Gaucher, E.; Snell, T.; Greenwood, J.; Angra, A.; Zimmerman, C.; Williams, L. D.

    2012-12-01

    The Georgia Tech Center for Ribosomal Origins and Evolution, a center funded by the NASA Astrobiology Institute, developed an educational program titled, "Life on the Edge: Astrobiology." The purpose of the program was to provide high school educators with the exposure, materials, and skills necessary to prepare our future workforce and to foster student interest in scientific discovery on Earth and throughout the universe. In an effort to promote and encourage entry into teaching careers, Georgia Tech paired teachers in the Georgia Intern-Fellowship for Teachers (GIFT) program with undergraduate students interested in becoming a teacher through the NSF Pre-Teaching REU program. The GIFT and Pre-Teaching fellows investigated extremophiles, which became the focus of a week-long, "Life on the Edge: Astrobiology " summer program developed by three high school educators, two undergraduate students and faculty in the Schools of Biology, and Chemistry and Biochemistry at Georgia Tech. Twenty high school students were introduced to hands-on activities, such as astrobiology inspired art and techniques such as genomic DNA purification, gel electrophoresis, and Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). The impact of the Astrobiology program on the GIFT researchers, Pre-Teaching REU students, high school students, and faculty are discussed.

  20. A geoethical approach to the geological and astrobiological exploration and research of the Moon and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez-Frias, Jesus; Horneck, Gerda; de La Torre Noetzel, Rosa; Rull, Fernando

    Lunar and Mars exploration and research require not only scientific and technological inter-disciplinary cooperation, but also the consideration of budding ethical and scientific integrity issues. COSPAR's planetary protection policy (in coordination with the United Nations Com-mittee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space as well as various other bilateral and multilateral organizations) serves as the consensus standard for biological contamination prevention under the 1967 Outer Space Treaty1 . Space agencies Planetary Protection Policies are mostly consis-tent with the COSPAR policy. Geoethics was formerly promoted in 1991 as a new discipline, involving scientific and societal aspects2 , and its institutionalization was officially established in 2004 with the backing of the Association of Geoscientists for International Development, AGID3 (IUGS/ICSU). Recently, it has been proposed that the integration of geoethical issues in studies on planetary geology and astrobiology would enrich their methodological and con-ceptual character4-6 . The incorporation through geoethics of new questions and approaches associated to the "abiotic world" would involve: 1) extrapolating to space the recently defined and approved IUCN/UNESCO guidelines and recommendations on geodiversity7 as "planetary geodiversity", and 2) widening the classical concept of Planetary Protection, giving an addi-tional "abiotic" dimension to the exploration and research of the Moon and Mars. Given the geological characteristics and planetary evolution of the Moon and Mars, it is obvious that they require tailored geoethical approaches. Some fundamental aspects include, among others: the interrelation with bioethics and organics vs. inorganic contamination in Planetary Protection, the appropriate regulations of some necessary natural disturbances (e.g. on the Moon) dur-ing robotic and manned planetary missions, wilderness/planetary parks8,9 , the correct use of mineralogical and geochemical analytical

  1. Protecting and expanding the richness and diversity of life, an ethic for astrobiology research and space exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randolph, Richard O.; McKay, Christopher P.

    2014-01-01

    The ongoing search for life on other worlds and the prospects of eventual human exploration of the Moon and Mars indicate the need for new ethical guidelines to direct our actions as we search and how we respond if we discover microbial life on other worlds. Here we review how life on other worlds presents a novel question in environmental ethics. We propose a principle of protecting and expanding the richness and diversity of life as the basis of an ethic for astrobiology research and space exploration. There are immediate implications for the operational policies governing how we conduct the search for life on Mars and how we plan for human exploration throughout the Solar System.

  2. Protecting and Expanding the Richness and Diversity of Life, An Ethic for Astrobiology Research and Space Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randolph, Richard O.; McKay, Chris P.

    2011-01-01

    The ongoing search for life on other worlds and the prospects of eventual human exploration of the Moon and Mars indicate the need for new ethical guidelines to direct our actions as we search and how we respond if we discover microbial life on other worlds. Here we review how life on other worlds presents a novel question in environmental ethics. We propose a principle of protecting and expanding the richness and diversity of life as the basis of an ethic for astrobiology research and space exploration. There are immediate implications for the operational policies governing how we conduct the search for life on Mars and how we plan for human exploration throughout the Solar System.

  3. An Astrobiological Experiment to Explore the Habitability of Tidally Locked M-Dwarf Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angerhausen, Daniel; Sapers, Haley; Simoncini, Eugenio; Lutz, Stefanie; Alexandre, Marcelo da Rosa; Galante, Douglas

    2014-04-01

    We present a summary of a three-year academic research proposal drafted during the Sao Paulo Advanced School of Astrobiology (SPASA) to prepare for upcoming observations of tidally locked planets orbiting M-dwarf stars. The primary experimental goal of the suggested research is to expose extremophiles from analogue environments to a modified space simulation chamber reproducing the environmental parameters of a tidally locked planet in the habitable zone of a late-type star. Here we focus on a description of the astronomical analysis used to define the parameters for this climate simulation.

  4. Pulsed neutron generator system for astrobiological and geochemical exploration of planetary bodies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Akkurt, Hatice; Groves, Joel L.; Trombka, Jacob; Starr, Richard; Evans, Larry; Floyd, Samuel; Hoover, Richard; Lim, Lucy; McClanahan, Timothy; James, Ralph; McCoy, Timothy; Schweitzer, Jeffrey

    2005-01-01

    A pulsed neutron/gamma-ray detection system for use on rovers to survey the elemental concentrations of Martian and Lunar surface and subsurface materials is evaluated. A robotic survey system combining a pulsed neutron generator (PNG) and detectors (gamma ray and neutron) can measure the major constituents to a depth of about 30 cm. Scanning mode measurements can give the major elemental concentrations while the rover is moving; analyzing mode measurements can give a detailed elemental analysis of the adjacent material when the rover is stationary. A detailed map of the subsurface elemental concentrations will provide invaluable information relevant to some of the most fundamental astrobiological questions including the presence of water, biogenic activity, life habitability and deposition processes

  5. Astrobiology and Society: Building an Interdisciplinary Research Community

    OpenAIRE

    Race, Margaret; Denning, Kathryn; Bertka, Constance M.; Dick, Steven J.; Harrison, Albert A.; Impey, Christopher; Mancinelli, Rocco

    2012-01-01

    This paper reports recent efforts to gather experts from the humanities and social sciences along with astrobiologists to consider the cultural, societal, and psychological implications of astrobiology research and exploration. We began by convening a workshop to draft a research roadmap on astrobiology's societal implications and later formed a Focus Group on Astrobiology and Society under the auspices of the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI). Just as the Astrobiology Science Roadmap and var...

  6. The Proposed Mars Astrobiology Explorer - Cacher [MAX-C] Rover: First Step in a Potential Sample Return Campaign

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Carlton C.; Beaty, David W.

    2010-01-01

    Sample return from Mars has been advocated by numerous scientific advisory panels for over 30 years, most prominently beginning with the National Research Council s [1] strategy for the exploration of the inner solar system, and most recently by the Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group (MEPAG s) Next Decade Science Analysis Group [2]. Analysis of samples here on Earth would have enormous advantages over in situ analyses in producing the data quality needed to address many of the complex scientific questions the community has posed about Mars. Instead of a small, predetermined set of analytical techniques, state of the art preparative and instrumental resources of the entire scientific community could be applied to the samples. The analytical emphasis could shift as the meaning of each result becomes better appreciated. These arguments apply both to igneous rocks and to layered sedimentary materials, either of which could contain water and other volatile constituents. In 2009 MEPAG formed the Mid-Range Rover Science Analysis Group (MRR-SAG) to formulate a mission concept that would address two general objectives: (1) conduct high-priority in situ science and (2) make concrete steps towards the potential return of samples to Earth. This analysis resulted in a mission concept named the Mars Astrobiology Explorer-Cacher (MAX-C), which was envisioned for launch in the 2018 opportunity. After extensive discussion, this group concluded that by far the most definitive contribution to sample return by this mission would be to collect and cache, in an accessible location, a suite of compelling samples that could potentially be recovered and returned by a subsequent mission. This would have the effect of separating two of the essential functions of MSR, the acquisition of the sample collection and its delivery to martian orbit, into two missions.

  7. Robots for Astrobiology!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boston, Penelope J.

    2016-01-01

    The search for life and its study is known as astrobiology. Conducting that search on other planets in our Solar System is a major goal of NASA and other space agencies, and a driving passion of the community of scientists and engineers around the world. We practice for that search in many ways, from exploring and studying extreme environments on Earth, to developing robots to go to other planets and help us look for any possible life that may be there or may have been there in the past. The unique challenges of space exploration make collaborations between robots and humans essential. The products of those collaborations will be novel and driven by the features of wholly new environments. For space and planetary environments that are intolerable for humans or where humans present an unacceptable risk to possible biologically sensitive sites, autonomous robots or telepresence offer excellent choices. The search for life signs on Mars fits within this category, especially in advance of human landed missions there, but also as assistants and tools once humans reach the Red Planet. For planetary destinations where we do not envision humans ever going in person, like bitterly cold icy moons, or ocean worlds with thick ice roofs that essentially make them planetary-sized ice caves, we will rely on robots alone to visit those environments for us and enable us to explore and understand any life that we may find there. Current generation robots are not quite ready for some of the tasks that we need them to do, so there are many opportunities for roboticists of the future to advance novel types of mobility, autonomy, and bio-inspired robotic designs to help us accomplish our astrobiological goals. We see an exciting partnership between robotics and astrobiology continually strengthening as we jointly pursue the quest to find extraterrestrial life.

  8. Synthetic Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothschild, Lynn J.

    2017-01-01

    "Are we alone?" is one of the primary questions of astrobiology, and whose answer defines our significance in the universe. Unfortunately, this quest is hindered by the fact that we have only one confirmed example of life, that of earth. While this is enormously helpful in helping to define the minimum envelope for life, it strains credulity to imagine that life, if it arose multiple times, has not taken other routes. To help fill this gap, our lab has begun using synthetic biology - the design and construction of new biological parts and systems and the redesign of existing ones for useful purposes - as an enabling technology. One theme, the "Hell Cell" project, focuses on creating artificial extremophiles in order to push the limits for Earth life, and to understand how difficult it is for life to evolve into extreme niches. In another project, we are re-evolving biotic functions using only the most thermodynamically stable amino acids in order to understand potential capabilities of an early organism with a limited repertoire of amino acids.

  9. The NASA Astrobiology Roadmap.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Des Marais, David J; Nuth, Joseph A; Allamandola, Louis J; Boss, Alan P; Farmer, Jack D; Hoehler, Tori M; Jakosky, Bruce M; Meadows, Victoria S; Pohorille, Andrew; Runnegar, Bruce; Spormann, Alfred M

    2008-08-01

    The NASA Astrobiology Roadmap provides guidance for research and technology development across the NASA enterprises that encompass the space, Earth, and biological sciences. The ongoing development of astrobiology roadmaps embodies the contributions of diverse scientists and technologists from government, universities, and private institutions. The Roadmap addresses three basic questions: how does life begin and evolve, does life exist elsewhere in the universe, and what is the future of life on Earth and beyond? Seven Science Goals outline the following key domains of investigation: understanding the nature and distribution of habitable environments in the universe, exploring for habitable environments and life in our own Solar System, understanding the emergence of life, determining how early life on Earth interacted and evolved with its changing environment, understanding the evolutionary mechanisms and environmental limits of life, determining the principles that will shape life in the future, and recognizing signatures of life on other worlds and on early Earth. For each of these goals, Science Objectives outline more specific high priority efforts for the next three to five years. These eighteen objectives are being integrated with NASA strategic planning.

  10. The NASA Astrobiology Roadmap

    Science.gov (United States)

    Des Marais, David J.; Allamandola, Louis J.; Benner, Steven A.; Boss, Alan P.; Deamer, David; Falkowski, Paul G.; Farmer, Jack D.; Hedges, S. Blair; Jakosky, Bruce M.; Knoll, Andrew H.; hide

    2003-01-01

    The NASA Astrobiology Roadmap provides guidance for research and technology development across the NASA enterprises that encompass the space, Earth, and biological sciences. The ongoing development of astrobiology roadmaps embodies the contributions of diverse scientists and technologists from government, universities, and private institutions. The Roadmap addresses three basic questions: How does life begin and evolve, does life exist elsewhere in the universe, and what is the future of life on Earth and beyond? Seven Science Goals outline the following key domains of investigation: understanding the nature and distribution of habitable environments in the universe, exploring for habitable environments and life in our own solar system, understanding the emergence of life, determining how early life on Earth interacted and evolved with its changing environment, understanding the evolutionary mechanisms and environmental limits of life, determining the principles that will shape life in the future, and recognizing signatures of life on other worlds and on early Earth. For each of these goals, Science Objectives outline more specific high-priority efforts for the next 3-5 years. These 18 objectives are being integrated with NASA strategic planning.

  11. Biomolecules in Astrobiology

    OpenAIRE

    Meringer, Markus

    2013-01-01

    Astrobiology is the study of the origin, distribution and future of life in the universe, biomolecules are molecules produced by living organisms. This talk reviews known facts and open questions about biomolecules in the context of Astrobiology and introduces a research project on "Creating a Reference Set of Amino Acids Structures for Use in Multiple Astrobiology Investigations" that tries to find answers using computational methods.

  12. Assessment of the NASA Astrobiology Institute

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    Astrobiology is a scientific discipline devoted to the study of life in the universe--its origins, evolution, distribution, and future. It brings together the physical and biological sciences to address some of the most fundamental questions of the natural world: How do living systems emerge? How do habitable worlds form and how do they evolve? Does life exist on worlds other than Earth? As an endeavor of tremendous breadth and depth, astrobiology requires interdisciplinary investigation in order to be fully appreciated and examined. As part of a concerted effort to undertake such a challenge, the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI) was established in 1998 as an innovative way to develop the field of astrobiology and provide a scientific framework for flight missions. Now that the NAI has been in existence for almost a decade, the time is ripe to assess its achievements. At the request of NASA's Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate (SMD), the Committee on the Review of the NASA Astrobiology Institute undertook the assignment to determine the progress made by the NAI in developing the field of astrobiology. It must be emphasized that the purpose of this study was not to undertake a review of the scientific accomplishments of NASA's Astrobiology program, in general, or of the NAI, in particular. Rather, the objective of the study is to evaluate the success of the NAI in achieving its stated goals of: 1. Conducting, supporting, and catalyzing collaborative interdisciplinary research; 2. Training the next generation of astrobiology researchers; 3. Providing scientific and technical leadership on astrobiology investigations for current and future space missions; 4. Exploring new approaches, using modern information technology, to conduct interdisciplinary and collaborative research among widely distributed investigators; and 5. Supporting outreach by providing scientific content for use in K-12 education programs, teaching undergraduate classes, and

  13. Multispectral Microimager for Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sellar, R. Glenn; Farmer, Jack D.; Kieta, Andrew; Huang, Julie

    2006-01-01

    A primary goal of the astrobiology program is the search for fossil records. The astrobiology exploration strategy calls for the location and return of samples indicative of environments conducive to life, and that best capture and preserve biomarkers. Successfully returning samples from environments conducive to life requires two primary capabilities: (1) in situ mapping of the mineralogy in order to determine whether the desired minerals are present; and (2) nondestructive screening of samples for additional in-situ testing and/or selection for return to laboratories for more in-depth examination. Two of the most powerful identification techniques are micro-imaging and visible/infrared spectroscopy. The design and test results are presented from a compact rugged instrument that combines micro-imaging and spectroscopic capability to provide in-situ analysis, mapping, and sample screening capabilities. Accurate reflectance spectra should be a measure of reflectance as a function of wavelength only. Other compact multispectral microimagers use separate LEDs (light-emitting diodes) for each wavelength and therefore vary the angles of illumination when changing wavelengths. When observing a specularly-reflecting sample, this produces grossly inaccurate spectra due to the variation in the angle of illumination. An advanced design and test results are presented for a multispectral microimager which demonstrates two key advances relative to previous LED-based microimagers: (i) acquisition of actual reflectance spectra in which the flux is a function of wavelength only, rather than a function of both wavelength and illumination geometry; and (ii) increase in the number of spectral bands to eight bands covering a spectral range of 468 to 975 nm.

  14. The Astrobiology Field Guide in World Wind

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scalice, D. M.

    2004-12-01

    In collaboration with the Australian Centre for Astrobiology (ACA), and NASA Learning Technologies (NLT), and utilizing the powerful visualization capabilities of their "World Wind" software, the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI) is crafting a prototype "Astrobiology Field Guide" to bring the field experiences and stories of astrobiology science to the public and classrooms around the world. The prototype focuses on one region in particular - The Pilbara in Western Australia. This first Field Guide "hotspot" is an internationally recognized area hosting the best known example of the earliest evidence of life on Earth - a stromatolitic chert precipitation in the 3.45 Ga Warrawoona Group. The goal of the Astrobiology Field Guide is to engage students of all ages with the ongoing field expeditions of today's astrobiologists as they explore the ends of the Earth searching for clues to life's origin, evolution, and distribution in the Universe. The NAI hopes to expand this Field Guide to include many more astrobiologically relevant areas across the globe such as Cuatro Cienegas in Mexico, the Rio Tinto in Spain, Yellowstone National Park in the US, and the Lost City hydrothermal vent field on the mid-Atlantic ridge - and possibly sites on Mars. To that end, we will be conducting feasibility studies and evaluations with informal and formal education contacts. The Astrobiology Field Guide is also serving as a cornerstone to educational materials being developed focused on the Pilbara region for use in classrooms in Australia, the UK, and potentially the US. These materials are being developed by the Australian Centre for Astrobiology, and the ICT Innovations Centre at Macquarie University in Sydney, in collaboration with the NAI and the Centre for Astronomy and Science Education at the University of Glamorgan in the UK.

  15. Make Astrobiology Yours

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domagal-Goldman, Shawn

    2012-01-01

    In this talk, I will give the AbGradCon attendees an overview of astrobiology activities ongoing at NASA as well as a brief description of the various funding programs and careers that they can pursue. After this, I will present to them the case that the future of the field is theirs to determine, and give input on how to effectively make astrobiology and NASA responsive to the needs of the community. This presentation will leverage my experiences leading various efforts in the early career astrobiology community, where I have served as a conference organizer, primer lead editor, community blogger, and unofficial liaison to NASA headquarters.

  16. Astrochemistry and astrobiology

    CERN Document Server

    Smith, Ian W M; Leach, Sydney

    2014-01-01

    This debut volume in the new Springer series Physical Chemistry in Action, composed of expert contributions, is aimed at both novice and experienced researchers, and outlines the principles of the physical chemistry deployed in astrochemistry and astrobiology.

  17. Astrobiology and Microbial Diversity Websites at MBL

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bahr, M.; Bordenstein, S. R.

    2006-12-01

    The NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI) mission is to study the origin, evolution and future of life in the Universe. The MBL Astrobiology team explores the evolution and interaction of genomes of diverse organisms that play significant roles in environmental biology over evolutionary time scales. Communication about our research includes the personal contact of teacher workshops, and the development of web-based resources. Microbial Life Educational Resources (MLER) provides an expanding internet resource about the ecology, diversity and evolution for students, K-12 teachers, university faculty, and the general public. MLER includes websites, PowerPoint presentations, teaching activities, data sets, and other useful materials for creating or enhancing courses related to astrobiology. Our second site, micro*scope (http://microscope.mbl.edu), has images of microbes, classification schemes, descriptions of organisms, talks and other educational resources to improve awareness of the biodiversity of our microbial partners.

  18. Encyclopedia of astrobiology

    CERN Document Server

    Irvine, William; Amils, Ricardo; Cleaves, Henderson; Pinti, Daniele; Quintanilla, José; Rouan, Daniel; Spohn, Tilman; Tirard, Stéphane; Viso, Michel

    2015-01-01

    The interdisciplinary field of Astrobiology constitutes a joint arena where provocative discoveries are coalescing concerning, e.g. the prevalence of exoplanets, the diversity and hardiness of life, and its increasingly likely chances for its emergence. Biologists, astrophysicists, biochemists, geoscientists and space scientists share this exciting mission of revealing the origin and commonality of life in the Universe. The members of the different disciplines are used to their own terminology and technical language. In the interdisciplinary environment many terms either have redundant meanings or are completely unfamiliar to members of other disciplines. The Encyclopedia of Astrobiology serves as the key to a common understanding. Each new or experienced researcher and graduate student in adjacent fields of astrobiology will appreciate this reference work in the quest to understand the big picture. The carefully selected group of active researchers contributing to this work and the expert field editors inten...

  19. Encyclopedia of astrobiology

    CERN Document Server

    Quintanilla, José Cernicharo; Cleaves, Henderson James (Jim); Irvine, William M; Pinti, Daniele L; Viso, Michel; Gargaud, Muriel

    2011-01-01

    The interdisciplinary field of Astrobiology constitutes a joint arena where provocative discoveries are coalescing concerning, e.g. the prevalence of exoplanets, the diversity and hardiness of life, and its increasingly likely chances for its emergence. Biologists, astrophysicists, biochemists, geoscientists and space scientists share this exciting mission of revealing the origin and commonality of life in the Universe. The members of the different disciplines are used to their own terminology and technical language. In the interdisciplinary environment many terms either have redundant meanings or are completely unfamiliar to members of other disciplines. The Encyclopedia of Astrobiology serves as the key to a common understanding. Each new or experienced researcher and graduate student in adjacent fields of astrobiology will appreciate this reference work in the quest to understand the big picture. The carefully selected group of active researchers contributing to this work and the expert field editors inten...

  20. Astrobiology and society: building an interdisciplinary research community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Race, Margaret; Denning, Kathryn; Bertka, Constance M; Dick, Steven J; Harrison, Albert A; Impey, Christopher; Mancinelli, Rocco

    2012-10-01

    This paper reports recent efforts to gather experts from the humanities and social sciences along with astrobiologists to consider the cultural, societal, and psychological implications of astrobiology research and exploration. We began by convening a workshop to draft a research roadmap on astrobiology's societal implications and later formed a Focus Group on Astrobiology and Society under the auspices of the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI). Just as the Astrobiology Science Roadmap and various astrobiology science focus groups have helped researchers orient and understand their work across disciplinary contexts, our intent was to apply the same approach to examine areas beyond the physical and life sciences and expand interdisciplinary interaction and scholarly understanding. These efforts continue as an experiment in progress, with an open invitation to interested researchers-astrobiologists as well as scholars in the humanities and social sciences-to become involved in research, analysis, and proactive discussions concerning the potential impacts of astrobiology on society as well as the possible impacts of society on progress in astrobiology.

  1. Astrobiology in the Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brennan, Tim

    2004-01-01

    Astrobiology is a relatively new field of study in science, one that has found a home in the curriculum of many major universities. It is a multidisciplinary field that draws participants from a range of scientific specialties: geology, physics, chemistry, engineering, computer science, and of course biology and astronomy. At the middle level, it…

  2. Astrobiology: Not Just Little Green Men

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrison, D.

    2004-05-01

    Astrobiology is the study of the origin, evolution, distribution, and future of life in the universe. This new (or at least newly-named) discipline responds to current opportunities to make significant progress on basic questions such as Where did we come from? Are we alone? Can we live on other planets? Every astronomer knows that these questions are frequently asked by the public, along with questions concerning the origin, dimensions, and ultimate fate of the universe itself. What makes curiosity about life in the universe so interesting is that we have some of the tools today to provide answers. Infrared and microwave telescopes characterize the complex chemistry that accompanies the birth of planetary systems. Concepts of planetary habitability emerge from exploring the extremes of life on Earth. We probe the nature of life itself through genetic and genomic insights into heredity and evolution. Our spacecraft are exploring Mars, Europa, and Titan, with the explicit goal of searching for evidence of life, past or present. And the discovery of exo-planetary systems greatly increases our opportunity to explore the diversity of planets and identify other habitable worlds. In addition to its interest as a research field, astrobiology provides an exciting medium for communicating science to students and the public. The questions studied by astrobiologists resonate with non-scientists. Astrobiology is also a popular subject for general-education college science courses. Its interdisciplinary techniques illustrate different ways of doing research such as exploration science versus hypothesis-driven science, or laboratory studies that are complementary to field work or historical science. All of these aspects make astrobiology a "cool" topic, and it will become even more exciting when we find evidence of life on Mars or discover earthlike planets beyond our solar system. (Supported by the NASA Astrobiology Program)

  3. Astrobiology: Future Perspectives

    CERN Document Server

    Ehrenfreund, Pascale; Owen, Toby; Becker, Luann; Blank, Jen; Brucato, John; Colangeli, Luigi; Derenne, Sylvie; Dutrey, Anne; Despois, Didier; Lazcano, Antonio; Robert, Francois

    2005-01-01

    Astrobiology, a new exciting interdisciplinary research field, seeks to unravel the origin and evolution of life wherever it might exist in the Universe. The current view of the origin of life on Earth is that it is strongly connected to the origin and evolution of our planet and, indeed, of the Universe as a whole. We are fortunate to be living in an era where centuries of speculation about the two ancient and fundamental problems: the origin of life and its prevalence in the Universe are being replaced by experimental science. The subject of Astrobiology can be approached from many different perspectives. This book is focused on abiogenic organic matter from the viewpoint of astronomy and planetary science and considers its potential relevance to the origins of life on Earth and elsewhere. Guided by the review papers in this book, the concluding chapter aims to identify key questions to motivate future research and stimulate astrobiological applications of current and future research facilities and space mi...

  4. Terrestrial atmosphere, water and astrobiology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Coradini M.

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Primitive life, defined as a chemical system capable to transfer its molecular information via self-replication and also capable to evolve, originated about 4 billion years ago from the processing of organic molecules by liquid water. Terrestrial atmosphere played a key role in the process by allowing the permanent presence of liquid water and by participating in the production of carbon-based molecules. Water molecules exhibit specific properties mainly due to a dense network of hydrogen bonds. The carbon-based molecules were either home made in the atmosphere and/or in submarine hydrothermal systems or delivered by meteorites and micrometeorites. The search for possible places beyond the earth where the trilogy atmosphere/water/life could exist is the main objective of astrobiology. Within the Solar System, exploration missions are dedicated to Mars, Europa, Titan and the icy bodies. The discovery of several hundreds of extrasolar planets opens the quest to the whole Milky Way.

  5. Technology under Astrbiology Science and Technology for Exploring Planets (ASTEP)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Future astrobiological research associated with Human and robotic solar system exploration requires the development of astrobiologically relevant, miniaturized...

  6. Educational Outreach for Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kadooka, M.; Meech, K.

    2009-12-01

    Astrobiology, the search for life in the universe, has fascinating research areas that can excite students and teachers about science. Its integrative nature, relating to astronomy, geology, oceanography, physics, and chemistry, can be used to encourage students to pursue physical sciences careers. Since 2004, the University of Hawaii NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI) team scientists have shared their research with secondary teachers at our ALI’I national teacher program to promote the inclusion of astrobiology topics into science courses. Since 2007, our NAI team has co-sponsored the HI STAR program for Hawaii’s middle and high school students to work on authentic astronomy research projects and to be mentored by astronomers. The students get images of asteroids, comets, stars, and extrasolar planets from the Faulkes Telescope North located at Haleakala Observatories on the island of Maui and owned by Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope network. They also do real time observing with DeKalb Observatory telescope personally owned by Donn Starkey who willing allows any student access to his telescope. Student project results include awards at the Hawaii State Science Fair and the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. We believe that research experience stimulates these students to select STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) majors upon entering college so a longitudinal study is being done. Plans are underway with California and Hawaii ALI’I teachers cooperating on a joint astronomy classroom project. International collaborations with Brazil, Portugal, and Italy astronomers have begun. We envision joint project between hemispheres and crossing time zones. The establishment of networking teachers, astronomers, students and educator liaisons will be discussed.

  7. Philosophy and data in astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mix, Lucas John

    2018-04-01

    Creating a unified model of life in the universe - history, extent and future - requires both scientific and humanities research. One way that humanities can contribute is by investigating the relationship between philosophical commitments and data. Making those commitments transparent allows scientists to use the data more fully. Insights in four areas - history, ethics, religion and probability - demonstrate the value of careful, astrobiology-specific humanities research for improving how we talk and think about astrobiology as a whole. First, astrobiology has a long and influential history. Second, astrobiology does not decentre humanity, either physically or ethically. Third, astrobiology is broadly compatible with major world religions. Finally, claims about the probability of life arising or existing elsewhere rest heavily on philosophical priors. In all four cases, identifying philosophical commitments clarifies the ways in which data can tell us about life.

  8. Astrobiology of Comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoover, Richard B.; Wickramasinghe, Nalin C.; Wallis, Max K.; Sheldon, Robert B.

    2004-01-01

    We review the current state of knowledge concerning microbial extremophiles and comets and the potential significance of comets to Astrobiology. We model the thermal history of a cometary body, regarded as an assemblage of boulders, dust, ices and organics, as it approaches a perihelion distance of - IAU. The transfer of incident energy from sunlight into the interior leads to the melting of near surface ices, some under stable porous crust, providing possible habitats for a wide range of microorganisms. We provide data concerning new evidence for indigenous microfossils in CI meteorites, which may be the remains of extinct cometary cores. We discuss the dominant microbial communities of polar sea-ice, Antarctic ice sheet, and cryoconite environments as possible analogs for microbial ecosystems that may grow in sub-crustal pools or in ice/water films in comets.

  9. Data Sharing in Astrobiology: The Astrobiology Habitable Environments Database (AHED)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lafuente, B.; Bristow, T.; Stone, N.; Pires, A.; Keller, R. M.; Downs, R. T.; Blake, D.; Fonda, M.

    2017-01-01

    Astrobiology is a multidisciplinary area of scientific research focused on studying the origins of life on Earth and the conditions under which life might have emerged elsewhere in the universe. NASA uses the results of Astrobiology research to help define targets for future missions that are searching for life elsewhere in the universe. The understanding of complex questions in Astrobiology requires integration and analysis of data spanning a range of disciplines including biology, chemistry, geology, astronomy and planetary science. However, the lack of a centralized repository makes it difficult for Astrobiology teams to share data and benefit from resultant synergies. Moreover, in recent years, federal agencies are requiring that results of any federally funded scientific research must be available and useful for the public and the science community. The Astrobiology Habitable Environments Database (AHED), developed with a consolidated group of astrobiologists from different active research teams at NASA Ames Research Center, is designed to help to address these issues. AHED is a central, high-quality, long-term data repository for mineralogical, textural, morphological, inorganic and organic chemical, isotopic and other information pertinent to the advancement of the field of Astrobiology.

  10. Astrobiology Science and Technology: A Path to Future Discovery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, M. A.; Lavaery, D. B.

    2001-01-01

    The Astrobiology Program is described. However, science-driven robotic exploration of extreme environments is needed for a new era of planetary exploration requiring biologically relevant instrumentation and extensive, autonomous operations on planetary surfaces. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  11. Astrobiology, Sustainability and Ethical Perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnould, Jacques

    2009-12-01

    Astrobiology, a new field of research associating the prospects and constraints of prebiotic chemistry, mineralogy, geochemistry, astrophysics, theoretical physics, microbial ecology, etc., is assessed in terms of sustainability through the scientific and social functions it fulfils, and the limits it encounters or strives to overcome. In the same way as sustainable development, astrobiology must also take into account the temporal dimension specific to its field of investigation and examine its underlying conception of Nature.

  12. Astrobiology, Sustainability and Ethical Perspectives

    OpenAIRE

    Jacques Arnould

    2009-01-01

    Astrobiology, a new field of research associating the prospects and constraints of prebiotic chemistry, mineralogy, geochemistry, astrophysics, theoretical physics, microbial ecology, etc., is assessed in terms of sustainability through the scientific and social functions it fulfils, and the limits it encounters or strives to overcome. In the same way as sustainable development, astrobiology must also take into account the temporal dimension specific to its field of investigation and examine ...

  13. Astrobiology, Sustainability and Ethical Perspectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacques Arnould

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Astrobiology, a new field of research associating the prospects and constraints of prebiotic chemistry, mineralogy, geochemistry, astrophysics, theoretical physics, microbial ecology, etc., is assessed in terms of sustainability through the scientific and social functions it fulfils, and the limits it encounters or strives to overcome. In the same way as sustainable development, astrobiology must also take into account the temporal dimension specific to its field of investigation and examine its underlying conception of Nature.

  14. Lunar astrobiology: a review and suggested laboratory equipment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gronstal, Aaron; Cockell, Charles S; Perino, Maria Antonietta; Bittner, Tobias; Clacey, Erik; Clark, Olathe; Ingold, Olivier; Alves de Oliveira, Catarina; Wathiong, Steven

    2007-10-01

    In October of 2005, the European Space Agency (ESA) and Alcatel Alenia Spazio released a "call to academia for innovative concepts and technologies for lunar exploration." In recent years, interest in lunar exploration has increased in numerous space programs around the globe, and the purpose of our study, in response to the ESA call, was to draw on the expertise of researchers and university students to examine science questions and technologies that could support human astrobiology activity on the Moon. In this mini review, we discuss astrobiology science questions of importance for a human presence on the surface of the Moon and we provide a summary of key instrumentation requirements to support a lunar astrobiology laboratory.

  15. Heterocyclic anions of astrobiological interest

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cole, Callie A.; Demarais, Nicholas J.; Bierbaum, Veronica M.; Yang, Zhibo; Snow, Theodore P.

    2013-01-01

    As more complex organic molecules are detected in the interstellar medium, the importance of heterocyclic molecules to astrobiology and the origin of life has become evident. 2-Aminothiazole and 2-aminooxazole have recently been suggested as important nucleotide precursors, highlighting azoles as potential prebiotic molecules. This study explores the gas-phase chemistry of three deprotonated azoles: oxazole, thiazole, and isothiazole. For the first time, their gas-phase acidities are experimentally determined with bracketing and H/D exchange techniques, and their reactivity is characterized with several detected interstellar neutral molecules (N 2 O, O 2 , CO, OCS, CO 2 , and SO 2 ) and other reactive species (CS 2 , CH 3 Cl, (CH 3 ) 3 CCl, and (CH 3 ) 3 CBr). Rate constants and branching fractions for these reactions are experimentally measured using a modified commercial ion trap mass spectrometer whose kinetic data are in good accord with those of a flowing afterglow apparatus reported here. Last, we have examined the fragmentation patterns of these deprotonated azoles to elucidate their destruction mechanisms in high-energy environments. All experimental data are supported and complemented by electronic structure calculations at the B3LYP/6-311++G(d,p) and MP2(full)/aug-cc-pVDZ levels of theory.

  16. Heterocyclic anions of astrobiological interest

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cole, Callie A.; Demarais, Nicholas J.; Bierbaum, Veronica M. [Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, 215 UCB, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309 (United States); Yang, Zhibo [Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019 (United States); Snow, Theodore P., E-mail: Callie.Cole@colorado.edu, E-mail: Nicholas.Demarais@colorado.edu, E-mail: Veronica.Bierbaum@colorado.edu, E-mail: Zhibo.Yang@ou.edu, E-mail: Theodore.Snow@colorado.edu [Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences, 391 UCB, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309 (United States)

    2013-12-20

    As more complex organic molecules are detected in the interstellar medium, the importance of heterocyclic molecules to astrobiology and the origin of life has become evident. 2-Aminothiazole and 2-aminooxazole have recently been suggested as important nucleotide precursors, highlighting azoles as potential prebiotic molecules. This study explores the gas-phase chemistry of three deprotonated azoles: oxazole, thiazole, and isothiazole. For the first time, their gas-phase acidities are experimentally determined with bracketing and H/D exchange techniques, and their reactivity is characterized with several detected interstellar neutral molecules (N{sub 2}O, O{sub 2}, CO, OCS, CO{sub 2}, and SO{sub 2}) and other reactive species (CS{sub 2}, CH{sub 3}Cl, (CH{sub 3}){sub 3}CCl, and (CH{sub 3}){sub 3}CBr). Rate constants and branching fractions for these reactions are experimentally measured using a modified commercial ion trap mass spectrometer whose kinetic data are in good accord with those of a flowing afterglow apparatus reported here. Last, we have examined the fragmentation patterns of these deprotonated azoles to elucidate their destruction mechanisms in high-energy environments. All experimental data are supported and complemented by electronic structure calculations at the B3LYP/6-311++G(d,p) and MP2(full)/aug-cc-pVDZ levels of theory.

  17. The Mars Astrobiology Explorer-Cacher (MAX-C): a potential rover mission for 2018. Final report of the Mars Mid-Range Rover Science Analysis Group (MRR-SAG) October 14, 2009.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-03-01

    This report documents the work of the Mid-Range Rover Science Analysis Group (MRR-SAG), which was assigned to formulate a concept for a potential rover mission that could be launched to Mars in 2018. Based on programmatic and engineering considerations as of April 2009, our deliberations assumed that the potential mission would use the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) sky-crane landing system and include a single solar-powered rover. The mission would also have a targeting accuracy of approximately 7 km (semimajor axis landing ellipse), a mobility range of at least 10 km, and a lifetime on the martian surface of at least 1 Earth year. An additional key consideration, given recently declining budgets and cost growth issues with MSL, is that the proposed rover must have lower cost and cost risk than those of MSL--this is an essential consideration for the Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group (MEPAG). The MRR-SAG was asked to formulate a mission concept that would address two general objectives: (1) conduct high priority in situ science and (2) make concrete steps toward the potential return of samples to Earth. The proposed means of achieving these two goals while balancing the trade-offs between them are described here in detail. We propose the name Mars Astrobiology Explorer-Cacher(MAX-C) to reflect the dual purpose of this potential 2018 rover mission.

  18. Vibrational Spectroscopy and Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaban, Galina M.; Kwak, D. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Role of vibrational spectroscopy in solving problems related to astrobiology will be discussed. Vibrational (infrared) spectroscopy is a very sensitive tool for identifying molecules. Theoretical approach used in this work is based on direct computation of anharmonic vibrational frequencies and intensities from electronic structure codes. One of the applications of this computational technique is possible identification of biological building blocks (amino acids, small peptides, DNA bases) in the interstellar medium (ISM). Identifying small biological molecules in the ISM is very important from the point of view of origin of life. Hybrid (quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics) theoretical techniques will be discussed that may allow to obtain accurate vibrational spectra of biomolecular building blocks and to create a database of spectroscopic signatures that can assist observations of these molecules in space. Another application of the direct computational spectroscopy technique is to help to design and analyze experimental observations of ice surfaces of one of the Jupiter's moons, Europa, that possibly contains hydrated salts. The presence of hydrated salts on the surface can be an indication of a subsurface ocean and the possible existence of life forms inhabiting such an ocean.

  19. From Astrochemistry to Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allamandola, L. J.

    2005-01-01

    Tremendous strides have been made in our understanding of interstellar material over the past twenty five years thanks to significant developments in observational astronomy and laboratory astrophysics. Twenty years ago the composition of interstellar dust was largely guessed at, the concept of ices in dense molecular clouds ignored, and the notion of large, abundant, gas phase, carbon-rich molecules widespread throughout the interstellar medium (ISM) considered impossible. Today the composition of interstellar dust is reasonably well understood. In molecular clouds, the birthplace of stars and planets, these cold dust particles are coated with mixed molecular ices whose composition is very well constrained. Lastly, the signature of carbon-rich polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), shockingly large molecules by early interstellar chemistry standards, is widespread throughout the Universe. The first part of this talk will describe how infrared spectroscopic studies of interstellar space, combined with laboratory simulations of interstellar ice chemistry, have revealed the widespread presence of interstellar PAHs and the composition of interstellar ices, the building blocks of comets. The remainder of the presentation will focus on the photochemical evolution of these materials and astrobiology. Within a molecular cloud, and especially the presolar nebula, materials frozen into the ices are photoprocessed by ultraviolet light and produce more complex molecules. As these materials are the building blocks of comets and related to carbonaceous micrometeorites, they are likely to have been important sources of complex materials delivered to the early Earth and their composition may be related to the origin of life.

  20. Astrobiology in culture: the search for extraterrestrial life as "science".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Billings, Linda

    2012-10-01

    This analysis examines the social construction of authority, credibility, and legitimacy for exobiology/astrobiology and, in comparison, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI), considering English-language conceptions of these endeavors in scientific culture and popular culture primarily in the United States. The questions that define astrobiology as a scientific endeavor are multidisciplinary in nature, and this endeavor is broadly appealing to public audiences as well as to the scientific community. Thus, it is useful to examine astrobiology in culture-in scientific culture, official culture, and popular culture. A researcher may explore science in culture, science as culture, by analyzing its rhetoric, the primary means that people use to construct their social realities-their cultural environment, as it were. This analysis follows this path, considering scientific and public interest in astrobiology and SETI and focusing on scientific and official constructions of the two endeavors. This analysis will also consider whether and how scientific and public conceptions of astrobiology and SETI, which are related but at the same time separate endeavors, converge or diverge and whether and how these convergences or divergences affect the scientific authority, credibility, and legitimacy of these endeavors.

  1. Astrobiology - The New Synthesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sik, A.; Simon, T.

    Background In connection with the complex planetology-education in Hungary [1] we have compiled an Astrobiology coursebook - as a base of its teaching in universities and perhaps in secondary schools as well. We tried to collect and assemble in a logical and thematical order the scientific breakthroughs of the last years, that made possible the fast improvement of astrobiology. The followings are a kind of summary of these. Introduction - The ultimate science Astrobiology is a young science, that search for the possibility, forms and places of extraterrestrial life. But it is not SETI, because do not search for intelligent life, just for living organisms, so SETI is a part of astrobiology. and an extremely important statement: we can search for life-forms that similar to terrestrial life in physiology so we can recognize it as life. Astrobiology is one of the most dynamical-developing sciences of the 21st century. To determine its boundaries is difficult because the complex nature of it: astrobiology melt into itself lot of other sciences, like a kind of ultimate science. The fundamental questions are very simple [2]: When, where and how converted the organic matter into life?; How does life evolve in the Universe?; Has it appeared on other planets?; How does it spread in time and space?; and What is the future of terrestrial life? However, trying to find the answers is quite difficult. So an astrobiologist has to be aware of the basics of astronomy, space research, earth and planetary sciences, and life sciences (mainly ecology, genetics, molecular and evolution biology). But it is not enough - the newest results of these at least as important as the basic knowledge. Part I. - Astro 1. Exoplanets 1995 was a particular year in astronomy: we have found the first planet out of the Solar System. Since that time the discovery of exoplanets progress fast: nowdays more than 80 examples are known and just 6 years passed [3]. The detailed analysis of these distant objects

  2. Energy efficiency of acetone, butanol, and ethanol (ABE) recovery by heat-integrated distillation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grisales Diaz, Victor Hugo; Olivar Tost, Gerard

    2018-03-01

    Acetone, butanol, and ethanol (ABE) is an alternative biofuel. However, the energy requirement of ABE recovery by distillation is considered elevated (> 15.2 MJ fuel/Kg-ABE), due to the low concentration of ABE from fermentation broths (between 15 and 30 g/l). In this work, to reduce the energy requirements of ABE recovery, four processes of heat-integrated distillation were proposed. The energy requirements and economic evaluations were performed using the fermentation broths of several biocatalysts. Energy requirements of the processes with four distillation columns and three distillation columns were similar (between 7.7 and 11.7 MJ fuel/kg-ABE). Double-effect system (DED) with four columns was the most economical process (0.12-0.16 $/kg-ABE). ABE recovery from dilute solutions by DED achieved energy requirements between 6.1 and 8.7 MJ fuel/kg-ABE. Vapor compression distillation (VCD) reached the lowest energy consumptions (between 4.7 and 7.3 MJ fuel/kg-ABE). Energy requirements for ABE recovery DED and VCD were lower than that for integrated reactors. The energy requirements of ABE production were between 1.3- and 2.0-fold higher than that for alternative biofuels (ethanol or isobutanol). However, the energy efficiency of ABE production was equivalent than that for ethanol and isobutanol (between 0.71 and 0.76) because of hydrogen production in ABE fermentation.

  3. Astrobiology, Evolution, and Society: Public Engagement Insights

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertka, C. M.

    2009-12-01

    It is unavoidable that the science of astrobiology will intersect with, and inevitably challenge, many deeply held beliefs. Exploration possibilities, particularly those that may include the discovery of extraterrestrial life, will continue to challenge us to reconsider our views of nature and our connection to the rest of the universe. As a scientific discipline, astrobiology works from the assumption that the origin and evolution of life can be accounted for by natural processes, that life could emerge naturally from the physical materials that make up the terrestrial planets. The search for life on other terrestrial planets is focused on “life as we know it.” The only life we currently know of is the life found on Earth, and for the scientific community the shared common ancestry of all Earth life, and its astounding diversity, is explained by the theory of evolution. The work of astrobiology, at its very core, is fueled by the theory of evolution. However, a survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life (2005) revealed that 42% of US adults believe that “life has existed in its present form since the beginning of time”. This answer persists nearly 150 years after the publication of Charles Darwin’s "On the Origin of the Species", the landmark work in which Darwin proposed that living things share common ancestors and have “descended with modification” from these ancestors through a process of natural selection . Perhaps even more distressing is the fact that these numbers have not changed in decades, despite the astounding advancements in science that have resulted over this same time period. How will these facts bear on the usefulness of astrobiology as a tool for encouraging a US public to share in the excitement of scientific discovery and be informed participants in a public dialogue concerning next steps? When people were asked “to identify the biggest influence on your thinking about how life developed,” the response chosen most

  4. Astrobiology: Life in Extreme Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaur, Preeti

    2011-01-01

    Astrobiology is the study of the origin, evolution and distribution of life in the universe. It seeks to answer two important scientific questions: how did we get here and are we alone in the universe? Scientists begin by studying life on Earth and its limits. The discovery of extremophiles on Earth capable of surviving extremes encourages the…

  5. Proceedings of the Astrobiology Science Conference 2010. Evolution and Life: Surviving Catastrophes and Extremes on Earth and Beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    The Program of the 2010 Astrobiology Science Conference: Evolution and Life: Surviving Catastrophes and Extremes on Earth and Beyond, included sessions on: 50 Years of Exobiology and Astrobiology: Greatest Hits; Extraterrestrial Molecular Evolution and Pre-Biological Chemistry: From the Interstellar Medium to the Solar System I; Human Exploration, Astronaut Health; Diversity in Astrobiology Research and Education; Titan: Past, Present, and Future; Energy Flow in Microbial Ecosystems; Extraterrestrial Molecular Evolution and Prebiological Chemistry: From the Interstellar Medium to the Solar System II; Astrobiology in Orbit; Astrobiology and Interdisciplinary Communication; Science from Rio Tinto: An Acidic Environment; Can We Rule Out Spontaneous Generation of RNA as the Key Step in the Origin of Life?; How Hellish Was the Hadean Earth?; Results from ASTEP and Other Astrobiology Field Campaigns I; Prebiotic Evolution: From Chemistry to Life I; Adaptation of Life in Hostile Space Environments; Extrasolar Terrestrial Planets I: Formation and Composition; Collaborative Tools and Technology for Astrobiology; Results from ASTEP and Other Astrobiology Field Campaigns II; Prebiotic Evolution: From Chemistry to Life II; Survival, Growth, and Evolution of Microrganisms in Model Extraterrestrial Environments; Extrasolar Terrestrial Planets II: Habitability and Life; Planetary Science Decadal Survey Update; Astrobiology Research Funding; Bioessential Elements Through Space and Time I; State of the Art in Life Detection; Terrestrial Evolution: Implications for the Past, Present, and Future of Life on Earth; Psychrophiles and Polar Environments; Life in Volcanic Environments: On Earth and Beyond; Geochronology and Astrobiology On and Off the Earth; Bioessential Elements Through Space and Time II; Origins and Evolution of Genetic Systems; Evolution of Advanced Life; Water-rich Asteroids and Moons: Composition and Astrobiological Potential; Impact Events and Evolution; A Warm, Wet

  6. Mathematical models of ABE fermentation: review and analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayank, Rahul; Ranjan, Amrita; Moholkar, Vijayanand S

    2013-12-01

    Among different liquid biofuels that have emerged in the recent past, biobutanol produced via fermentation processes is of special interest due to very similar properties to that of gasoline. For an effective design, scale-up, and optimization of the acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) fermentation process, it is necessary to have insight into the micro- and macro-mechanisms of the process. The mathematical models for ABE fermentation are efficient tools for this purpose, which have evolved from simple stoichiometric fermentation equations in the 1980s to the recent sophisticated and elaborate kinetic models based on metabolic pathways. In this article, we have reviewed the literature published in the area of mathematical modeling of the ABE fermentation. We have tried to present an analysis of these models in terms of their potency in describing the overall physiology of the process, design features, mode of operation along with comparison and validation with experimental results. In addition, we have also highlighted important facets of these models such as metabolic pathways, basic kinetics of different metabolites, biomass growth, inhibition modeling and other additional features such as cell retention and immobilized cultures. Our review also covers the mathematical modeling of the downstream processing of ABE fermentation, i.e. recovery and purification of solvents through flash distillation, liquid-liquid extraction, and pervaporation. We believe that this review will be a useful source of information and analysis on mathematical models for ABE fermentation for both the appropriate scientific and engineering communities.

  7. Recent trends in acetone, butanol, and ethanol (ABE production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keikhosro Karim

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Among the renewable fuels considered as a suitable substitute to petroleum-based gasoline, butanol has attracted a great deal of attention due to its unique properties. Acetone, butanol, and ethanol (ABE can be produced biologically from different substrates, including sugars, starch, lignocelluloses, and algae. This process was among the very first biofuel production processes which was commercialized during the First World War. The present review paper discusses the different aspects of the ABE process and the recent progresses made. Moreover, the microorganisms and the biochemistry of the ABE fermentation as well as the feedstocks used are reviewed. Finally, the challenges faced such as low products concentration and products` inhibitory effects on the fermentation are explained and different possible solutions are presented and reviewed.

  8. Philosophy of astrobiology: some recent developments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolb, Vera M.

    2015-09-01

    We present some recent developments in philosophy of astrobiology which illustrate usefulness of philosophy to astrobiology. We cover applications of Aristotelian views to definition of life, of Priest's dialetheism to the question if viruses are alive, and various thought experiments in regard to these and other astrobiology issues. Thought experiments about the survival of life in the Solar system and about the role of viruses at the beginning and towards the end of life are also described.

  9. Eco-efficient butanol separation in the ABE fermentation process

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Patraşcu, Iulian; Bîldea, Costin Sorin; Kiss, Anton A.

    2017-01-01

    Butanol is considered a superior biofuel, as it is more energy dense and less hygroscopic than the more popular ethanol, resulting in higher possible blending ratios with gasoline. However, the production cost of the acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) fermentation process is still high, mainly due to the

  10. Lower Secondary Students' Views in Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansson, Lena; Redfors, Andreas

    2013-01-01

    Astrobiology is, on a profound level, about whether life exists outside of the planet Earth. The question of existence of life elsewhere in the universe has been of interest to many societies throughout history. Recently, the research area of astrobiology has grown at a fast rate, mainly due to the development of observational methods, and the…

  11. Undergraduate Research at SETI in Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kress, Monika; Phillips, C.; DeVore, E.; Hubickyj, O.

    2012-05-01

    The SETI Institute and San Jose State University (SJSU) have begun a partnership (URSA: Undergraduate Research at the SETI Institute in Astrobiology) in which undergraduate science and engineering majors from SJSU participate in research at the SETI Institute during the academic year. We are currently in our second year of the three-year NASA-funded grant. The goal of this program is to expose future scientists, engineers and educators to the science of astrobiology and to NASA in general, and by so doing, to prepare them for the transition to their future career in the Silicon Valley or beyond. The URSA students are mentored by a SETI Institute scientist who conducts research at the SETI Institute headquarters or nearby at NASA Ames Research Center. The SETI Institute is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to scientific research, education and public outreach. Its mission is to explore, understand and explain the origin, nature and prevalence of life in the universe. SJSU is a large urban public university that serves the greater Silicon Valley area in California. Students at SJSU come from diverse ethnic, cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. Many of them face financial pressures that force them to pursue part-time work. URSA students are paid to work for 10 hours/week during the academic year, and also participate in monthly group meetings where they practice their presentation skills and discuss future plans. We encourage underserved and underrepresented students, including women, minority, and those who are the first in their family to go to college, to apply to the URSA program and provide ongoing mentoring and support as needed. While preparing students for graduate school is not a primary goal, some of our students have gone on to MS or PhD programs or plan to do so. The URSA program is funded by NASA EPOESS.

  12. The UK Centre for Astrobiology: A Virtual Astrobiology Centre. Accomplishments and Lessons Learned, 2011-2016.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cockell, Charles S; Biller, Beth; Bryce, Casey; Cousins, Claire; Direito, Susana; Forgan, Duncan; Fox-Powell, Mark; Harrison, Jesse; Landenmark, Hanna; Nixon, Sophie; Payler, Samuel J; Rice, Ken; Samuels, Toby; Schwendner, Petra; Stevens, Adam; Nicholson, Natasha; Wadsworth, Jennifer

    2018-02-01

    The UK Centre for Astrobiology (UKCA) was set up in 2011 as a virtual center to contribute to astrobiology research, education, and outreach. After 5 years, we describe this center and its work in each of these areas. Its research has focused on studying life in extreme environments, the limits of life on Earth, and implications for habitability elsewhere. Among its research infrastructure projects, UKCA has assembled an underground astrobiology laboratory that has hosted a deep subsurface planetary analog program, and it has developed new flow-through systems to study extraterrestrial aqueous environments. UKCA has used this research backdrop to develop education programs in astrobiology, including a massive open online course in astrobiology that has attracted over 120,000 students, a teacher training program, and an initiative to take astrobiology into prisons. In this paper, we review these activities and others with a particular focus on providing lessons to others who may consider setting up an astrobiology center, institute, or science facility. We discuss experience in integrating astrobiology research into teaching and education activities. Key Words: Astrobiology-Centre-Education-Subsurface-Analog research. Astrobiology 18, 224-243.

  13. Systems astrobiology for a reliable biomarker on exo-worlds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chela Flores, Julian

    2013-04-01

    moons of our solar system (Chela-Flores, 2010), and will learn in the foreseeable future with the JUICE Mission will be relevant to systems astrobiology. The distribution of systems of habitable worlds with their biomarkers will be testable in the short term with forthcoming space missions: FINNESSE, EChO and TESS. This would justify subsequent use of quantitative systems biology methods that are available from its repertoire of analytic approaches. References Catling et al. (2005). Why O2 is required by complex life on habitable planets and the concept of planetary "oxygenation time", Astrobiology, 5, 415-438. Chela-Flores, J. (2010). Instrumentation for the search of habitable ecosystems in the future exploration of Europa and Ganymede. International Journal of Astrobiology, 9, 101-108. http://www.ictp.it/~chelaf/jcf_IJA_2010.pdf Chela-Flores, J. (2013). From systems chemistry to systems astrobiology: Life in the universe as an emergent phenomenon. Published online: 26 July 2012. International Journal of Astrobiology, 12,8-16. http://www.ictp.it/~chelaf/Int_J_AB_SAB_3.pdf Kiang, N.Y., et al (2007). Spectral signatures of photosynthesis II. Astrobiology 7, 252-274. Kipping, D. M. et al (2012). The Hunt for Exomoons with Kepler. arXiv:1201.0752 [astro-ph.EP]. Wolstencroft, R.D. and Raven, J.A. (2002). Photosynthesis: likelihood of occurrence and possibility of detection on earth-like planets. Icarus 157, 535-548.

  14. Is Humanity Doomed? Insights from Astrobiology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seth D. Baum

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Astrobiology, the study of life in the universe, offers profound insights into human sustainability. However, astrobiology is commonly neglected in sustainability research. This paper develops three topics connecting astrobiology to sustainability: constraints on what zones in the universe are habitable, the absence of observations of extraterrestrial civilizations, and the physical fate of the universe. These topics have major implications for our thinking and action on sustainability. While we may not be doomed, we must take certain actions to sustain ourselves in this universe. The topics also suggest that our current sustainability efforts may be of literally galactic importance.

  15. The UK Centre for Astrobiology: A Virtual Astrobiology Centre. Accomplishments and Lessons Learned, 2011–2016

    OpenAIRE

    Cockell, Charles S.; Biller, Beth; Bryce, Casey; Cousins, Claire; Direito, Susana; Forgan, Duncan; Fox-Powell, Mark; Harrison, Jesse; Landenmark, Hanna; Nixon, Sophie; Payler, Samuel J.; Rice, Ken; Samuels, Toby; Schwendner, Petra; Stevens, Adam

    2018-01-01

    Abstract The UK Centre for Astrobiology (UKCA) was set up in 2011 as a virtual center to contribute to astrobiology research, education, and outreach. After 5 years, we describe this center and its work in each of these areas. Its research has focused on studying life in extreme environments, the limits of life on Earth, and implications for habitability elsewhere. Among its research infrastructure projects, UKCA has assembled an underground astrobiology laboratory that has hosted a deep subs...

  16. The UK Centre for Astrobiology: A Virtual Astrobiology Centre. Accomplishments and Lessons Learned, 2011–2016

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biller, Beth; Bryce, Casey; Cousins, Claire; Direito, Susana; Forgan, Duncan; Fox-Powell, Mark; Harrison, Jesse; Landenmark, Hanna; Nixon, Sophie; Payler, Samuel J.; Rice, Ken; Samuels, Toby; Schwendner, Petra; Stevens, Adam; Nicholson, Natasha; Wadsworth, Jennifer

    2018-01-01

    Abstract The UK Centre for Astrobiology (UKCA) was set up in 2011 as a virtual center to contribute to astrobiology research, education, and outreach. After 5 years, we describe this center and its work in each of these areas. Its research has focused on studying life in extreme environments, the limits of life on Earth, and implications for habitability elsewhere. Among its research infrastructure projects, UKCA has assembled an underground astrobiology laboratory that has hosted a deep subsurface planetary analog program, and it has developed new flow-through systems to study extraterrestrial aqueous environments. UKCA has used this research backdrop to develop education programs in astrobiology, including a massive open online course in astrobiology that has attracted over 120,000 students, a teacher training program, and an initiative to take astrobiology into prisons. In this paper, we review these activities and others with a particular focus on providing lessons to others who may consider setting up an astrobiology center, institute, or science facility. We discuss experience in integrating astrobiology research into teaching and education activities. Key Words: Astrobiology—Centre—Education—Subsurface—Analog research. Astrobiology 18, 224–243. PMID:29377716

  17. Astrobiology, discovery, and societal impact

    CERN Document Server

    Dick, Steven J

    2018-01-01

    The search for life in the universe, once the stuff of science fiction, is now a robust worldwide research program with a well-defined roadmap probing both scientific and societal issues. This volume examines the humanistic aspects of astrobiology, systematically discussing the approaches, critical issues, and implications of discovering life beyond Earth. What do the concepts of life and intelligence, culture and civilization, technology and communication mean in a cosmic context? What are the theological and philosophical implications if we find life - and if we do not? Steven J. Dick argues that given recent scientific findings, the discovery of life in some form beyond Earth is likely and so we need to study the possible impacts of such a discovery and formulate policies to deal with them. The remarkable and often surprising results are presented here in a form accessible to disciplines across the sciences, social sciences, and humanities.

  18. Astrobiology: An astronomer's perspective

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bergin, Edwin A.

    2014-01-01

    In this review we explore aspects of the field of astrobiology from an astronomical viewpoint. We therefore focus on the origin of life in the context of planetary formation, with additional emphasis on tracing the most abundant volatile elements, C, H, O, and N that are used by life on Earth. We first explore the history of life on our planet and outline the current state of our knowledge regarding the delivery of the C, H, O, N elements to the Earth. We then discuss how astronomers track the gaseous and solid molecular carriers of these volatiles throughout the process of star and planet formation. It is now clear that the early stages of star formation fosters the creation of water and simple organic molecules with enrichments of heavy isotopes. These molecules are found as ice coatings on the solid materials that represent microscopic beginnings of terrestrial worlds. Based on the meteoritic and cometary record, the process of planet formation, and the local environment, lead to additional increases in organic complexity. The astronomical connections towards this stage are only now being directly made. Although the exact details are uncertain, it is likely that the birth process of star and planets likely leads to terrestrial worlds being born with abundant water and organics on the surface

  19. Astrobiology: An astronomer's perspective

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bergin, Edwin A. [University of Michigan, Department of Astronomy, 500 Church Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (United States)

    2014-12-08

    In this review we explore aspects of the field of astrobiology from an astronomical viewpoint. We therefore focus on the origin of life in the context of planetary formation, with additional emphasis on tracing the most abundant volatile elements, C, H, O, and N that are used by life on Earth. We first explore the history of life on our planet and outline the current state of our knowledge regarding the delivery of the C, H, O, N elements to the Earth. We then discuss how astronomers track the gaseous and solid molecular carriers of these volatiles throughout the process of star and planet formation. It is now clear that the early stages of star formation fosters the creation of water and simple organic molecules with enrichments of heavy isotopes. These molecules are found as ice coatings on the solid materials that represent microscopic beginnings of terrestrial worlds. Based on the meteoritic and cometary record, the process of planet formation, and the local environment, lead to additional increases in organic complexity. The astronomical connections towards this stage are only now being directly made. Although the exact details are uncertain, it is likely that the birth process of star and planets likely leads to terrestrial worlds being born with abundant water and organics on the surface.

  20. Astrobiology: The Case for Venus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2003-01-01

    The scientific discipline of astrobiology addresses one of the most fundamental unanswered questions of science: are we alone? Is there life elsewhere in the universe, or is life unique to Earth? The field of astrobiology includes the study of the chemical precursors for life in the solar system; it also includes the search for both presently existing life and fossil signs of previously existing life elsewhere in our own solar system, as well as the search for life outside the solar system. Two of the promising environments within the solar system being currently considered are the surface of the planet Mars, and the hypothesized oceans underneath the ice covering the moon Europa. Both of these environments differ in several key ways from the environments where life is found on Earth; the Mars environment in most places too cold and at too low pressure for liquid water to be stable, and the sub-ice environment of Europa lacking an abundance of free energy in the form of sunlight. The only place in the solar system where we know that life exists today is the Earth. To look for life elsewhere in the solar system, one promising search strategy would be to find and study the environment in the solar system with conditions that are most similar to the environmental conditions where life thrives on the Earth. Specifically, we would like to study a location in the solar system with atmospheric pressure near one bar; temperature in the range where water is liquid, 0 to 100 C; abundant solar energy; and with the primary materials required for life, carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, and hydrogen, present. Other than the surface of the Earth, the only other place where these conditions exist is the atmosphere of Venus, at an altitude of about fifty kilometers above the surface.

  1. Astrobiology and the Possibility of Life on Earth and Elsewhere…

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cottin, Hervé; Kotler, Julia Michelle; Bartik, Kristin; Cleaves, H. James; Cockell, Charles S.; de Vera, Jean-Pierre P.; Ehrenfreund, Pascale; Leuko, Stefan; Ten Kate, Inge Loes; Martins, Zita; Pascal, Robert; Quinn, Richard; Rettberg, Petra; Westall, Frances

    2017-07-01

    Astrobiology is an interdisciplinary scientific field not only focused on the search of extraterrestrial life, but also on deciphering the key environmental parameters that have enabled the emergence of life on Earth. Understanding these physical and chemical parameters is fundamental knowledge necessary not only for discovering life or signs of life on other planets, but also for understanding our own terrestrial environment. Therefore, astrobiology pushes us to combine different perspectives such as the conditions on the primitive Earth, the physicochemical limits of life, exploration of habitable environments in the Solar System, and the search for signatures of life in exoplanets. Chemists, biologists, geologists, planetologists and astrophysicists are contributing extensively to this interdisciplinary research field. From 2011 to 2014, the European Space Agency (ESA) had the initiative to gather a Topical Team of interdisciplinary scientists focused on astrobiology to review the profound transformations in the field that have occurred since the beginning of the new century. The present paper is an interdisciplinary review of current research in astrobiology, covering the major advances and main outlooks in the field. The following subjects will be reviewed and most recent discoveries will be highlighted: the new understanding of planetary system formation including the specificity of the Earth among the diversity of planets, the origin of water on Earth and its unique combined properties among solvents for the emergence of life, the idea that the Earth could have been habitable during the Hadean Era, the inventory of endogenous and exogenous sources of organic matter and new concepts about how chemistry could evolve towards biological molecules and biological systems. In addition, many new findings show the remarkable potential life has for adaptation and survival in extreme environments. All those results from different fields of science are guiding our

  2. Galactic Habitable Zone and Astrobiological Complexity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vukotic, B.

    2012-12-01

    This is a short thesis description and for the sake of brevity most things are left out. For more details, those interested are further directed to the thesis related papers in this article reference list. Thesis itself is available at the University of Belgrade library "Svetozar Markovic" (Serbian version only). In this thesis we study the astrobiological history of the Galactic habitable zone through the means of numerical modeling. First group of simulations are unidimensional (time-axis) toy models examine the influence of global regulation mechanisms (gamma-ray bursts and supernovae) on temporal evolution of Galactic astrobiological complexity. It is shown that under the assumption of global regulation classical anti SETI arguments can be undermined. Second group of simulations are more complex bidimensional probabilistic cellular automata models of the Galactic thin disk. They confirm the findings of the toy models and give some insights into the spatial clustering of astrobiological complexity. As a new emerging multidisciplinary science the basic concepts of astrobiology are poorly understood and although all the simulations present here do not include some basic physics (such as Galactic kinematics and dynamics), the input parameters are somewhat arbitrary and could use a future refinement (such as the boundaries of the Galactic habitable zone). This is the cause for low weight and high uncertainty in the output results of the simulations. However, the probabilistic cellular automata has shown as a highly adaptable modeling platform that can simulate various class of astrobiological models with great ease.

  3. Combining Experimentation and Theory A Hommage to Abe Mamdani

    CERN Document Server

    Bonissone, Piero; Magdalena, Luis; Kacprzyk, Janusz

    2012-01-01

    The unexpected and premature passing away of Professor Ebrahim H. "Abe" Mamdani on January, 22, 2010, was a big shock to the scientific community, to all his friends and colleagues around the world, and to his close relatives. Professor Mamdani was a remarkable figure in the academic world, as he contributed to so many areas of science and technology. Of great relevance are his latest thoughts and ideas on the study of language and its handling by computers. The fuzzy logic community is particularly indebted to Abe Mamdani (1941-2010) who, in 1975, in his famous paper An Experiment in Linguistic Synthesis with a Fuzzy Logic Controller, jointly written with his student Sedrak Assilian, introduced the novel idea of fuzzy control. This was an elegant engineering approach to the modeling and control of complex processes for which mathematical models were unknown or too difficult to build, yet they could effectively and efficiently be controlled by human operators. This ground-breaking idea has found innumerable a...

  4. Walk Through Solar System Times: An Exhibit with an Astrobiology Emphasis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheung, C. Y.

    2012-01-01

    In this astrobiology outreach project, we attempt to present the research of the Goddard Center for Astrobiology (GCA) in the context of the history of the Solar System. GCA research emphasizes the origin and formation of complex pre-biotic organic materials in extraterrestrial environments and explores whether the delivery of these primordial materials and water to the early Earth enabled the emergence and evolution of life. The content expounds on areas that are usually not touched upon in a timeline of the Earth's formation. The exhibit addresses the questions: How did our solar system form? How is the formation of our solar systems similar or different from others? How did the organic molecules we observe in space get to the Earth? What conditions are most suitable for life? We will address the issues and challenges of designing the exhibit and of explaining advanced astrobiology research topics to the public.

  5. Astrobiology at Arizona State University: An Overview of Accomplishments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farmer, Jack

    2005-01-01

    During our five years as an NAI charter member, Arizona State University sponsored a broadly-based program of research and training in Astrobiology to address the origin, evolution and distribution of life in the Solar System. With such a large, diverse and active team, it is not possible in a reasonable space, to cover all details of progress made over the entire five years. The following paragraphs provide an overview update of the specific research areas pursued by the Arizona State University (ASU) Astrobiology team at the end of Year 5 and at the end of the 4 month and subsequent no cost month extensions. for a more detailed review, the reader is referred to the individual annual reports (and Executive Summaries) submitted to the NAI at the end of each of our five years of membership. Appended in electronic form is our complete publication record for all five years, plus a tabulation of undergraduates, graduate students and post-docs supported by our program during this time. The overarching theme of ASU s Astrobiology program was "Exploring the Living Universe: Studies of the Origin, Evolution and Distribution of Life in the Solar System". The NAi-funded research effort was organized under three basic sub- themes: 1. Origins of the Basic Building Blocks of Life. 2. Early Biosphere Evolution. and 3. Exploring for Life in the Solar System. These sub-theme areas were in turn, subdivided into Co-lead research modules. In the paragraphs that follow, accomplishments for individual research modules are briefly outlined, and the key participants presented in tabular form. As noted, publications for each module are appended in hard copy and digital formats, under the name(s) of lead co-Is.

  6. Neocatastrophism and the milky way astrobiological landscape

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vukotić B.

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available The number and distribution of habitable planets in the Milky Way is one of the foremost problems of contemporary astrobiological research. We investigate the effects of applying general neocatastrophic paradigm to the evolution of the Galactic Habitable Zone. In this paper, we investigate the limits of simple, 1-dimensional astrobiological models, and consider the role of regulation mechanisms in shapening the 'astrobiological landscape'. We show that the transition from predominantly gradualist to predominantly (neocatastrophist history of our Galaxy leads to the build-up of large-scale correlations between habitable sites, offering possible keys to such important problems as Carter's 'anthropic' argument and Fermi's paradox. In addition, we consider the possibilities for extending the present class of models into spatially realistic 3-dimensional case via probabilistic cellular automata.

  7. Neocatastrophism and the Milky Way Astrobiological Landscape

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vukotić, B.

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available The number and distribution of habitable planets in the Milky Way is one of the foremost problems of contemporary astrobiological research. We investigate the effects of applying general neocatastrophic paradigm to the evolution of the Galactic Habitable Zone. In this paper, we investigate the limits of simple, 1-dimensional astrobiological models, and consider the role of regulation mechanisms in shapening the "astrobiological landscape". We show that the transition from predominantly gradualist to predominantly (neocatastrophist history of our Galaxy leads to the build-up of large-scale correlations between habitable sites, offering possible keys to such important problems as Carter's "anthropic" argument and Fermi's paradox. In addition, we consider the possibilities for extending the present class of models into spatially realistic 3-dimensional case via probabilistic cellular automata.

  8. Low temperature spray combustion of acetone–butanol–ethanol (ABE) and diesel blends

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhou, Nan; Huo, Ming; Wu, Han; Nithyanandan, Karthik; Lee, Chia-fon F.; Wang, Qingnian

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • Combustion characteristics of acetone–butanol–ethanol (ABE) and diesel blends. • Feasibility of ABE to be blended directly with diesel in engine. • Conventional and low temperature combustion in constant volume chamber. • ABE–diesel blends can suppress the soot formation and achieve better combustion. - Abstract: The combustion characteristics of acetone–butanol–ethanol (ABE) and diesel blends were studied in a constant volume chamber under both conventional diesel combustion and low temperature combustion (LTC) conditions. In this work, 20 vol.% ABE without water (ABE20) was mixed with diesel and the vol.% of acetone, butanol and ethanol were kept at 30%, 60% and 10% respectively. The advantageous combustion characteristics of ABE-diesel include higher oxygen content which promotes soot oxidation compared to pure diesel; longer ignition delay and soot lift-off length allowing more air entrainment upstream of the spray jet thus providing better air–fuel mixing. Based on the analysis, it is found that at low ambient temperature of 800 K and ambient oxygen of 11%, ABE20 presented close-to-zero soot luminosity with better combustion efficiency compared to D100 suggesting that ABE, an intermediate product during ABE fermentation, is a very promising alternative fuel to be directly used in diesel engines especially under LTC conditions. Meanwhile, ABE–diesel blends contain multiple components possessing drastically different volatilities, which greatly favor the occurrence of micro-explosion. This feature may result in better atomization and air–fuel mixing enhancement, which all contribute to the better combustion performance of ABE20 at LTC conditions

  9. Brazilian research on extremophiles in the context of astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duarte, Rubens T. D.; Nóbrega, Felipe; Nakayama, Cristina R.; Pellizari, Vivian H.

    2012-10-01

    Extremophiles are organisms adapted to grow at extreme ranges of environmental variables, such as high or low temperatures, acid or alkaline medium, high salt concentration, high pressures and so forth. Most extremophiles are micro-organisms that belong to the Archaea and Bacteria domains, and are widely spread across the world, which include the polar regions, volcanoes, deserts, deep oceanic sediments, hydrothermal vents, hypersaline lakes, acid and alkaline water bodies, and other extreme environments considered hostile to human life. Despite the tropical climate, Brazil has a wide range of ecosystems which include some permanent or seasonally extreme environments. For example, the Cerrado is a biome with very low soil pH with high Al+3 concentration, the mangroves in the Brazilian coast are anaerobic and saline, Pantanal has thousands of alkaline-saline lakes, the Caatinga arid and hot soils and the deep sea sediments in the Brazilian ocean shelf. These environments harbour extremophilic organisms that, coupled with the high natural biodiversity in Brazil, could be explored for different purposes. However, only a few projects in Brazil intended to study the extremophiles. In the frame of astrobiology, for example, these organisms could provide important models for defining the limits of life and hypothesize about life outside Earth. Brazilian microbiologists have, however, studied the extremophilic micro-organisms inhabiting non-Brazilian environments, such as the Antarctic continent. The experience and previous results obtained from the Brazilian Antarctic Program (PROANTAR) provide important results that are directly related to astrobiology. This article is a brief synopsis of the Brazilian experience in researching extremophiles, indicating the most important results related to astrobiology and some future perspectives in this area.

  10. Astrobiology: Life on Earth (and Elsewhere?)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Des Marais, David J.

    2016-01-01

    Astrobiology investigates the origins, evolution and distribution of life in the universe. Scientists study how stellar systems and their planets can create planetary environments that sustain biospheres. They search for biosignatures, which are objects, substances and or patterns that indicate the presence of life. Studies of Earth's early biosphere enhance these search strategies and also provide key insights about our own origins.

  11. Astrobiology: Discovering New Worlds of Life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    James, Charles C.; Van Dover, Cindy Lee

    2001-01-01

    Emphasizes discoveries at the frontiers of science. Includes an instructional poster illustrating the hydrothermal vent communities on the deep ocean floor. Describes research activities related to the new discipline of astrobiology, a multidisciplinary approach to studying the emergence of life in the universe. Research activities include the…

  12. Lunar and Planetary Science XXXV: Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    The session "Astrobiology" included the following reports:The Role of Cometary and Meteoritic Delivery in the Origin and Evolution of Life: Biogeological Evidences Revisited; Hopane Biomarkers Traced from Bedrock to Recent Sediments and Ice at the Haughton Impact Structure, Devon Island: Implications for the Search for Biomarkers on Mars; and Survival of Organic Matter After High Temperature Events (Meteorite Impacts, Igneous Intrusions).

  13. AstRoMap European Astrobiology Roadmap.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horneck, Gerda; Walter, Nicolas; Westall, Frances; Grenfell, John Lee; Martin, William F; Gomez, Felipe; Leuko, Stefan; Lee, Natuschka; Onofri, Silvano; Tsiganis, Kleomenis; Saladino, Raffaele; Pilat-Lohinger, Elke; Palomba, Ernesto; Harrison, Jesse; Rull, Fernando; Muller, Christian; Strazzulla, Giovanni; Brucato, John R; Rettberg, Petra; Capria, Maria Teresa

    2016-03-01

    The European AstRoMap project (supported by the European Commission Seventh Framework Programme) surveyed the state of the art of astrobiology in Europe and beyond and produced the first European roadmap for astrobiology research. In the context of this roadmap, astrobiology is understood as the study of the origin, evolution, and distribution of life in the context of cosmic evolution; this includes habitability in the Solar System and beyond. The AstRoMap Roadmap identifies five research topics, specifies several key scientific objectives for each topic, and suggests ways to achieve all the objectives. The five AstRoMap Research Topics are • Research Topic 1: Origin and Evolution of Planetary Systems • Research Topic 2: Origins of Organic Compounds in Space • Research Topic 3: Rock-Water-Carbon Interactions, Organic Synthesis on Earth, and Steps to Life • Research Topic 4: Life and Habitability • Research Topic 5: Biosignatures as Facilitating Life Detection It is strongly recommended that steps be taken towards the definition and implementation of a European Astrobiology Platform (or Institute) to streamline and optimize the scientific return by using a coordinated infrastructure and funding system.

  14. The O/OREOS Mission - Astrobiology in Low Earth Orbit. [Astrobiology in Low Earth Orbit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ehrenfreund, P.; Ricco, A. J.; Squires, D.; Kitts, C.; Agasid, E.; Bramall, N.; Bryson, K.; Chittenden, J.; Conley, C.; Cook, A.; hide

    2014-01-01

    The O/OREOS (Organism/Organic Exposure to Orbital Stresses) nanosatellite is the first science demonstration spacecraft and flight mission of the NASA Astrobiology Small- Payloads Program (ASP). O/OREOS was launched successfully on November 19, 2010, to a high-inclination (72 deg), 650-km Earth orbit aboard a US Air Force Minotaur IV rocket from Kodiak, Alaska. O/OREOS consists of 3 conjoined cubesat (each 1000 cu cm) modules: (i) a control bus; (ii) the Space Environment Survivability of Living Organisms (SESLO) experiment; and (iii) the Space Environment Viability of Organics (SEVO) experiment. Among the innovative aspects of the O/OREOS mission are a real-time analysis of the photostability of organics and biomarkers and the collection of data on the survival and metabolic activity for microorganisms at 3 times during the 6-month mission. We report on the spacecraft characteristics, payload capabilities, and present operational phase and flight data from the O/OREOS mission. The science and technology rationale of O/OREOS supports NASA0s scientific exploration program by investigating the local space environment as well as space biology relevant to Moon and Mars missions. It also serves as a precursor for experiments on small satellites, the International Space Station (ISS), future free-flyers and lunar surface exposure facilities.

  15. A web based semi automatic frame work for astrobiological researches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P.V. Arun

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Astrobiology addresses the possibility of extraterrestrial life and explores measures towards its recognition. Researches in this context are founded upon the premise that indicators of life encountered in space will be recognizable. However, effective recognition can be accomplished through a universal adaptation of life signatures without restricting solely to those attributes that represent local solutions to the challenges of survival. The life indicators should be modelled with reference to temporal and environmental variations specific to each planet and time. In this paper, we investigate a semi-automatic open source frame work for the accurate detection and interpretation of life signatures by facilitating public participation, in a similar way as adopted by SETI@home project. The involvement of public in identifying patterns can bring a thrust to the mission and is implemented using semi-automatic framework. Different advanced intelligent methodologies may augment the integration of this human machine analysis. Automatic and manual evaluations along with dynamic learning strategy have been adopted to provide accurate results. The system also helps to provide a deep public understanding about space agency’s works and facilitate a mass involvement in the astrobiological studies. It will surely help to motivate young eager minds to pursue a career in this field.

  16. A Novel Penetration System for in situ Astrobiological Studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yang Gao

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available Due to ultraviolet flux in the surface layers of most solar bodies, future astrobiological research is increasingly seeking to conduct subsurface penetration and drilling to detect chemical signature for extant or extinct life. To address this issue, we present a micro-penetrator concept (mass < 10 kg that is suited for extraterrestrial planetary deployment and in situ investigation of chemical and physical properties. The instrumentation in this concept is a bio-inspired drill to access material beneath sterile surface layer for biomarker detection. The proposed drill represents a novel concept of two-valve-reciprocating motion, inspired by the working mechanism of wood wasp ovipositors. It is lightweight (0.5 kg, driven at low power (3 W, and able to drill deep (1-2 m. Tests have shown that the reciprocating drill is feasible and has potential of improving drill efficiency without using any external force. The overall penetration system provides a small, light and energy efficient solution to in situ astrobiological studies, which is crucial for space engineering. Such a micro-penetrator can be used for exploration of terrestrial-type planets or other small bodies of the solar system with the minimum of modifications.

  17. A Novel Penetration System for in situ Astrobiological Studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yang Gao

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Due to ultraviolet flux in the surface layers of most solar bodies, future astrobiological research is increasingly seeking to conduct subsurface penetration and drilling to detect chemical signature for extant or extinct life. To address this issue, we present a micro-penetrator concept (mass < 10 kg that is suited for extraterrestrial planetary deployment and in situ investigation of chemical and physical properties. The instrumentation in this concept is a bio-inspired drill to access material beneath sterile surface layer for biomarker detection. The proposed drill represents a novel concept of two-valve-reciprocating motion, inspired by the working mechanism of wood wasp ovipositors. It is lightweight (0.5 kg, driven at low power (3 W, and able to drill deep (1-2 m. Tests have shown that the reciprocating drill is feasible and has potential of improving drill efficiency without using any external force. The overall penetration system provides a small, light and energy efficient solution to in situ astrobiological studies, which is crucial for space engineering. Such a micro-penetrator can be used for exploration of terrestrial-type planets or other small bodies of the solar system with the minimum of modifications.

  18. Science at the ends of the Earth: astrobiology field expeditions as outreach tools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Billings, Linda

    INTRODUCTION This paper will report on and evaluate communication, education, and outreach initiatives conducted in conjunction with NASA Astrobiology Science and Technology for Exploring Planets (ASTEP) field campaigns, addressing the costs and benefits of linking students, teachers, and other interested citizens with researchers in the field. This paper will highlight success stories, lessons learned, and promising practices regarding educational programs in scientific research environments. The Astrobiology Program in the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA's) Science Mission Directorate studies the origin, evolution, distribution, and future of life in the universe. Public interest in astrobiology is great, and advances in the field are rapid. Hence, the Astrobiology Program supports the widest possible dissemination of timely and useful information about scientific discoveries, technology development, new knowledge, and greater understanding produced by its investigators, employing an approach described as strategic communication planning. That is, the Astrobiology Program aims to integrate communication, education, and outreach into all aspects of program planning and execution. The Program encourages all of its investigators to contribute to the ongoing endeavor of informing public audiences about Astrobiology. The ASTEP element of the Astrobiology Program sponsors terrestrial field campaigns to further scientific research and technology development relevant to future solar system exploration missions. ASTEP science investigations are designed to further biological research in terrestrial environments analogous to those found on other planets, past or present. ASTEP sponsors the development of technologies to enable remote searches for, and identification of, life in extreme environments. ASTEP supports systems-level field campaigns designed to demonstrate and validate the science and technology in extreme environments on Earth. This

  19. Astrobiology undergraduate education: students' knowledge and perceptions of the field.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foster, Jamie S; Drew, Jennifer C

    2009-04-01

    With the field of astrobiology continually evolving, it has become increasingly important to develop and maintain an educational infrastructure for the next generation of astrobiologists. In addition to developing more courses and programs for students, it is essential to monitor the learning experiences and progress of students taking these astrobiology courses. At the University of Florida, a new pilot course in astrobiology was developed that targeted undergraduate students with a wide range of scientific backgrounds. Pre- and post-course surveys along with knowledge assessments were used to evaluate the students' perceived and actual learning experiences. The class incorporated a hybrid teaching platform that included traditional in-person and distance learning technologies. Results indicate that undergraduate students have little prior knowledge of key astrobiology concepts; however, post-course testing demonstrated significant improvements in the students' comprehension of astrobiology. Improvements were not limited to astrobiology knowledge. Assessments revealed that students developed confidence in science writing as well as reading and understanding astrobiology primary literature. Overall, student knowledge of and attitudes toward astrobiological research dramatically increased during this course, which demonstrates the ongoing need for additional astrobiology education programs as well as periodic evaluations of those programs currently underway. Together, these approaches serve to improve the overall learning experiences and perceptions of future astrobiology researchers.

  20. More than a "Basic Skill": Breaking down the Complexities of Summarizing for ABE/ESL Learners

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ouellette-Schramm, Jennifer

    2015-01-01

    This article describes the complex cognitive and linguistic challenges of summarizing expository text at vocabulary, syntactic, and rhetorical levels. It then outlines activities to help ABE/ESL learners develop corresponding skills.

  1. Data supporting Al-Abed et al., Environ. Sci.: Nano, 2016,

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — Data files representing each of the Figures and Tables published in Al-Abed et al., Environ. Sci.: Nano, 2016, 3, 593. The data file names identify the Figure or...

  2. Characterization of ultra-fine grained aluminum produced by accumulative back extrusion (ABE)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alihosseini, H.; Faraji, G.; Dizaji, A.F.; Dehghani, K.

    2012-01-01

    In the present work, the microstructural evolutions and microhardness of AA1050 subjected to one, two and three passes of accumulative back extrusion (ABE) were investigated. The microstructural evolutions were characterized using transmission electron microscopy. The results revealed that applying three passes of accumulative back extrusion led to significant grain refinement. The initial grain size of 47 μm was refined to the grains of 500 nm after three passes of ABE. Increasing the number of passes resulted in more decrease in grain size, better microstructure homogeneity and increase in the microhardness. The cross-section of ABEed specimen consisted of two different zones: (i) shear deformation zone, and (ii) normal deformation zone. The microhardness measurements indicated that the hardness increased from the initial value of 31 Hv to 67 Hv, verifying the significant microstructural refinement via accumulative back extrusion. - Highlights: ► A significant grain refinement can be achieved in AA1050, Al alloy by applying ABE. ► Microstructural homogeneity of ABEed samples increased by increasing the number of ABE cycles. ► A substantial increase in the hardness, from 31 Hv to 67 Hv, was recorded.

  3. Extremophiles: Link between earth and astrobiology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stojanović Dejan B.

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Astrobiology studies the origin, evolution, distribution and future of life in the universe. The most promising worlds in Solar system, beyond Earth, which may harbor life are Mars and Jovian moon Europa. Extremophiles are organisms that thrive on the edge of temperature, hypersalinity, pH extremes, pressure, dryness and so on. In this paper, some extremophile cyanobacteria have been discussed as possible life forms in a scale of astrobiology. Samples were taken from solenetz and solonchak types of soil from the Vojvodina region. The main idea in this paper lies in the fact that high percentage of salt found in solonchak and solonetz gives the possibility of comparison these types of soil with 'soil' on Mars, which is also rich in salt.

  4. A concept for NASA's Mars 2016 astrobiology field laboratory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beegle, Luther W; Wilson, Michael G; Abilleira, Fernando; Jordan, James F; Wilson, Gregory R

    2007-08-01

    The Mars Program Plan includes an integrated and coordinated set of future candidate missions and investigations that meet fundamental science objectives of NASA and the Mars Exploration Program (MEP). At the time this paper was written, these possible future missions are planned in a manner consistent with a projected budget profile for the Mars Program in the next decade (2007-2016). As with all future missions, the funding profile depends on a number of factors that include the exact cost of each mission as well as potential changes to the overall NASA budget. In the current version of the Mars Program Plan, the Astrobiology Field Laboratory (AFL) exists as a candidate project to determine whether there were (or are) habitable zones and life, and how the development of these zones may be related to the overall evolution of the planet. The AFL concept is a surface exploration mission equipped with a major in situ laboratory capable of making significant advancements toward the Mars Program's life-related scientific goals and the overarching Vision for Space Exploration. We have developed several concepts for the AFL that fit within known budget and engineering constraints projected for the 2016 and 2018 Mars mission launch opportunities. The AFL mission architecture proposed here assumes maximum heritage from the 2009 Mars Science Laboratory (MSL). Candidate payload elements for this concept were identified from a set of recommendations put forth by the Astrobiology Field Laboratory Science Steering Group (AFL SSG) in 2004, for the express purpose of identifying overall rover mass and power requirements for such a mission. The conceptual payload includes a Precision Sample Handling and Processing System that would replace and augment the functionality and capabilities provided by the Sample Acquisition Sample Processing and Handling system that is currently part of the 2009 MSL platform.

  5. An Astrobiology Microbes Exhibit and Education Module

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindstrom, Marilyn M.; Allen, Jaclyn S.; Stocco, Karen; Tobola, Kay; Olendzenski, Lorraine

    2001-01-01

    Telling the story of NASA-sponsored scientific research to the public in exhibits is best done by partnerships of scientists and museum professionals. Likewise, preparing classroom activities and training teachers to use them should be done by teams of teachers and scientists. Here we describe how we used such partnerships to develop a new astrobiology augmentation to the Microbes! traveling exhibit and a companion education module. "Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract."

  6. Astrobiology Learning Progressions: Linking Astrobiology Concepts with the 3D Learning Paradigm of NGSS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scalice, D.; Davis, H. B.; Leach, D.; Chambers, N.

    2016-12-01

    The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) introduce a Framework for teaching and learning with three interconnected "dimensions:" Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCI's), Cross-cutting Concepts (CCC's), and Science and Engineering Practices (SEP's). This "3D" Framework outlines progressions of learning from K-12 based on the DCI's, detailing which parts of a concept should be taught at each grade band. We used these discipline-based progressions to synthesize interdisciplinary progressions for core concepts in astrobiology, such as the origins of life, what makes a world habitable, biosignatures, and searching for life on other worlds. The final product is an organizing tool for lesson plans, learning media, and other educational materials in astrobiology, as well as a fundamental resource in astrobiology education that serves both educators and scientists as they plan and carry out their programs for learners.

  7. Astrobiological Effects of Stellar Radiation in Circumstellar Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuntz, Manfred; Gurdemir, Levent; Guinan, Edward F.; Kurucz, Robert L.

    2006-10-01

    The centerpiece of all life on Earth is carbon-based biochemistry. Previous scientific research has suggested that biochemistry based on carbon may also play a decisive role in extraterrestrial life forms, i.e., alien life outside of Earth, if existent. In the following, we explore if carbon-based macromolecules (such as DNA) in the environments of stars other than the Sun are able to survive the effects of energetic stellar radiation, such as UV-C in the wavelength band between 200 and 290 nm. We focus on main-sequence stars akin to the Sun, but of hotter (F-type stars) and cooler (K- and M-type stars) surface temperature. Emphasis is placed on investigating the radiative environment in stellar habitable zones (HZs). Stellar habitable zones have an important relevance in astrobiology because they constitute circumstellar regions in which a planet of suitable size can have surface temperatures for water to exist in liquid form.

  8. Ethical issues in astrobiology: a Christian perspective (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randolph, R. O.

    2009-12-01

    With its focus on the origin, extent, and future of life, Astrobiology raises exciting, multidisciplinary questions for science. At the same time, Astrobiology raises important questions for the humanities. For instance, the prospect of discovering extraterrestrial life - either intelligent or unintelligent - raises questions about humans’ place in the universe and our relationship with nature on planet Earth. Fundamentally, such questions are rooted in our understanding of what it means to be human. From a Christian perspective, the foundational claim about human nature is that all persons bear the "imago dei", the image of God. This concept forms the basis for how humans relate to one another (dignity) and how humans relate to nature (stewardship). For many Christians the "imago dei" also suggests that humans are at the center of the universe. The discovery of extraterrestrial life would be another scientific development - similar to evolution - that essentially de-centers humanity. For some Christian perspectives this de-centering may be problematic, but I will argue that the discovery of extraterrestrial life would actually offer a much needed theological corrective for contemporary Christians’ understanding of the "imago dei". I will make this argument by examining two clusters of ethical issues confronting Astrobiology: 1. What ethical obligations would human explorers owe to extraterrestrial life? Are there ethical obligations to protect extraterrestrial ecosystems from harm or exploitation by human explorers? Do our ethical considerations change, if the extraterrestrial life is a “second genesis;” in other words a form of life completely different and independent from the carbon-based life that we know on Earth? 2. Do we have an ethical obligation to promote life as much as we can? If human explorers discover extraterrestrial life and through examination determine that it is struggling to survive, do we have an ethical obligation to assist that

  9. Capturing Student Interest in Astrobiology through Dilemmas and Paradoxes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slater, Timothy F.

    2006-01-01

    Astrobiology is an interdisciplinary science course that combines essential questions from life, physical, and Earth sciences. An effective astrobiology course also capitalizes on students' natural curiosity about social science implications of studying the origin of life and the impact of finding life elsewhere in the universe. (Contains 2…

  10. Astrobiology Education and Outreach: New Interdisciplinary Initiatives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schultz, Greg

    In 1998, UCLA was selected as one of the 11 initial members (5 of which are universities) of the NASA Astrobiology Institute. Concurrently, UCLA implemented a brand new General Education cluster course, GE 70ABC: ``Evolution of the Cosmos and Life,'' which is unique for several reasons. It is (a) interdisciplinary, introducing students to both the life and physical sciences, (b) team-taught by 4 distinguished professors, and 4 advanced graduate teaching fellows, (c) offered for (150) freshmen students exclusively, and (d) a year-long sequence, incorporating lectures, laboratory/discussion sections, field trips, and in the spring quarter, small satellite seminars led by the individual instructors on topics radiating from the cluster theme. Further information about GE 70ABC can be found at the course website (http://www.ess.ucla.edu/Cluster_TOC.html) and the website for UCLA's GE cluster courses (http://www.college.ucla.edu/ge/clusters.htm). This poster will outline the GE 70 content, and describe some of the course's materials, activities, assessment, and student characteristics. Additionally, focus will be placed on the GE 70C seminar course component called ``Life In the Cosmos,'' designed and offered by the poster author for the Spring 1999 quarter. This seminar features a student-centered approach - with lecturing minimized and active learning a key objective - and addresses the extraterrestrial life debate from historical and cultural perspectives as well as the current scientific approaches in astrobiology/bioastronomy.

  11. Astrobiological Field Campaign to a Volcanosedimentary Mars Analogue Methane Producing Subsurface Protected Ecosystem: Imuruk Lake (Alaska

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Gómez

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Viking missions reported adverse conditions for life in Mars surface. High hydrogen signal obtained by Mars orbiters has increased the interest in subsurface prospection as putative protected Mars environment with life potential. Permafrost has attracted considerable interest from an astrobiological point of view due to the recently reported results from the Mars exploration rovers. Considerable studies have been developed on extreme ecosystems and permafrost in particular, to evaluate the possibility of life on Mars and to test specific automated life detection instruments for space missions. The biodiversity of permafrost located on the Bering Land Bridge National Preserve has been studied as an example of subsurface protected niche of astrobiological interest. Different conventional (enrichment and isolation and molecular ecology techniques (cloning, fluorescence “in situ” probe hybridization, FISH have been used for isolation and bacterial identification.

  12. Recruitment Issues and Strategies for Adults Who Are Not Currently Participating in Literacy and Adult Basic Education (ABE) Programs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohring, Aaron

    Adult basic education (ABE) and literacy programs have used many different strategies and tools to recruit new students. A small sampling of Tennessee ABE programs shows the more effective recruitment strategies are word-of-mouth referrals; newspaper advertisements and articles; fliers; brochures; posters, radio messages, and public service…

  13. IRON-TOLERANT CYANOBACTERIA: IMPLICATIONS FOR ASTROBIOLOGY

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Igor I.; Allen, Carlton C.; Mummey, Daniel L.; Sarkisova, Svetlana A.; McKay, David S.

    2006-01-01

    The review is dedicated to the new group of extremophiles - iron tolerant cyanobacteria. The authors have analyzed earlier published articles about the ecology of iron tolerant cyanobacteria and their diversity. It was concluded that contemporary iron depositing hot springs might be considered as relative analogs of Precambrian environment. The authors have concluded that the diversity of iron-tolerant cyanobacteria is understudied. The authors also analyzed published data about the physiological peculiarities of iron tolerant cyanobacteria. They made the conclusion that iron tolerant cyanobacteria may oxidize reduced iron through the photosystem of cyanobacteria. The involvement of both Reaction Centers 1 and 2 is also discussed. The conclusion that iron tolerant protocyanobacteria could be involved in banded iron formations generation is also proposed. The possible mechanism of the transition from an oxygenic photosynthesis to an oxygenic one is also discussed. In the final part of the review the authors consider the possible implications of iron tolerant cyanobacteria for astrobiology.

  14. Astrobiology Outreach and the Nature of Science: The Role of Creativity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliver, Carol; Walter, Malcolm R.

    2012-01-01

    Abstract There is concern in many developed countries that school students are turning away from science. However, students may be choosing not to study science and dismissing the possibility of a scientific career because, in the junior secondary years, they gain a false view of science and the work of scientists. There is a disparity between science as it is portrayed at school and science as it is practiced. This paper describes a study to explore whether engaging in science through astrobiology outreach activities may improve students' understanding of the nature and processes of science, and how this may influence their interest in a career in science. The results suggest that the students attending these Mars research–related outreach activities are more interested in science than the average student but are lacking in understanding of aspects of the nature of science. A significant difference was detected between pre- and posttest understandings of some concepts of the nature of science. Key Words: Science education—School science—Creativity—Nature and processes of science—Attitudes—Astrobiology. Astrobiology 12, 1143–1153. PMID:23134090

  15. Developing the critical thinking skills of astrobiology students through creative and scientific inquiry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foster, Jamie S; Lemus, Judith D

    2015-01-01

    Scientific inquiry represents a multifaceted approach to explore and understand the natural world. Training students in the principles of scientific inquiry can help promote the scientific learning process as well as help students enhance their understanding of scientific research. Here, we report on the development and implementation of a learning module that introduces astrobiology students to the concepts of creative and scientific inquiry, as well as provide practical exercises to build critical thinking skills. The module contained three distinct components: (1) a creative inquiry activity designed to introduce concepts regarding the role of creativity in scientific inquiry; (2) guidelines to help astrobiology students formulate and self-assess questions regarding various scientific content and imagery; and (3) a practical exercise where students were allowed to watch a scientific presentation and practice their analytical skills. Pre- and post-course surveys were used to assess the students' perceptions regarding creative and scientific inquiry and whether this activity impacted their understanding of the scientific process. Survey results indicate that the exercise helped improve students' science skills by promoting awareness regarding the role of creativity in scientific inquiry and building their confidence in formulating and assessing scientific questions. Together, the module and survey results confirm the need to include such inquiry-based activities into the higher education classroom, thereby helping students hone their critical thinking and question asking skill set and facilitating their professional development in astrobiology.

  16. Using the ICOT Instrument to Improve Instructional Technology Usage in the ABE Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lentz, Brannon W.

    2011-01-01

    The International Society for Technology (ISTE) in Education promotes the use of a specific tool--the ISTE Classroom Observation Tool (ICOT)--to measure and improve the use of instructional technologies in Adult Basic Education (ABE) classrooms. The purpose of this article is to describe an application process for the use of the ICOT instrument…

  17. Enhanced Down-Stream Processing of Biobutanol in the ABE Fermentation Process

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bîldea, Costin Sorin; Patraşcu, Iulian; Segovia Hernandez, J. G.; Kiss, Anton A.; Kravanja, Zdravko; Bogataj, Miloš

    2016-01-01

    Butanol is considered a superior biofuel, as it is more energy dense and less hygroscopic than bioethanol, resulting in higher possible blending ratios with gasoline. However, the production cost of the acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) fermentation process is high, mainly due to the low butanol titer,

  18. College of Engineering alumnus honored with American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Abe M. Zarem Award

    OpenAIRE

    Nystrom, Lynn A.

    2009-01-01

    Adam Cowling, a recent master's graduate of Virginia Tech's Aerospace and Ocean Engineering Department in the College of Engineering, is the 2009 recipient of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Abe M. Zarem Award for Distinguished Achievement in Astronautics.

  19. Assessment of in situ butanol recovery by vacuum during acetone butanol ethanol (ABE) fermentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butanol fermentation is product limiting due to butanol toxicity to microbial cells. Butanol (boiling point: 118 deg C) boils at a greater temperature than water (boiling point: 100 deg C) and application of vacuum technology to integrated acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) fermentation and recovery may ...

  20. The Astrobiology Habitable Environments Database (AHED)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lafuente, B.; Stone, N.; Downs, R. T.; Blake, D. F.; Bristow, T.; Fonda, M.; Pires, A.

    2015-12-01

    The Astrobiology Habitable Environments Database (AHED) is a central, high quality, long-term searchable repository for archiving and collaborative sharing of astrobiologically relevant data, including, morphological, textural and contextural images, chemical, biochemical, isotopic, sequencing, and mineralogical information. The aim of AHED is to foster long-term innovative research by supporting integration and analysis of diverse datasets in order to: 1) help understand and interpret planetary geology; 2) identify and characterize habitable environments and pre-biotic/biotic processes; 3) interpret returned data from present and past missions; 4) provide a citable database of NASA-funded published and unpublished data (after an agreed-upon embargo period). AHED uses the online open-source software "The Open Data Repository's Data Publisher" (ODR - http://www.opendatarepository.org) [1], which provides a user-friendly interface that research teams or individual scientists can use to design, populate and manage their own database according to the characteristics of their data and the need to share data with collaborators or the broader scientific community. This platform can be also used as a laboratory notebook. The database will have the capability to import and export in a variety of standard formats. Advanced graphics will be implemented including 3D graphing, multi-axis graphs, error bars, and similar scientific data functions together with advanced online tools for data analysis (e. g. the statistical package, R). A permissions system will be put in place so that as data are being actively collected and interpreted, they will remain proprietary. A citation system will allow research data to be used and appropriately referenced by other researchers after the data are made public. This project is supported by the Science-Enabling Research Activity (SERA) and NASA NNX11AP82A, Mars Science Laboratory Investigations. [1] Nate et al. (2015) AGU, submitted.

  1. Habitability & Astrobiology Research in Mars Terrestrial Analogues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foing, Bernard

    2014-05-01

    We performed a series of field research campaigns (ILEWG EuroMoonMars) in the extreme Utah desert relevant to Mars environments, and in order to help in the interpretation of Mars missions measurements from orbit (MEX, MRO) or from the surface (MER, MSL), or Moon geochemistry (SMART-1, LRO). We shall give an update on the sample analysis in the context of habitability and astrobiology. Methods & Results: In the frame of ILEWG EuroMoonMars campaigns (2009 to 2013) we deployed at Mars Desert Research station, near Hanksville Utah, a suite of instruments and techniques [A, 1, 2, 9-11] including sample collection, context imaging from remote to local and microscale, drilling, spectrometers and life sensors. We analyzed how geological and geochemical evolution affected local parameters (mineralogy, organics content, environment variations) and the habitability and signature of organics and biota. Among the important findings are the diversity in the composition of soil samples even when collected in close proximity, the low abundances of detectable PAHs and amino acids and the presence of biota of all three domains of life with significant heterogeneity. An extraordinary variety of putative extremophiles was observed [3,4,9]. A dominant factor seems to be soil porosity and lower clay-sized particle content [6-8]. A protocol was developed for sterile sampling, contamination issues, and the diagnostics of biodiversity via PCR and DGGE analysis in soils and rocks samples [10, 11]. We compare the 2009 campaign results [1-9] to new measurements from 2010-2013 campaigns [10-12] relevant to: comparison between remote sensing and in-situ measurements; the study of minerals; the detection of organics and signs of life. Keywords: field analogue research, astrobiology, habitability, life detection, Earth-Moon-Mars, organics References [A] Foing, Stoker & Ehrenfreund (Editors, 2011) "Astrobiology field Research in Moon/Mars Analogue Environments", Special Issue of International

  2. Cultural Aspects of Astrobiology: A Preliminary Reconnaissance at

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dick, Steven

    NASA's Astrobiology Roadmap, developed in 1998 by an interdisciplinary team of more than 150 individuals, recognizes ten science goals, 17 more specific science objectives, and four broad principles for the Astrobiology Program. Among the four operating principles, which emphasize multidisciplinarity, planetary stewardship and public outreach, is one that also recognizes broad societal interest for the implications of astrobiology, especially its extraterrestrial life component. Although several meetings ahve been convened in the past decade to discuss the implications of extraterrestrial intelligence, including NASA's own CASETI workshops in 1991-1992, none have surveyed the broader implications of astrobiology as now defined at NASA. In this paper we survey these societal questions raised by astrobiology, and then focus on those related to extraterrestrial life, and in particular how they might differ from SETI concerns already discussed. As we enter the new millennium, the necessity for interdisciplinary studies is increasingly recognized in academia, industry and government. Astrobiology provides an unprecedented opportunity to encourage the unity of knowledge, as recently proposed in E. O. Wilson's book Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge. It is incumbent on scientists to support research on the implications of their work, in particular large government-funded scientific projects. The deep insights such study may yield has been amply demonstrated by the Human Genome Project, among others.

  3. Astrobiology, space and the future age of discovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blumberg, Baruch S

    2011-02-13

    Astrobiology is the study of the origins, evolution, distribution and future of life in the Universe, and specifically seeks to understand the origin of life and to test the hypothesis that life exists elsewhere than on Earth. There is a general mathematics, physics and chemistry; that is, scientific laws that obtain on Earth also do so elsewhere. Is there a general biology? Is the Universe life-rich or is Earth an isolated island of biology? Exploration in the Age of Enlightenment required the collection of data in unexplored regions and the use of induction and empiricism to derive models and natural laws. The current search for extra-terrestrial life has a similar goal, but with a much greater amount of data and with computers to help with management, correlations, pattern recognition and analysis. There are 60 active space missions, many of them aiding in the search for life. There is not a universally accepted definition of life, but there are a series of characteristics that can aid in the identification of life elsewhere. The study of locations on Earth with similarities to early Mars and other space objects could provide a model that can be used in the search for extra-terrestrial life.

  4. Drilling Automation Demonstrations in Subsurface Exploration for Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glass, Brian; Cannon, H.; Lee, P.; Hanagud, S.; Davis, K.

    2006-01-01

    This project proposes to study subsurface permafrost microbial habitats at a relevant Arctic Mars-analog site (Haughton Crater, Devon Island, Canada) while developing and maturing the subsurface drilling and drilling automation technologies that will be required by post-2010 missions. It builds on earlier drilling technology projects to add permafrost and ice-drilling capabilities to 5m with a lightweight drill that will be automatically monitored and controlled in-situ. Frozen cores obtained with this drill under sterilized protocols will be used in testing three hypotheses pertaining to near-surface physical geology and ground H2O ice distribution, viewed as a habitat for microbial life in subsurface ice and ice-consolidated sediments. Automation technologies employed will demonstrate hands-off diagnostics and drill control, using novel vibrational dynamical analysis methods and model-based reasoning to monitor and identify drilling fault states before and during faults. Three field deployments, to a Mars-analog site with frozen impact crater fallback breccia, will support science goals, provide a rigorous test of drilling automation and lightweight permafrost drilling, and leverage past experience with the field site s particular logistics.

  5. An Astrobiological View on Sustainable Life

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takeshi Naganuma

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Life on a global biosphere basis is substantiated in the form of organics and organisms, and defined as the intermediate forms (briefly expressed as CH2O hovering between the reduced (CH4, methane and (CO2, carbon dioxide ends, different from the classical definition of life as a complex organization maintaining ordered structure and information. Both definitions consider sustenance of life meant as protection of life against chaos through an input of external energy. The CH2O-life connection is maintained as long as the supply of H and O lasts, which is in turn are provided by the splitting of the water molecule H2O. Water is split by electricity, as well-known from school-level experiments, and by solar radiation and geothermal heat on a global scale. In other words, the Sun’s radiation and the Earth’s heat as well as radioactivity split water to supply H and O for continued existence of life on the Earth. These photochemical, radiochemical and geothermal processes have influences on the evolution and current composition of the Earth’s atmosphere, compared with those of Venus and Mars, and influences on the planetary climatology. This view of life may be applicable to the “search-for-life in space” and to sustainability assessment of astrobiological habitats.

  6. An Astrobiological View on Sustainable Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naganuma, Takeshi

    2009-10-01

    Life on a global biosphere basis is substantiated in the form of organics and organisms, and defined as the intermediate forms (briefly expressed as CH2O) hovering between the reduced (CH4, methane) and (CO2, carbon dioxide) ends, different from the classical definition of life as a complex organization maintaining ordered structure and information. Both definitions consider sustenance of life meant as protection of life against chaos through an input of external energy. The CH2O-life connection is maintained as long as the supply of H and O lasts, which is in turn are provided by the splitting of the water molecule H2O. Water is split by electricity, as well-known from school-level experiments, and by solar radiation and geothermal heat on a global scale. In other words, the Sun's radiation and the Earth's heat as well as radioactivity split water to supply H and O for continued existence of life on the Earth. These photochemical, radiochemical and geothermal processes have influences on the evolution and current composition of the Earth's atmosphere, compared with those of Venus and Mars, and influences on the planetary climatology. This view of life may be applicable to the "search-for-life in space" and to sustainability assessment of astrobiological habitats.

  7. Astrobiological Studies Plan at UCSD and the University of Buckingham

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Carl H.; Wickramasinghe, N. Chandra

    2011-10-01

    A UC-HBCU grant is requested to assist undergraduate and masters level HBCU Interns to achieve their professional and academic goals by attending summer school classes at UCSD along with graduate students in the UCSD Astrobiology Studies program, and by also attending a NASA sponsored scientific meeting in San Diego on Astrobiology organized by NASA scientist Richard Hoover (the 14th in a sequence). Hoover has recently published a paper in the Journal of Cosmology claiming extraterrestrial life fossils in three meteorites. Students will attend a workshop to prepare research publications on Astrobiological Science for the Journal of Cosmology or equivalent refereed journal, mentored by UCSD faculty and graduate students as co-authors and referees, all committed to the several months of communication usually required to complete a publishable paper. The program is intended to provide pathways to graduate admissions in the broad range of science and engineering fields, and by exposure to fundamental science and engineering disciplines needed by Astrobiologists. A three year UC-HBCU Astrobiological Studies program is proposed: 2011, 2012 and 2013. Interns would be eligible to enter this program when they become advanced graduate students. A center of excellence in astrobiology is planned for UCSD similar to that Directed by Professor Wickramasinghe for many years with Fred Hoyle at Cardiff University, http://www.astrobiology.cf.ac.uk /chandra1.html. Professor Wickramasinghe's CV is attached as Appendix 1. Figures A2-1,2 of Appendix 2 compare Astrobiology timelines of modern fluid mechanical and astrobiological models of Gibson/Wickramasinghe/Schild of the Journal of Cosmology with standard NASA- CDMHC models. NASA support will be sought to support research and educational aspects of both initiatives. Overload teaching of up to two courses a year by UCSD faculty of key astrobiology courses at either UCSD or at HBCU campuses is authorized by recent guidelines of UCSD

  8. Abe homotopy classification of topological excitations under the topological influence of vortices

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kobayashi, Shingo; Kobayashi, Michikazu; Kawaguchi, Yuki; Nitta, Muneto; Ueda, Masahito

    2012-01-01

    Topological excitations are usually classified by the nth homotopy group π n . However, for topological excitations that coexist with vortices, there are cases in which an element of π n cannot properly describe the charge of a topological excitation due to the influence of the vortices. This is because an element of π n corresponding to the charge of a topological excitation may change when the topological excitation circumnavigates a vortex. This phenomenon is referred to as the action of π 1 on π n . In this paper, we show that topological excitations coexisting with vortices are classified by the Abe homotopy group κ n . The nth Abe homotopy group κ n is defined as a semi-direct product of π 1 and π n . In this framework, the action of π 1 on π n is understood as originating from noncommutativity between π 1 and π n . We show that a physical charge of a topological excitation can be described in terms of the conjugacy class of the Abe homotopy group. Moreover, the Abe homotopy group naturally describes vortex-pair creation and annihilation processes, which also influence topological excitations. We calculate the influence of vortices on topological excitations for the case in which the order parameter manifold is S n /K, where S n is an n-dimensional sphere and K is a discrete subgroup of SO(n+1). We show that the influence of vortices on a topological excitation exists only if n is even and K includes a nontrivial element of O(n)/SO(n).

  9. Efficient production of acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) from cassava by a fermentation-pervaporation coupled process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jing; Chen, Xiangrong; Qi, Benkun; Luo, Jianquan; Zhang, Yuming; Su, Yi; Wan, Yinhua

    2014-10-01

    Production of acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) from cassava was investigated with a fermentation-pervaporation (PV) coupled process. ABE products were in situ removed from fermentation broth to alleviate the toxicity of solvent to the Clostridium acetobutylicum DP217. Compared to the batch fermentation without PV, glucose consumption rate and solvent productivity increased by 15% and 21%, respectively, in batch fermentation-PV coupled process, while in continuous fermentation-PV coupled process running for 304 h, the substrate consumption rate, solvent productivity and yield increased by 58%, 81% and 15%, reaching 2.02 g/Lh, 0.76 g/Lh and 0.38 g/g, respectively. Silicalite-1 filled polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS)/polyacrylonitrile (PAN) membrane modules ensured media recycle without significant fouling, steadily generating a highly concentrated ABE solution containing 201.8 g/L ABE with 122.4 g/L butanol. After phase separation, a final product containing 574.3g/L ABE with 501.1g/L butanol was obtained. Therefore, the fermentation-PV coupled process has the potential to decrease the cost in ABE production. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. The Astrobiology of the Subsurface: Caves and Rock Fracture Habitats on Earth, Mars and Beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boston, Penelope J.

    2017-01-01

    The Astrobiology of the Subsurface: Exploring Cave Habitats on Earth, Mars and Beyond. We are using the spectacular underground landscapes of Earth caves as models for the subsurfaces of other planets. Caves have been detected on the Moon and Mars and are strongly suspected for other bodies in the Solar System including some of the ice covered Ocean Worlds that orbit gas giant planets. The caves we explore and study include many extreme conditions of relevance to planetary astrobiology exploration including high and low temperatures, gas atmospheres poisonous to humans but where exotic microbes can fluorish, highly acidic or salty fluids, heavy metals, and high background radiation levels. Some cave microorganisms eat their way through bedrock, some live in battery acid conditions, some produce unusual biominerals and rare cave formations, and many produce compounds of potential pharmaceutical and industrial significance. We study these unique lifeforms and the physical and chemical biosignatures that they leave behind. Such traces can be used to provide a Field Guide to Unknown Organisms for developing life detection space missions.

  11. Tanpopo: Astrobiology Exposure and Micrometeoroid Capture Experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamagishi, Akihiko; Yano, Hajime; Yamashita, Masamichi; Hashimoto, Hirofumi; Kobayashi, Kensei; Kawai, Hideyuki; Mita, Hajime; Yokobori, Shin-ichi; Tabata, Makoto; Yabuta, Hikaru

    2012-07-01

    There is a long history of the microbe-collection experiments at high altitude (1). Microbes have been collected using balloons, aircraft and meteorological rockets. Spore forming fungi and Bacilli, and Micrococci have been isolated in these experiments (1). It is not clear how high do microbes go up. If the microbes might have been present even at higher altitudes, the fact would endorse the possibility of interplanetary migration of life. Tanpopo, dandelion, is the name of a grass whose seeds with floss are spread by the wind. We propose the analyses of interplanetary migration of microbes, organic compounds and meteoroids on Japan Experimental Module (JEM) of the International Space Station (ISS) (2). Ultra low-density aerogel will be used to capture micrometeoroid and debris. Particles captured by aerogel will be used for several analyses after the initial inspection of the gel and tracks. Careful analysis of the tracks in the aerogel will provide the size and velocity dependence of debris flux. The particles will be analyzed for mineralogical, organic and microbiological characteristics. Aerogels are ready for production in Japan. Aerogels and trays are space proven. All the analytical techniques are ready. In this presentation, we will present the recent results related to the microbiological analyses. The results suggested that the bleaching speeds and the spectra of fluorescence are different between different origins of the fluorescence: whether it is emitted from microbe or not. It is also shown that PCR analysis of the microbe can be used to determine the species. References 1)Yang, Y., Yokobori, S. and Yamagishi, A.: Assessing panspermia hypothesis by microorganisms collected from the high altitude atmosphere. Biol. Sci. Space, 23 (2009), pp. 151-163. 2) Yamagishi, A., H. Yano, K. Kobayashi, K. Kobayashi, S. Yokobori, M. Tabata, H. Kawai, M. Yamashita, H. Hashimoto, H. Naraoka, & H. Mita (2008) TANPOPO: astrobiology exposure and micrometeoroid capture

  12. The Lassen Astrobiology Intern Program - Concept, Implementation and Evaluation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Des Marais, D. J.; Dueck, S. L.; Davis, H. B.; Parenteau, M. N.; Kubo, M. D.

    2014-12-01

    The program goal was to provide a hands-on astrobiology learning experience to high school students by introducing astrobiology and providing opportunities to conduct field and lab research with NASA scientists. The program sought to increase interest in interdisciplinary science, technology, engineering, math and related careers. Lassen Volcanic National Park (LVNP), Red Bluff High School and the Ames Team of the NASA Astrobiology Institute led the program. LVNP was selected because it shares aspects of volcanism with Mars and it hosts thermal springs with microbial mat communities. Students documented volcanic deposits, springs and microbial mats. They analyzed waters and sampled rocks, water and microorganisms. They cultured microorganisms and studied chemical reactions between rocks and simulated spring waters. Each student prepared a report to present data and discuss relationships between volcanic rocks and gases, spring waters and microbial mats. At a "graduation" event the students presented their findings to the Red Bluff community. They visited Ames Research Center to tour the facilities and learn about science and technology careers. To evaluate program impact, surveys were given to students after lectures, labs, fieldwork and discussions with Ames scientists. Students' work was scored using rubrics (labs, progress reports, final report, presentation). Students took pre/post tests on core astrobiology concepts. Parents, teachers, rangers, Ames staff and students completed end-of-year surveys on program impact. Several outcomes were documented. Students had a unique and highly valued learning experience with NASA scientists. They understood what scientists do through authentic scientific work, and what scientists are like as individuals. Students became knowledgeable about astrobiology and how it can be pursued in the lab and in the field. The students' interest increased markedly in astrobiology, interdisciplinary studies and science generally.

  13. The Living Universe: NASA and the Development of Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dick, Steven J.; Strick, James E.

    2004-01-01

    In the opening weeks of 1998 a news article in the British journal Nature reported that NASA was about to enter biology in a big way. A "virtual" Astrobiology Institute was gearing up for business, and NASA administrator Dan Goldin told his external advisory council that he would like to see spending on the new institute eventually reach $100 million per year. "You just wait for the screaming from the physical scientists (when that happens)," Goldin was quoted as saying. Nevertheless, by the time of the second Astrobiology Science Conference in 2002, attended by seven hundred scientists from many disciplines, NASA spending on astrobiology had reached nearly half that amount and was growing at a steady pace. Under NASA leadership numerous institutions around the world applied the latest scientific techniques in the service of astrobiology's ambitious goal: the study of what NASA's 1996 Strategic Plan termed the "living universe." This goal embraced nothing less than an understanding of the origin, history, and distribution of life in the universe, including Earth. Astrobiology, conceived as a broad interdisciplinary research program, held the prospect of being the science for the twenty-first century which would unlock the secrets to some of the great questions of humanity. It is no surprise that these age-old questions should continue into the twenty-first century. But that the effort should be spearheaded by NASA was not at all obvious to those - inside and outside the agency - who thought NASA's mission was human spaceflight, rather than science, especially biological science. NASA had, in fact, been involved for four decades in "exobiology," a field that embraced many of the same questions but which had stagnated after the 1976 Viking missions to Mars. In this volume we tell the colorful story of the rise of the discipline of exobiology, how and why it morphed into astrobiology at the end of the twentieth century, and why NASA was the engine for both the

  14. Second Annual NASA Ames Space Science and Astrobiology Jamboree

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dotson, Jessie

    2014-01-01

    The Space Science and Astrobiology Division's researchers are pursuing investigations in a variety of fields, including exoplanets, planetary science, astrobiology, and astrophysics. In addition division personnel support a wide variety of NASA missions. With a wide variety of interesting research going on, distributed among the three branches in at least 5 buildings, it can be difficult to stay abreast of what one's fellow researchers are doing. Our goal in organizing this symposium is to facilitate communication and collaboration among the scientist within the division and to give center management and other ARC researchers and Engineers an opportunity to see what scientific missions work is being done in the division.

  15. Astrobiology Field Research in Moon/Mars Analogue Environments: Preface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foing, B. H.; Stoker, C.; Ehrenfreund, P.

    2011-01-01

    Extreme environments on Earth often provide similar terrain conditions to landing/operation sites on Moon and Mars. Several field campaigns (EuroGeoMars2009 and DOMMEX/ILEWG EuroMoonMars from November 2009 to March 2010) were conducted at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in Utah. Some of the key astrobiology results are presented in this special issue on Astrobiology field research in Moon/Mars analogue environments relevant to investigate the link between geology, minerals, organics and biota. Preliminary results from a multidisciplinary field campaign at Rio Tinto in Spain are presented.

  16. Planetary Atmosphere and Surfaces Chamber (PASC: A Platform to Address Various Challenges in Astrobiology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eva Mateo-Marti

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available The study of planetary environments of astrobiological interest has become a major challenge. Because of the obvious technical and economical limitations on in situ planetary exploration, laboratory simulations are one of the most feasible research options to make advances both in planetary science and in developing a consistent description of the origin of life. With this objective in mind, we applied vacuum technology to the design of versatile vacuum chambers devoted to the simulation of planetary atmospheres’ conditions. These vacuum chambers are able to simulate atmospheres and surface temperatures representative of the majority of planetary objects, and they are especially appropriate for studying the physical, chemical and biological changes induced in a particular sample by in situ irradiation or physical parameters in a controlled environment. Vacuum chambers are a promising potential tool in several scientific and technological fields, such as engineering, chemistry, geology and biology. They also offer the possibility of discriminating between the effects of individual physical parameters and selected combinations thereof. The implementation of our vacuum chambers in combination with analytical techniques was specifically developed to make feasible the in situ physico-chemical characterization of samples. Many wide-ranging applications in astrobiology are detailed herein to provide an understanding of the potential and flexibility of these experimental systems. Instruments and engineering technology for space applications could take advantage of our environment-simulation chambers for sensor calibration. Our systems also provide the opportunity to gain a greater understanding of the chemical reactivity of molecules on surfaces under different environments, thereby leading to a greater understanding of interface processes in prebiotic chemical reactions and facilitating studies of UV photostability and photochemistry on surfaces

  17. Life in Ice: Implications to Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoover, Richard B.

    2009-01-01

    During the 2008 Tawani International Expedition Schirmacher Oasis/Lake Untersee Antarctica Expedition, living and instantly motile bacteria were found in freshly thawed meltwater from ice of the Schirmacher Oasis Lakes, the Anuchin Glacier ice and samples of the that perennial ice sheet above Lake Untersee. This phenomenon of living bacteria encased in ice had previously been observed in the 32,000 year old ice of the Fox Tunnel. The bacteria found in this ice included the strain FTR1T which was isolated and published as valid new species (Carnobacterium pleistocenium) the first validly published living Pleistocene organism still alive today. Living bacteria were also extracted from ancient ice cores from Vostok, Antarctica. The discovery that many strains of bacteria are able to survive and remain alive while frozen in ice sheets for long periods of time may have direct relevance to Astrobiology. The abundance of viable bacteria in the ice sheets of Antarctica suggests that the presence of live bacteria in ice is common, rather than an isolated phenomenon. This paper will discuss the results of recent studies at NSSTC of bacteria cryopreserved in ice. This paper advances the hypothesis that cryopreserved cells, and perhaps even viable bacterial cells, may exist today--frozen in the water-ice of lunar craters, the Polar Caps or craters of Mars; or in the permafrost of Mars; ice and rocks of comets or water bearing asteroids; or in the frozen crusts of the icy moons of Jupiter and Saturn. The existence of bacterial life in ice suggests that it may not be necessary to drill through a thick ice crust to reach liquid water seas deep beneath the icy crusts of Europa, Ganymede and Enceladus. The presence of viable bacteria in the ice of the Earth s Polar Caps suggests that the possibility that cryo-panspermia (i.e., the trans-planetary transfer of microbial life by impact ejection/spallation of bacteria-rich polar ice masses) deserves serious consideration and study as a

  18. Astrobiology and the Possibility of Life on Earth and Elsewhere…

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cottin, Hervé; Kotler, Julia Michelle; Bartik, Kristin; Cleaves, H. James; Cockell, Charles S.; de Vera, Jean Pierre P; Ehrenfreund, Pascale; Leuko, Stefan; Ten Kate, Inge Loes|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/292012217; Martins, Zita; Pascal, Robert; Quinn, Richard; Rettberg, Petra; Westall, Frances

    Astrobiology is an interdisciplinary scientific field not only focused on the search of extraterrestrial life, but also on deciphering the key environmental parameters that have enabled the emergence of life on Earth. Understanding these physical and chemical parameters is fundamental knowledge

  19. Astrobiology Courses--A Useful Framework for Teaching Interdisciplinary Science.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sauterer, Roger

    2000-01-01

    Explains astrobiology and indicates the possibility of life on other planets and the interest of humankind in this possibility. Defines topics open to public misconception and their primary reinforcements by television shows. Expresses the need for students to learn the connections between different science majors. (YDS)

  20. The NASA Astrobiology Institute: early history and organization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blumberg, Baruch S.

    2003-01-01

    The NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI) was established as a means to advance the field of astrobiology by providing a multidisciplinary, multi-institution, science-directed program, executed by universities, research institutes, and NASA and other government laboratories. The scientific community and NASA defined the science content at several workshops as summarized in the NASA Astrobiology Roadmap. Teams were chosen nationwide, following the recommendations of external review groups, and the research program began in 1998. There are now 16 national Teams and five international affiliated and associated astrobiology institutions. The NAI has attracted an outstanding group of scientific groups and individuals. The Institute facilitates the involvement of the scientists in its scientific and management vision. Its goal is to support basic research and allow the scientists the freedom to select their projects and alter them as indicated by new research. Additional missions include the education of the public, the involvement of students who will be the astrobiologists of future generations, and the development of a culture of collaboration in NAI, a "virtual institute," spread across many sites nationally and internationally.

  1. The biogeochemical iron cycle and astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schröder, Christian; Köhler, Inga; Muller, Francois L. L.; Chumakov, Aleksandr I.; Kupenko, Ilya; Rüffer, Rudolf; Kappler, Andreas

    2016-12-01

    Biogeochemistry investigates chemical cycles which influence or are influenced by biological activity. Astrobiology studies the origin, evolution and distribution of life in the universe. The biogeochemical Fe cycle has controlled major nutrient cycles such as the C cycle throughout geological time. Iron sulfide minerals may have provided energy and surfaces for the first pioneer organisms on Earth. Banded iron formations document the evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis. To assess the potential habitability of planets other than Earth one looks for water, an energy source and a C source. On Mars, for example, Fe minerals have provided evidence for the past presence of liquid water on its surface and would provide a viable energy source. Here we present Mössbauer spectroscopy investigations of Fe and C cycle interactions in both ancient and modern environments. Experiments to simulate the diagenesis of banded iron formations indicate that the formation of ferrous minerals depends on the amount of biomass buried with ferric precursors rather than on the atmospheric composition at the time of deposition. Mössbauer spectra further reveal the mutual stabilisation of Fe-organic matter complexes against mineral transformation and decay of organic matter into CO2. This corresponds to observations of a `rusty carbon sink' in modern sediments. The stabilisation of Fe-organic matter complexes may also aid transport of particulate Fe in the water column while having an adverse effect on the bioavailability of Fe. In the modern oxic ocean, Fe is insoluble and particulate Fe represents an important source. Collecting that particulate Fe yields small sample sizes that would pose a challenge for conventional Mössbauer experiments. We demonstrate that the unique properties of the beam used in synchrotron-based Mössbauer applications can be utilized for studying such samples effectively. Reactive Fe species often occur in amorphous or nanoparticulate form in the environment and

  2. The biogeochemical iron cycle and astrobiology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schröder, Christian; Köhler, Inga; Muller, Francois L. L.; Chumakov, Aleksandr I.; Kupenko, Ilya; Rüffer, Rudolf; Kappler, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    Biogeochemistry investigates chemical cycles which influence or are influenced by biological activity. Astrobiology studies the origin, evolution and distribution of life in the universe. The biogeochemical Fe cycle has controlled major nutrient cycles such as the C cycle throughout geological time. Iron sulfide minerals may have provided energy and surfaces for the first pioneer organisms on Earth. Banded iron formations document the evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis. To assess the potential habitability of planets other than Earth one looks for water, an energy source and a C source. On Mars, for example, Fe minerals have provided evidence for the past presence of liquid water on its surface and would provide a viable energy source. Here we present Mössbauer spectroscopy investigations of Fe and C cycle interactions in both ancient and modern environments. Experiments to simulate the diagenesis of banded iron formations indicate that the formation of ferrous minerals depends on the amount of biomass buried with ferric precursors rather than on the atmospheric composition at the time of deposition. Mössbauer spectra further reveal the mutual stabilisation of Fe-organic matter complexes against mineral transformation and decay of organic matter into CO 2 . This corresponds to observations of a ‘rusty carbon sink’ in modern sediments. The stabilisation of Fe-organic matter complexes may also aid transport of particulate Fe in the water column while having an adverse effect on the bioavailability of Fe. In the modern oxic ocean, Fe is insoluble and particulate Fe represents an important source. Collecting that particulate Fe yields small sample sizes that would pose a challenge for conventional Mössbauer experiments. We demonstrate that the unique properties of the beam used in synchrotron-based Mössbauer applications can be utilized for studying such samples effectively. Reactive Fe species often occur in amorphous or nanoparticulate form in the

  3. The biogeochemical iron cycle and astrobiology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schröder, Christian, E-mail: christian.schroeder@stir.ac.uk [University of Stirling, Biological and Environmental Sciences, School of Natural Sciences (United Kingdom); Köhler, Inga [Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, Geomicrobiology, Centre for Applied Geoscience (Germany); Muller, Francois L. L. [Qatar University, Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences (Qatar); Chumakov, Aleksandr I.; Kupenko, Ilya; Rüffer, Rudolf [ESRF-The European Synchrotron (France); Kappler, Andreas [Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, Geomicrobiology, Centre for Applied Geoscience (Germany)

    2016-12-15

    Biogeochemistry investigates chemical cycles which influence or are influenced by biological activity. Astrobiology studies the origin, evolution and distribution of life in the universe. The biogeochemical Fe cycle has controlled major nutrient cycles such as the C cycle throughout geological time. Iron sulfide minerals may have provided energy and surfaces for the first pioneer organisms on Earth. Banded iron formations document the evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis. To assess the potential habitability of planets other than Earth one looks for water, an energy source and a C source. On Mars, for example, Fe minerals have provided evidence for the past presence of liquid water on its surface and would provide a viable energy source. Here we present Mössbauer spectroscopy investigations of Fe and C cycle interactions in both ancient and modern environments. Experiments to simulate the diagenesis of banded iron formations indicate that the formation of ferrous minerals depends on the amount of biomass buried with ferric precursors rather than on the atmospheric composition at the time of deposition. Mössbauer spectra further reveal the mutual stabilisation of Fe-organic matter complexes against mineral transformation and decay of organic matter into CO{sub 2}. This corresponds to observations of a ‘rusty carbon sink’ in modern sediments. The stabilisation of Fe-organic matter complexes may also aid transport of particulate Fe in the water column while having an adverse effect on the bioavailability of Fe. In the modern oxic ocean, Fe is insoluble and particulate Fe represents an important source. Collecting that particulate Fe yields small sample sizes that would pose a challenge for conventional Mössbauer experiments. We demonstrate that the unique properties of the beam used in synchrotron-based Mössbauer applications can be utilized for studying such samples effectively. Reactive Fe species often occur in amorphous or nanoparticulate form in the

  4. The Aouda.X space suit simulator and its applications to astrobiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groemer, Gernot E; Hauth, Stefan; Luger, Ulrich; Bickert, Klaus; Sattler, Birgit; Hauth, Eva; Föger, Daniel; Schildhammer, Daniel; Agerer, Christian; Ragonig, Christoph; Sams, Sebastian; Kaineder, Felix; Knoflach, Martin

    2012-02-01

    We have developed the space suit simulator Aouda.X, which is capable of reproducing the physical and sensory limitations a flight-worthy suit would have on Mars. Based upon a Hard-Upper-Torso design, it has an advanced human-machine interface and a sensory network connected to an On-Board Data Handling system to increase the situational awareness in the field. Although the suit simulator is not pressurized, the physical forces that lead to a reduced working envelope and physical performance are reproduced with a calibrated exoskeleton. This allows us to simulate various pressure regimes from 0.3-1 bar. Aouda.X has been tested in several laboratory and field settings, including sterile sampling at 2800 m altitude inside a glacial ice cave and a cryochamber at -110°C, and subsurface tests in connection with geophysical instrumentation relevant to astrobiology, including ground-penetrating radar, geoacoustics, and drilling. The communication subsystem allows for a direct interaction with remote science teams via telemetry from a mission control center. Aouda.X as such is a versatile experimental platform for studying Mars exploration activities in a high-fidelity Mars analog environment with a focus on astrobiology and operations research that has been optimized to reduce the amount of biological cross contamination. We report on the performance envelope of the Aouda.X system and its operational limitations.

  5. Effect of cellulosic sugar degradation products (furfural and hydroxymethylfurfural) on acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) fermentation using Clostridium beijerinckii P260

    Science.gov (United States)

    Studies were performed to identify chemicals present in wheat straw hydrolysate (WSH) that enhance acetone butanol ethanol (ABE) productivity. These chemicals were identified as furfural and hydroxymethyl furfural (HMF). Control experiment resulted in the production of 21.09-21.66 gL**-1 ABE with a ...

  6. Sixth Annual NASA Ames Space Science and Astrobiology Jamboree

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hollingsworth, Jeffery; Howell, Steve; Fonda, Mark; Dateo, Chris; Martinez, Christine M.

    2018-01-01

    Welcome to the Sixth Annual NASA Ames Research Center, Space Science and Astrobiology Jamboree at NASA Ames Research Center (ARC). The Space Science and Astrobiology Division consists of over 60 Civil Servants, with more than 120 Cooperative Agreement Research Scientists, Post-Doctoral Fellows, Science Support Contractors, Visiting Scientists, and many other Research Associates. Within the Division there is engagement in scientific investigations over a breadth of disciplines including Astrobiology, Astrophysics, Exobiology, Exoplanets, Planetary Systems Science, and many more. The Division's personnel support NASA spacecraft missions (current and planned), including SOFIA, K2, MSL, New Horizons, JWST, WFIRST, and others. Our top-notch science research staff is spread amongst three branches in five buildings at ARC. Naturally, it can thus be difficult to remain abreast of what fellow scientific researchers pursue actively, and then what may present and/or offer regarding inter-Branch, intra-Division future collaborative efforts. In organizing this annual jamboree, the goals are to offer a wholesome, one-venue opportunity to sense the active scientific research and spacecraft mission involvement within the Division; and to facilitate communication and collaboration amongst our research scientists. Annually, the Division honors one senior research scientist with a Pollack Lecture, and one early career research scientist with an Outstanding Early Career Space Scientist Lecture. For the Pollack Lecture, the honor is bestowed upon a senior researcher who has made significant contributions within any area of research aligned with space science and/or astrobiology. This year we are pleased to honor Linda Jahnke. With the Early Career Lecture, the honor is bestowed upon an early-career researcher who has substantially demonstrated great promise for significant contributions within space science, astrobiology, and/or, in support of spacecraft missions addressing such

  7. Continuous Acetone–Butanol–Ethanol (ABE) Fermentation with in Situ Solvent Recovery by Silicalite-1 Filled PDMS/PAN Composite Membrane

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Li, Jing; Chen, Xiangrong; Qi, Benkun

    2014-01-01

    The pervaporation (PV) performance of a thin-film silicalite-1 filled PDMS/PAN composite membrane was investigated in the continuous acetone–butanol–ethanol (ABE) production by a fermentation–PV coupled process. Results showed that continuous removal of ABE from the broth at three different...... dilution rates greatly increased both the solvent productivity and the glucose utilization rate, in comparison to the control batch fermentation. The high solvent productivity reduced the acid accumulation in the broths because most acids were reassimilated by cells for ABE production. Therefore, a higher...... total solvent yield of 0.37 g/g was obtained in the fermentation–PV coupled process, with a highly concentrated condensate containing 89.11–160.00 g/L ABE. During 268 h of the fermentation–PV coupled process, the PV membrane showed a high ABE separation factor of more than 30 and a total flux of 486...

  8. Astrobiological aspects of Mars and human presence: pros and cons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horneck, G

    2008-08-01

    After the realization of the International Space Station, human exploratory missions to Moon or Mars, i.e. beyond low Earth orbit, are widely considered as the next logical step of peaceful cooperation in space on a global scale. Besides the human desire to extend the window of habitability, human exploratory missions are driven by several aspects of science, technology, culture and economy. Mars is currently considered as a major target in the search for life beyond the Earth. Understanding the history of water on Mars appears to be one of the clues to the puzzle on the probability of life on Mars. On Earth microorganisms have flourished for more than 3.5 Ga and have developed strategies to cope with so-called extreme conditions (e.g., hot vents, permafrost, subsurface regions, rocks or salt crystals). Therefore, in search for life on Mars, microorganisms are the most likely candidates for a putative biota on Mars and the search for morphological or chemical signatures of life or its relics is one of the primary and most exciting goals of Mars exploration. The presence of humans on the surface of Mars will substantially increase this research potential, e.g., by supporting deep subsurface drilling and by allowing intellectual collection and sophisticated in situ analysis of samples of astrobiological interest. On the other hand, such long-duration missions beyond LEO will add a new dimension to human space flight, concerning the distance of travel, the radiation environment, the gravity levels, the duration of the mission, and the level of confinement and isolation the crew will be exposed to. This will raise the significance of several health issues, above all radiation protection, gravity related effects as well as psychological issues. Furthermore, the import of internal and external microorganisms inevitably accompanying any human mission to Mars, or brought purposely to Mars as part of a bioregenerative life support system needs careful consideration with

  9. Critical issues in the history, philosophy, and sociology of astrobiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dick, Steven J

    2012-10-01

    Fifty years after serious scientific research began in the field of exobiology, and forty years after serious historical research began on the subject of extraterrestrial life, this paper identifies and examines some of the most important issues in the history, philosophy, and sociology of what is today known as astrobiology. As in the philosophy of science in general, and in the philosophies of particular sciences, critical issues in the philosophy and sociology of astrobiology are both stimulated and illuminated by history. Among those issues are (1) epistemological issues such as the status of astrobiology as a science, the problematic nature of evidence and inference, and the limits of science; (2) metaphysical/scientific issues, including the question of defining the fundamental concepts of life, mind, intelligence, and culture in a universal context; the role of contingency and necessity in the origin of these fundamental phenomena; and whether or not the universe is in some sense fine-tuned for life and perhaps biocentric; (3) societal issues such as the theological, ethical, and worldview impacts of the discovery of microbial or intelligent life; and the question of whether the search for extraterrestrial life should be pursued at all, and with what precautions; and (4) issues related to the sociology of scientific knowledge, including the diverse attitudes and assumptions of different scientific communities and different cultures to the problem of life beyond Earth, the public "will to believe," and the formation of the discipline of astrobiology. All these overlapping issues are framed by the concept of cosmic evolution-the 13.7 billion year Master Narrative of the Universe-which may result in a physical, biological, or postbiological universe and determine the long-term destiny of humanity.

  10. Astrobiology: Water and Life in the Solar System and beyond

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge Alberto Quillfeldt

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available After some methodological considerations and a brief historical background (SETI, we describe the three main impulses to the present discipline of exo / astrobiology - extremophyles, the discovery of exoplanets, and the data gathered by several unmanned probes in the solar system. An overview of recent findings concerning the presence of frozen or liquid water in our planetary system is presented, and the main trends for the following years, summarized.

  11. Proposed biomimetic molecular sensor array for astrobiology applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cullen, D. C.; Grant, W. D.; Piletsky, S.; Sims, M. R.

    2001-08-01

    A key objective of future astrobiology lander missions, e.g. to Mars and Europa, is the detection of biomarkers - molecules whose presence indicates the existence of either current or extinct life. To address limitations of current analytical methods for biomarker detection, we describe the methodology of a new project for demonstration of a robust molecular-recognition sensor array for astrobiology biomarkers. The sensor array will be realised by assembling components that have been demonstrated individually in previous or current research projects. The major components are (1) robust artificial molecular receptors comprised of molecular imprinted polymer (MIP) recognition systems and (2) a sensor array comprised of both optical and electrochemical sensor elements. These components will be integrated together using ink-jet printing technology coupled with in situ photo-polymerisation of MIPs. For demonstration, four model biomarkers are chosen as targets and represent various classes of potential biomarkers. Objectives of the proposed work include (1) demonstration of practical proof-of-concept, (2) identify areas for further development and (3) provide performance and design data for follow-up projects leading to astrobiology missions.

  12. Secondary School Students' Knowledge and Opinions on Astrobiology Topics and Related Social Issues

    OpenAIRE

    Oreiro Rey, Raquel; Solbes Matarredona, Jordi

    2017-01-01

    Astrobiology is the study of the origin of life on Earth and the distribution of life in the Universe. Its multidisciplinary approach, social and philosophical implications, and appeal within the discipline and beyond make astrobiology a uniquely qualified subject for general science education. In this study, student knowledge and opinions on astrobiology topics were investigated. Eighty-nine students in their last year of compulsory education (age 15) completed a written questionnaire that c...

  13. Life, the universe, and everything: an education outreach proposal to build a traveling astrobiology exhibit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barge, Laura M; Pulschen, André A; Emygdio, Ana Paula Mendes; Congreve, Curtis; Kishimoto, Darío E; Bendia, Amanda G; de Morais M Teles, Antonio; DeMarines, Julia; Stoupin, Daniel

    2013-03-01

    Astrobiology is a transdisciplinary field with extraordinary potential for the scientific community. As such, it is important to educate the community at large about the growing importance of this field to increase awareness and scientific content learning and expose potential future scientists. To this end, we propose the creation of a traveling museum exhibit that focuses exclusively on astrobiology and utilizes modern museum exhibit technology and design. This exhibit (the "Astrobiology Road Show"), organized and evaluated by an international group of astrobiology students and postdocs, is planned to tour throughout the Americas.

  14. Astrobiology outreach and the nature of science: the role of creativity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fergusson, Jennifer; Oliver, Carol; Walter, Malcolm R

    2012-12-01

    There is concern in many developed countries that school students are turning away from science. However, students may be choosing not to study science and dismissing the possibility of a scientific career because, in the junior secondary years, they gain a false view of science and the work of scientists. There is a disparity between science as it is portrayed at school and science as it is practiced. This paper describes a study to explore whether engaging in science through astrobiology outreach activities may improve students' understanding of the nature and processes of science, and how this may influence their interest in a career in science. The results suggest that the students attending these Mars research-related outreach activities are more interested in science than the average student but are lacking in understanding of aspects of the nature of science. A significant difference was detected between pre- and posttest understandings of some concepts of the nature of science.

  15. Modelado matemático y simulación para mejorar la producción de butanol en la fermentación ABE

    OpenAIRE

    Henao Siso, Lessa Victoria

    2014-01-01

    La fermentación ABE es un proceso biocatalítico que utiliza un microorganismo para procesar los hidratos de carbono y producir solventes como: la acetona, butanol y etanol. Tanto el Clostridium acetobutylicum como el Clostridium beijerinckii han demostrado ser bacterias útiles para la fermentación ABE y con ellas se han realizado esfuerzos para mejorar su producción, empleando diversos sustratos. Para ello se planeó obtener un modelo matemático de un proceso de fermentación ABE que actualment...

  16. Moessbauer spectroscopy as a tool in astrobiology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schroeder, Christian, E-mail: schroedc@uni-mainz.de; Klingelhoefer, Goestar, E-mail: klingel@mail.uni-mainz.de [Johannes Gutenberg-Universitaet, Institut fuer Anorganische Chemie und Analytische Chemie (Germany); Bailey, Brad E., E-mail: bebailey@ucsd.edu; Staudigel, Hubert, E-mail: hstaudigel@ucsd.edu [University of California San Diego, Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, Scripps Institution of Oceanography (United States)

    2005-11-15

    Two miniaturized Moessbauer spectrometers are part of the Athena instrument package of the NASA Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity. The primary objectives of their science investigation are to explore two sites on the surface of Mars where water may once have been present, and to assess past environmental conditions at those sites and their suitability for life. Aqueous minerals - jarosite at Meridiani Planum, Opportunity's landing site, and goethite in the Columbia Hills in Gusev Crater, Spirit's landing site - were identified by Moessbauer spectroscopy, thus providing in situ proof of water being present at those sites in the past. The formation of jarosite in particular puts strong constraints on environmental conditions during the time of formation and hence on the evaluation of potential habitability. On Earth Moessbauer spectroscopy was used to investigate microbially induced changes in Fe oxidation states and mineralogy at the Loihi deep sea mount, a hydrothermal vent system, which might serve as an analogue for potential habitats in the Martian subsurface and the sub-ice ocean of Jupiter's icy moon Europa.

  17. Moessbauer spectroscopy as a tool in astrobiology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schroeder, Christian; Klingelhoefer, Goestar; Bailey, Brad E.; Staudigel, Hubert

    2005-01-01

    Two miniaturized Moessbauer spectrometers are part of the Athena instrument package of the NASA Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity. The primary objectives of their science investigation are to explore two sites on the surface of Mars where water may once have been present, and to assess past environmental conditions at those sites and their suitability for life. Aqueous minerals - jarosite at Meridiani Planum, Opportunity's landing site, and goethite in the Columbia Hills in Gusev Crater, Spirit's landing site - were identified by Moessbauer spectroscopy, thus providing in situ proof of water being present at those sites in the past. The formation of jarosite in particular puts strong constraints on environmental conditions during the time of formation and hence on the evaluation of potential habitability. On Earth Moessbauer spectroscopy was used to investigate microbially induced changes in Fe oxidation states and mineralogy at the Loihi deep sea mount, a hydrothermal vent system, which might serve as an analogue for potential habitats in the Martian subsurface and the sub-ice ocean of Jupiter's icy moon Europa.

  18. Emphasizing Astrobiology: Highlighting Communication in an Elective Course for Science Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Offerdahl, Erika G.; Prather, Edward E.; Slater, Timothy F.

    2004-01-01

    The project described here involved the design, implementation, and evaluation of an upper level, undergraduate elective course for science majors. Specific course goals were to help students gain an appreciation of the interdisciplinary nature of astrobiology, understand key ideas in astrobiology, and develop the skills necessary to communicate…

  19. 3rd Annual NASA Ames Space Science and Astrobiology Jamboree

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dotson, Jessie

    2015-01-01

    The Space Science and Astrobiology Division at NASA Ames Research Center consists of over 50 civil servants and more than 110 contractors, co-­-ops, post-­-docs and associates. Researchers in the division are pursuing investigations in a variety of fields including exoplanets, planetary science, astrobiology and astrophysics. In addition, division personnel support a wide variety of NASA missions including (but not limited to) Kepler, SOFIA, LADEE, JWST, and New Horizons. With such a wide variety of interesting research going on, distributed among three branches in at least 5 different buildings, it can be difficult to stay abreast of what one's fellow researchers are doing. Our goal in organizing this symposium is to facilitate communication and collaboration among the scientists within the division, and to give center management and other ARC researchers and engineers an opportunity to see what scientific research and science mission work is being done in the division. We are also continuing the tradition within the Space Science and Astrobiology Division to honor one senior and one early career scientist with the Pollack Lecture and the Early Career Lecture, respectively. With the Pollack Lecture, our intent is to select a senior researcher who has made significant contributions to any area of research within the space sciences, and we are pleased to honor Dr. William Borucki this year. With the Early Career Lecture, our intent is to select a young researcher within the division who, by their published scientific papers, shows great promise for the future in any area of space science research, and we are pleased to honor Dr. Melinda Kahre this year

  20. Astrobiology: guidelines and future missions plan for the international community

    Science.gov (United States)

    French, L.; Miller, D.

    The search for extra-terrestrial life has been going on ever since humans realized there was more to the Universe than just the Earth. These quests have taken many forms including, but not limited to: the quest for understanding the biological origins of life on Earth; the deployment of robotic probes to other planets to look for microbial life; the analysis of meteorites for chemical and fossil remnants of extra - terrestrial life; and the search of the radio spectrum for signs of extra-solar intelligence. These searches so far have yielded hints, but no unambiguous proof of life with origins from off Earth. The emerging field of astrobiology studies the origin, distribution, and future of life in the Universe. Technical advances and new, though not conclusive, evidence of extinct microbial life on Mars have created a new enthusiasm for astrobiology in many nations. However, the next steps to take are not clear, and should a positive result be returned, the follow-on missions are yet to be defined. This paper reports on the results of an eight-week study by the students of the International Space University during the summer of 2002. The study created a source book that can be used by mission designers and policy makers to chart the next steps in astrobiology. In particular, the study addresses the following questions:1.What is the full set of dimensions along which we can search forextra-terrestrial life?2.What activities are currently underway by the internationalcommunity along each of these dimensions?3.What are the most effective next steps that can be taken by theinternational space community in order to further this search (from a policy,sociological and mission point of view)?4.What are the proper steps for eliminating possible contaminationof the Earth's biosphere?5.What are the issues with planetary quarantine with regards tounwanted contamination of other biospheres with terrestrial organisms? Integrating all the considerations affecting the search for

  1. A possible first use of the word astrobiology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briot, Danielle

    2012-12-01

    The word astrobiology was possibly first used in 1935, in an article published in a French popular science magazine. The author was Ary J. Sternfeld (1905-1980), a pioneer of astronautics who wrote numerous scientific books and papers. The article is remarkable because his portrayal of the concept is very similar to the way it is used today. Here I review the 1935 article and provide a brief history of Sternfeld's life, which was heavily influenced by the tragic events of 20(th) century history.

  2. From Fossils to Astrobiology Records of Life on Earth and Search for Extraterrestrial Biosignatures

    CERN Document Server

    Seckbach, Joseph

    2008-01-01

    From Fossils to Astrobiology reviews developments in paleontology and geobiology that relate to the rapidly-developing field of Astrobiology, the study of life in the Universe. Many traditional areas of scientific study, including astronomy, chemistry and planetary science, contribute to Astrobiology, but the study of the record of life on planet Earth is critical in guiding investigations in the rest of the cosmos. In this varied book, expert scientists from 15 countries present peer-reviewed, stimulating reviews of paleontological and astrobiological studies. The overviews of established and emerging techniques for studying modern and ancient microorganisms on Earth and beyond, will be valuable guides to evaluating biosignatures which could be found in the extraterrestrial surface or subsurface within the Solar System and beyond. This volume also provides discussion on the controversial reports of "nanobacteria" in the Martian meteorite ALH84001. It is a unique volume among Astrobiology monographs in focusi...

  3. The Astrobiology in Secondary Classrooms (ASC) curriculum: focusing upon diverse students and teachers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arino de la Rubia, Leigh S

    2012-09-01

    The Minority Institution Astrobiology Collaborative (MIAC) began working with the NASA Goddard Center for Astrobiology in 2003 to develop curriculum materials for high school chemistry and Earth science classes based on astrobiology concepts. The Astrobiology in Secondary Classrooms (ASC) modules emphasize interdisciplinary connections in astronomy, biology, chemistry, geoscience, physics, mathematics, and ethics through hands-on activities that address national educational standards. Field-testing of the Astrobiology in Secondary Classrooms materials occurred over three years in eight U.S. locations, each with populations that are underrepresented in the career fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Analysis of the educational research upon the high school students participating in the ASC project showed statistically significant increases in students' perceived knowledge and science reasoning. The curriculum is in its final stages, preparing for review to become a NASA educational product.

  4. "Enne diskussiooni võta 100 g (40°-80°)!" : Gustav Naani kolm kirja Abe Liebmanile / Gustav Naan ; kommentaarinud Helen Lausma-Saar

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Naan, Gustav, 1919-1994

    2012-01-01

    Kirjad pakuvad lisateavet selle kohta, kuidas kujunes marksistlik-leninlik-stalinlik Eesti ajaloo kontseptsioon. Annavad võimaluse heita pilgu Gustav Naani mõttemaailma ja ridade vahelt saab aimu Abe Liebmani rollist ajalooteaduse ümbermõtestamisel

  5. Exploration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lohrenz, J.

    1992-01-01

    Oil and gas exploration is a unique kind of business. Businesses providing a vast and ever-changing panoply of products to markets are a focus of several disciplines' energetic study and analysis. The product inventory problem is robust, pertinent, and meaningful, and it merits the voluminous and protracted attention received from keen business practitioners. Prototypical business practitioners, be they trained by years of business hurly-burly, or sophisticated MBAs with arrays of mathematical algorithms and computers, are not normally prepared, however, to recognize the unique nature of exploration's inventories. Put together such a business practitioner with an explorationist and misunderstandings, hidden and open, are inevitable and predictably rife. The first purpose of this paper is to articulate the inherited inventory handling paradigms of business practitioners in relation to exploration's inventories. To do so, standard pedagogy in business administration is used and a case study of an exploration venture is presented. A second purpose is to show the burdens that the misunderstandings create. The result is not just business plans that go awry, but public policies that have effects opposite from those intended

  6. Mechanistic simulation of batch acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) fermentation with in situ gas stripping using Aspen Plus™.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darkwah, Kwabena; Nokes, Sue E; Seay, Jeffrey R; Knutson, Barbara L

    2018-05-22

    Process simulations of batch fermentations with in situ product separation traditionally decouple these interdependent steps by simulating a separate "steady state" continuous fermentation and separation units. In this study, an integrated batch fermentation and separation process was simulated for a model system of acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) fermentation with in situ gas stripping, such that the fermentation kinetics are linked in real-time to the gas stripping process. A time-dependent cell growth, substrate utilization, and product production is translated to an Aspen Plus batch reactor. This approach capitalizes on the phase equilibria calculations of Aspen Plus to predict the effect of stripping on the ABE fermentation kinetics. The product profiles of the integrated fermentation and separation are shown to be sensitive to gas flow rate, unlike separate steady state fermentation and separation simulations. This study demonstrates the importance of coupled fermentation and separation simulation approaches for the systematic analyses of unsteady state processes.

  7. Space Biology Meets Astrobiology: Critical Synergies and Concerns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boston, Penelope J.; Kirven-Brooks, Melissa

    2016-01-01

    The broad fields of space biology and astrobiology share much in common in terms of science questions, approaches, and goals. However, historical circumstances and funding agency practices have frequently resulted in a wide separation between the two related areas. Is this a good thing? We believe that it is not, and that much is to be gained in each field from sharing ideas, resources, and perhaps projects between investigators traditionally working in one discipline or the other. Some of the strengths that the Space Biology community offers include sophistication and experience in flying experiments on space missions. In turn, Astrobiology has focused heavily on ground-based and field research. Challenging physical and chemical conditions experienced in space and on other planets partially overlap, and much can be gleaned from the body of work of each community along these topical lines. A combination of these areas of expertise and experience could result in major advances to all involved. When possible, avoiding having to reinvent methods or approaches already used by a sister community can result in greater efficiencies of resource use. We will discuss some case studies where we believe there are significant overlaps including adaptation to a variety of environmental stresses, extremophiles as potential flight organisms, microfluidics as applied to planetary environment simulations, and others.

  8. Aliens are us. An innovative course in astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliveira, Carlos F.; Barufaldi, James P.

    2009-01-01

    We live in a scientific world; paradoxically, the scientific literacy of the population is minimal at best. Science is an ongoing process, a human endeavour; paradoxically, students tend to believe that science is a finished enterprise. Many non-science major students are not motivated in science classes; paradoxically, there is a public fascination with the possibility of life in the Universe, which is nowadays a scientific endeavour. An astrobiology course was developed at the Center for Science and Mathematics Education at The University of Texas at Austin to address these paradoxes and includes the following objectives: (a) to improve scientific literacy; (b) to demonstrate that science is a work in progress; (c) to enhance the inherent interdisciplinary aspect of science; (d) to demonstrate that science is embedded in society and relates with several social sciences; (e) to improve the content knowledge about the nature of science; (f) to illustrate how engaging learning science can be; and (g) to draw from the intrinsic motivation already incorporated in the general population. The course has been offered, taught and revised for the past three years. The informal course student feedback has been very positive and encouraging. The purpose of this paper is to provide a general overview of the course. In addition, the course's background, content, themes and mode of delivery are outlined, discussed and analysed in this paper. This paper subscribes to an educational philosophy that focuses on the multidisciplinary nature of science and includes critical thinking-based teaching strategies using the dynamic discipline of astrobiology.

  9. Astrobiology : is humankind ready for the next revolution ?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnould, Jacques

    2012-07-01

    The discovery of a first exoplanet, in 1995, did not revolutionize but knocked astronomical sciences over. At the same time, by opening new prospects of research, in particular in the search of planets similar to the Earth and in a possible extraterrestrial life, this discovery, since then abundantly repeated, gave a new breath to the public interest for this scientific field. But is humanity ready to learn the existence from extraterrestrial forms of life or to remain, in spite of its efforts, in ignorance? The question of the plurality of the worlds is one of the oldest interrogations conveyed by the human cultures, as testified by the multiple answers which were brought to it. In the same way, the concept of life is itself an inexhaustible source of philosophical and religious reflexions, with many consequences in moral domains. It is today necessary to accompany the scientific development in the field of astrobiology by attaching the greatest importance to this intellectual patrimony. It constitutes even one of the first stages of an ethical responsibility in astrobiology, as important as that concerning planetary protection.

  10. Woodpeckers and Diamonds: Some Aspects of Evolutionary Convergence in Astrobiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ćirković, Milan M

    2018-05-01

    Jared Diamond's argument against extraterrestrial intelligence from evolutionary contingency is subjected to critical scrutiny. As with the earlier arguments of George Gaylord Simpson, it contains critical loopholes that lead to its unraveling. From the point of view of the contemporary debates about biological evolution, perhaps the most contentious aspect of such arguments is their atemporal and gradualist usage of the space of all possible biological forms (morphospace). Such usage enables the translation of the adaptive value of a trait into the probability of its evolving. This procedure, it is argued, is dangerously misleading. Contra Diamond, there are reasons to believe that convergence not only plays an important role in the history of life, but also profoundly improves the prospects for search for extraterrestrial intelligence success. Some further considerations about the role of observation selection effects and our scaling of complexity in the great debate about contingency and convergence are given. Taken together, these considerations militate against the pessimism of Diamond's conclusion, and suggest that the search for traces and manifestations of extraterrestrial intelligences is far from forlorn. Key Words: Astrobiology-Evolution-Contingency-Convergence-Complex life-SETI-Major evolutionary transitions-Selection effects-Jared Diamond. Astrobiology 18, 491-502.

  11. Astrobiology and the Exploration of Gusev Crater by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit

    Science.gov (United States)

    DesMarais, I. David

    2005-01-01

    We assess the availability of nutrient elements, energy and liquid water on the plains surrounding Columbia Memorial Station by evaluating data from Spirit in the context of previous Mars missions, Earth-based studies of martian meteorites and studies of microbial communities on Earth that represent potential analogs of martian biota. The compositions of Gusev basalts resemble those of olivine basalts beneath the seabed on Earth that deep drilling has shown to support life. Of particular relevance to biology, phosphate abundances are much greater in Gusev basalts (0.84 +/- 0.07 wt. % P2O5) than in oceanic basalts (typically 0.06 wt. %).

  12. Magnesium production from Asian Abe-Gram dolomite in pidgeon-type reactor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mehrabi, B.; Abdellatifi, M.; Masoudi, F.

    2011-01-01

    Ore mineral characterization and various experimental test work were carried out on Asian Abe-Garm dolomite, Qazvin province, Iran. The test work consisted of calcining, chemical characterization, LOI determination, and reduction tests on the calcined dolomite (doloma), using Semnan ferrosilicon. Calcining of dolomite sample was carried out at about 1400 d egree C in order to remove the contained CO 2 , moisture, and other easily volatilised impurities. The doloma was milled, thoroughly mixed with 21 p ercent S emnan ferrosilicon and briquetted in hand press applying 30 MPa pressure. The briquettes were heated at 1125-1150 d egree C and 500 Pa in a Pidgeon-type tube reactor for 10-12 hours to extract the magnesium. Ferrosilicon addition, relative to doloma, was determined based on the chemical analysis of the two reactants using Mintek's Pyrosim software package. Magnesium extraction calculated as 77.97 p ercent a nd Mg purity of 96.35 p ercent . The level of major impurities in the produced magnesium crown is similar to those in the crude metal production.

  13. The European AntibotABE Framework Program and Its Update: Development of Innovative Botulinum Antibodies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine Rasetti-Escargueil

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The goal of the AntiBotABE Program was the development of recombinant antibodies that neutralize botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT A, B and E. These serotypes are lethal and responsible for most human botulinum cases. To improve therapeutic efficacy, the heavy and light chains (HC and LC of the three BoNT serotypes were targeted to achieve a synergistic effect (oligoclonal antibodies. For antibody isolation, macaques were immunized with the recombinant and non-toxic BoNT/A, B or E, HC or LC, followed by the generation of immune phage-display libraries. Antibodies were selected from these libraries against the holotoxin and further analyzed in in vitro and ex vivo assays. For each library, the best ex vivo neutralizing antibody fragments were germline-humanized and expressed as immunoglobulin G (IgGs. The IgGs were tested in vivo, in a standardized model of protection, and challenged with toxins obtained from collections of Clostridium strains. Protective antibody combinations against BoNT/A and BoNT/B were evidenced and for BoNT/E, the anti-LC antibody alone was found highly protective. The combination of these five antibodies as an oligoclonal antibody cocktail can be clinically and regulatorily developed while their high “humanness” predicts a high tolerance in humans.

  14. Secondary School Students' Knowledge and Opinions on Astrobiology Topics and Related Social Issues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oreiro, Raquel; Solbes, Jordi

    2017-01-01

    Astrobiology is the study of the origin of life on Earth and the distribution of life in the Universe. Its multidisciplinary approach, social and philosophical implications, and appeal within the discipline and beyond make astrobiology a uniquely qualified subject for general science education. In this study, student knowledge and opinions on astrobiology topics were investigated. Eighty-nine students in their last year of compulsory education (age 15) completed a written questionnaire that consisted of 10 open questions on the topic of astrobiology. The results indicate that students have significant difficulties understanding the origin of life on Earth, despite exposure to the topic by way of the assigned textbooks. The students were often unaware of past or present achievements in the search for life within the Solar System and beyond, topics that are far less commonly seen in textbooks. Student questionnaire answers also indicated that students had problems in reasoning and critical thinking when asked for their opinions on issues such as the potential for life beyond Earth, the question of whether UFOs exist, or what our place is in the Universe. Astrobiology might help initiate student awareness as to current thinking on these matters and should be considered for general science education. Key Words: Astrobiology-Students' views-Science education. Astrobiology 17, 91-99.

  15. Vanguard: A New Science Mission For Experimental Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellery, A.; Wynn-Williams, D.; Edwards, H.; Dickensheets, D.; Welch, C.; Curley, A.

    As an alternative to technically and financially problemat ic sample return missions, a rover-mounted laser Raman spectrometer sensitive to biomolecules and their mineral substrata is a promising alternative in the search for evidence of former life on Mars. We presented a new remote in situ analysis package being designed for experimental astrobiology on terrestrial-type planetary surfaces. The science is based on the hypothesis that if life arose on Mars, the selective pressure of solar radiation would have led to the evolution of pigmented systems to harness the energy of sunlight and to protect cells from concurrent UV stress. Microbial communities would have therefore become stratified by the light gradient, and our remote system would penetrate the near-subsurface profile in a vertical transect of horizontal strata in ancient sediments (such as palaeolake beds). The system will include an extensive array of robotic support to translocate and deploy a Raman spectrometer detectors beneath the surface of Mars ­ it will comprise of a base station lander to support communications, a robotic micro-rover to permit well- separated triplicate profiles made by three ground-penetrating moles mounted in a vertical configuration. Each mole will deploy a tether carrying fibre optic cables coupling the Raman spectrometer onboard the rover and the side-scanning sensor head on the mole. The complete system has been named Vanguard, and it represents a close collaboration between a space robotics engineer (Ellery), an astrobiologist (Wynn-Williams), a molecular spectroscopist (Edwards), an opto-electronic technologist (Dickensheets), a spacecraft engineer (Welch) and a robotic vision specialist (Curley). The autonomy requirement for the Vanguard instrument requires that significant scientific competence is imparted to the instrument through an expert system to ensure that quick-look analysis is performed onboard in real-time as the mole penetrates beneath the surface. Onboard

  16. Hacia una filosofía de la astrobiología

    OpenAIRE

    Roberto Aretxaga-Burgos

    2016-01-01

    Tomando como fundamento la historia y literatura astrobiológicas, exploramos la posibilidad y necesidad de una Filosofía de la Astrobiología, proponemos una definición de Filosofía de la Astrobiología y su consideración como subdisciplina de la Filosofía de la Ciencia, distinta de la Filosofía de la Biología. Incluimos una bibliografía para una Filosofía de la Astrobiología.

  17. planetaria como de la astrobiología

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miguel Alcíbar-Cuello

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available En este artículo se exponen algunos de los recursos didácticos que han sido concebidos para facilitar el aprendizaje de distintos aspectos de la Exploración Planetaria y, en concreto, de la Astrobiología como área transdisciplinar de conocimientos. El interés más evidente que presentan estos materiales didácticos, además de tener una vocación interactiva, es que combinan contenidos científicotecnológicos con cuestiones de índole metodológica, lo que proporciona al estudiante una visión más reflexiva del modus operandi de la investigación científica.

  18. Planetary and Space Simulation Facilities PSI at DLR for Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabbow, E.; Rettberg, P.; Panitz, C.; Reitz, G.

    2008-09-01

    Ground based experiments, conducted in the controlled planetary and space environment simulation facilities PSI at DLR, are used to investigate astrobiological questions and to complement the corresponding experiments in LEO, for example on free flying satellites or on space exposure platforms on the ISS. In-orbit exposure facilities can only accommodate a limited number of experiments for exposure to space parameters like high vacuum, intense radiation of galactic and solar origin and microgravity, sometimes also technically adapted to simulate extraterrestrial planetary conditions like those on Mars. Ground based experiments in carefully equipped and monitored simulation facilities allow the investigation of the effects of simulated single environmental parameters and selected combinations on a much wider variety of samples. In PSI at DLR, international science consortia performed astrobiological investigations and space experiment preparations, exposing organic compounds and a wide range of microorganisms, reaching from bacterial spores to complex microbial communities, lichens and even animals like tardigrades to simulated planetary or space environment parameters in pursuit of exobiological questions on the resistance to extreme environments and the origin and distribution of life. The Planetary and Space Simulation Facilities PSI of the Institute of Aerospace Medicine at DLR in Köln, Germany, providing high vacuum of controlled residual composition, ionizing radiation of a X-ray tube, polychromatic UV radiation in the range of 170-400 nm, VIS and IR or individual monochromatic UV wavelengths, and temperature regulation from -20°C to +80°C at the sample size individually or in selected combinations in 9 modular facilities of varying sizes are presented with selected experiments performed within.

  19. Alien life matters: reflections on cosmopolitanism, otherness, and astrobiology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andre Novoa

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available This is a synaptic paper that invites the reader to take a stroll on the edges of cross-disciplinary knowledge. We will walk the roads of anthropology, history, philosophy, astronomy and biology. It is mainly a theoretical article, where I attempt to provide links between authors and theories that were, at first sight, unrelated. In doing so, this paper is aimed at making one controversial claim: ideologically and politically speaking, cosmopolitanism may never fully transcend itself beyond a debate until and unless humankind encounters alien life forms. The argument is based on a simple equation. Despite all the quarrels and debates around the concept, it seems innocuous to assume that cosmopolitanism is the search for a certain universal identity or, at least, a search for a common culturalia, i.e. the cultural grounds wherein local and global senses of universalism come into being (section 2. In spite of the fact that identities are built in opposition and supported by difference (section 3, cosmopolitanism might only be possible as a political project (cosmopolitics when humankind is faced with life forms that are capable of providing true Otherness. I believe that this may explain why we have been fascinated by the utopias of extra-terrestrials for many centuries now (section 4. These utopias are present in a diverse array of knowledges, ranging from science to art, literature or even religion. They have been around for at least 500 years. Until now, all of them have been trapped in the realm of imagination, but there is one concrete cluster of knowledge that has attempted to transpose these imaginings into reality: the promising discipline of astrobiology. Astrobiology is mainly troubled by the de-naturalisation of Earth in order to create analogues for the study of life elsewhere in the cosmos. Provocatively, I end up this paper stating that this may well be the most cosmopolitical practice available to us (section 5.

  20. Discrimination of Pigments of Microalgae, Bacteria and Yeasts Using Lightweight Handheld Raman Spectrometers: Prospects for Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jehlicka, J.; Osterrothova, K.; Nedbalova, L.; Gunde-Cimerman, N.; Oren, A.

    2014-06-01

    Handheld Raman instrumentation with 532 nm lasers can be used to distinguish carotenoids of autotrophic microalgae, purple sulfur bacteria, halophilic Archaea and pigmented yeasts. Pigments are proposed as biomarkers for astrobiology of Mars.

  1. Multidisciplinary integrated field campaign to an acidic Martian Earth analogue with astrobiological interest: Rio Tinto

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Gómez, F.; Walter, N.; Amils, R.; Rull, F.; Klingelhöfer, G.; Kvíderová, Jana; Sarrazin, P.; Foing, B.; Behar, A.; Fleischer, I.; Parro, V.; Garcia-Villadangos, M.; Blake, D.; Martin-Ramos, J. D.; Direito, S.; Mahapatra, P.; Stam, C.; Venkateswaran, K.; Voytek, M.

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 10, č. 3 (2011), 291-305 ISSN 1473-5504 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Keywords : astrobiology * extreme environments * Earth analogue Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 1.723, year: 2011

  2. Internalizing Null Extraterrestrial "Signals": An Astrobiological App for a Technological Society

    OpenAIRE

    Chaisson, Eric J.

    2014-01-01

    One of the beneficial outcomes of searching for life in the Universe is that it grants greater awareness of our own problems here on Earth. Lack of contact with alien beings to date might actually comprise a null "signal" pointing humankind toward a viable future. Astrobiology has surprising practical applications to human society; within the larger cosmological context of cosmic evolution, astrobiology clarifies the energetic essence of complex systems throughout the Universe, including tech...

  3. Survey on astrobiology research and teaching activities within the United kingdom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dartnell, Lewis R; Burchell, Mark J

    2009-10-01

    While astrobiology is apparently growing steadily around the world, in terms of the number of researchers drawn into this interdisciplinary area and teaching courses provided for new students, there have been very few studies conducted to chart this expansion quantitatively. To address this deficiency, the Astrobiology Society of Britain (ASB) conducted a questionnaire survey of universities and research institutions nationwide to ascertain the current extent of astrobiology research and teaching in the UK. The aim was to provide compiled statistics and an information resource for those who seek research groups or courses of study, and to facilitate new interdisciplinary collaborations. The report here summarizes details gathered on 33 UK research groups, which involved 286 researchers (from undergraduate project students to faculty members). The survey indicates that around 880 students are taking university-level courses, with significant elements of astrobiology included, every year in the UK. Data are also presented on the composition of astrobiology students by their original academic field, which show a significant dominance of physics and astronomy students. This survey represents the first published systematic national assessment of astrobiological academic activity and indicates that this emerging field has already achieved a strong degree of penetration into the UK academic community.

  4. Allopurinol-mediated lignocellulose-derived microbial inhibitor tolerance by Clostridium beijerinckii during acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) fermentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ujor, Victor; Agu, Chidozie Victor; Gopalan, Venkat; Ezeji, Thaddeus Chukwuemeka

    2015-04-01

    In addition to glucans, xylans, and arabinans, lignocellulosic biomass hydrolysates contain significant levels of nonsugar components that are toxic to the microbes that are typically used to convert biomass to biofuels and chemicals. To enhance the tolerance of acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE)-generating Clostridium beijerinckii NCIMB 8052 to these lignocellulose-derived microbial inhibitory compounds (LDMICs; e.g., furfural), we have been examining different metabolic perturbation strategies to increase the cellular reductant pools and thereby facilitate detoxification of LDMICs. As part of these efforts, we evaluated the effect of allopurinol, an inhibitor of NAD(P)H-generating xanthine dehydrogenase (XDH), on C. beijerinckii grown in furfural-supplemented medium and found that it unexpectedly increased the rate of detoxification of furfural by 1.4-fold and promoted growth, butanol, and ABE production by 1.2-, 2.5-, and 2-fold, respectively. Since NAD(P)H/NAD(P)(+) levels in C. beijerinckii were largely unchanged upon allopurinol treatment, we postulated and validated a possible basis in DNA repair to account for the solventogenic gains with allopurinol. Following the observation that supplementation of allopurinol in the C. beijerinckii growth media mitigates the toxic effects of nalidixic acid, a DNA-damaging antibiotic, we found that allopurinol elicited 2.4- and 6.7-fold increase in the messenger RNA (mRNA) levels of xanthine and hypoxanthine phosphoribosyltransferases, key purine-salvage enzymes. Consistent with this finding, addition of inosine (a precursor of hypoxanthine) and xanthine led to 1.4- and 1.7-fold increase in butanol production in furfural-challenged cultures of C. beijerinckii. Taken together, our results provide a purine salvage-based rationale for the unanticipated effect of allopurinol in improving furfural tolerance of the ABE-fermenting C. beijerinckii.

  5. Reduced and oxidised scytonemin: theoretical protocol for Raman spectroscopic identification of potential key biomolecules for astrobiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varnali, Tereza; Edwards, Howell G M

    2014-01-03

    Scytonemin is an important UV-radiation protective biomolecule synthesised by extremophilic cyanobacteria in stressed terrestrial environments. Scytonemin and its reduced form have been both isolated experimentally and the Raman spectrum for scytonemin has been assigned and characterised experimentally both in extracts and in living extremophilic cyanobacterial colonies. Scytonemin is recognised as a key biomarker molecule for terrestrial organisms in stressed environments. We propose a new, theoretically plausible structure for oxidised scytonemin which has not been mentioned in the literature hitherto. DFT calculations for scytonemin, reduced scytonemin and the new structure modelled and proposed for oxidised scytonemin are reported along with their Raman spectroscopic data and λmax UV-absorption data obtained theoretically. Comparison of the vibrational spectroscopic assignments allows the three forms of scytonemin to be detected and identified and assist not only in the clarification of the major features in the experimentally observed Raman spectral data for the parent scytonemin but also support a protocol proposed for their analytical discrimination. The results of this study provide a basis for the search for molecules of this type in future astrobiological missions of exploration and the search for extinct and extant life terrestrially. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) fermentation in an immobilized cell trickle bed reactor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, C H; Okos, M R; Wankat, P C

    1989-06-05

    Acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) fermentation was successfully carried out in an immobilized cell trickle bed reactor. The reactor was composed of two serial columns packed with Clostridium acetobutylicum ATCC 824 entrapped on the surface of natural sponge segments at a cell loading in the range of 2.03-5.56 g dry cells/g sponge. The average cell loading was 3.58 g dry cells/g sponge. Batch experiments indicated that a critical pH above 4.2 is necessary for the initiation of cell growth. One of the media used during continuous experiments consisted of a salt mixture alone and the other a nutrient medium containing a salt mixture with yeast extract and peptone. Effluent pH was controlled by supplying various fractions of the two different types of media. A nutrient medium fraction above 0.6 was crucial for successful fermentation in a trickle bed reactor. The nutrient medium fraction is the ratio of the volume of the nutrient medium to the total volume of nutrient plus salt medium. Supplying nutrient medium to both columns continuously was an effective way to meet both pH and nutrient requirement. A 257-mL reactor could ferment 45 g/L glucose from an initial concentration of 60 g/L glucose at a rate of 70 mL/h. Butanol, acetone, and ethanol concentrations were 8.82, 5.22, and 1.45 g/L, respectively, with a butanol and total solvent yield of 19.4 and 34.1 wt %. Solvent productivity in an immobilized cell trickle bed reactor was 4.2 g/L h, which was 10 times higher than that obtained in a batch fermentation using free cells and 2.76 times higher than that of an immobilized CSTR. If the nutrient medium fraction was below 0.6 and the pH was below 4.2, the system degenerated. Oxygen also contributed to the system degeneration. Upon degeneration, glucose consumption and solvent yield decreased to 30.9 g/L and 23.0 wt %, respectively. The yield of total liquid product (40.0 wt %) and butanol selectivity (60.0 wt %) remained almost constant. Once the cells were degenerated

  7. Characterization of an immobilized cell, trickle bed reactor during long term butanol (ABE) fermentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, C H; Okos, M R; Wankat, P C

    1990-06-20

    Acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) fermentation was performed continuously in an immobilized cell, trickle bed reactor for 54 days without, degeneration by maintaining the pH above 4.3. Column clogging was minimized by structured packing of immobilization matrix. The reactor contained two serial glass columns packed with Clostridium acetobutylicum adsorbed on 12- and 20-in.-long polyester sponge strips at total flow rates between 38 and 98.7 mL/h. Cells were initially grown at 20 g/L glucose resulting in low butanol (1.15 g/L) production encouraging cell growth. After the initial cell growth phase a higher glucose concentration (38.7 g/L) improved solvent yield from 13.2 to 24.1 wt%, and butanol production rate was the best. Further improvement in solvent yield and butanol production rate was not observed with 60 g/L of glucose. However, when the fresh nutrient supply was limited to only the first column, solvent yield increased to 27.3 wt% and butanol selectivity was improved to 0.592 as compared to 0.541 when fresh feed was fed to both columns. The highest butanol concentration of 5.2 g/L occurred at 55% conversion of the feed with 60 g/L glucose. Liquid product yield of immobilized cells approached the theoretical value reported in the literature. Glucose and product concentration profiles along the column showed that the columns can be divided into production and inhibition regions. The length of each zone was dependent upon the feed glucose concentration and feed pattern. Unlike batch fermentation, there was no clear distinction between acid and solvent production regions. The pH dropped, from 6.18-6.43 to 4.50-4.90 in the first inch of the reactor. The pH dropped further to 4.36-4.65 by the exit of the column. The results indicate that the strategy for long term stable operation with high solvent yield requires a structured packing of biologically stable porous matrix such as polyester sponge, a pH maintenance above 4.3, glucose concentrations up to 60 g/L and

  8. Astrobiological Aspects of Radiation Chemistry in Europa's Icy Regolith

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, R. W.; Hand, K. P.

    2006-05-01

    Jupiter's moon Europa, with its likely subsurface ocean and young, active surface, is a promising habitat for life. Europa orbits in the heart of Jupiter's powerful magnetosphere and suffers intense energetic particle bombardment, producing both positive and negative aspects for astrobiology at Europa. Ionizing radiation can produce oxidants that could support a radiation-driven ecology as proposed by Chyba. On the other hand, biomolecular evidence for life that may be upwelled to the surface is rapidly altered by irradiation, complicating astrobiological searches for evidence of life. We present an overview of laboratory work performed at JPL and elsewhere and observational results related to these two aspects. The oxidants hydrogen peroxide and molecular oxygen are known to exist on Europa and the radiolytic production of these species has been studied in the laboratory for both electron and ion irradiation. Laboratory- measured equilibrium concentrations of H2O2, where production and destruction rates are equal, are in general agreement with the observed 0.1% molar abundance on Europa. The shape of Europa's peroxide band is consistent with the line shapes observed in radiolysis and with H2O2 dispersed in water ice rather than occurring as H2O2 aggregates. Surprisingly, molecular oxygen may be even more abundant on Europa even though O2 is extremely volatile ande would be expected to escape from the ice surface. Radiolysis can produce molecular oxygen and appears to simultaneously alter the ice matrix, trapping the O2. Other species observed on Europa are CO2 and SO2, and laboratory radiolysis of these species in H2O ice produces carbonic and sulfuric acid, respectively. We are studying the radiolytic degradation of biomarkers in ice at Europa temperatures by studying both simple organics and more complex biomolecules, including microorganisms. Hydrocarbon radiolysis yields carbon dioxide and methane, which can escape the system and results in loss of carbon. In

  9. First Light from Extrasolar Planets and Implications for Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, L. Jeremy; Seager, Sara; Harrington, Joseph; Deming, Drake

    2005-01-01

    The first light from an extrasolar planet was recently detected. These results, obtained for two transiting extrasolar planets at different infrared wavelengths, open a new era in the field of extrasolar planet detection and characterization because for the first time we can now detect planets beyond the solar system directly. Using the Spitzer Space Telescope at 24 microns, we observed the modulation of combined light (star plus planet) from the HD 209458 system as the planet disappeared behind the star during secondary eclipse and later re-emerged, thereby isolating the light from the planet. We obtained a planet-to-star ratio of 0.26% at 24 microns, corresponding to a brightness temperature of 1130 + / - 150 K. We will describe this result in detail, explain what it can tell us about the atmosphere of HD 209458 b, and discuss implications for the field of astrobiology. These results represent a significant step on the path to detecting terrestrial planets around other stars and in understanding their atmospheres in terms of composition and temperature.

  10. Automating X-ray Fluorescence Analysis for Rapid Astrobiology Surveys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, David R; Flannery, David T; Lanka, Ravi; Allwood, Abigail C; Bue, Brian D; Clark, Benton C; Elam, W Timothy; Estlin, Tara A; Hodyss, Robert P; Hurowitz, Joel A; Liu, Yang; Wade, Lawrence A

    2015-11-01

    A new generation of planetary rover instruments, such as PIXL (Planetary Instrument for X-ray Lithochemistry) and SHERLOC (Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman Luminescence for Organics and Chemicals) selected for the Mars 2020 mission rover payload, aim to map mineralogical and elemental composition in situ at microscopic scales. These instruments will produce large spectral cubes with thousands of channels acquired over thousands of spatial locations, a large potential science yield limited mainly by the time required to acquire a measurement after placement. A secondary bottleneck also faces mission planners after downlink; analysts must interpret the complex data products quickly to inform tactical planning for the next command cycle. This study demonstrates operational approaches to overcome these bottlenecks by specialized early-stage science data processing. Onboard, simple real-time systems can perform a basic compositional assessment, recognizing specific features of interest and optimizing sensor integration time to characterize anomalies. On the ground, statistically motivated visualization can make raw uncalibrated data products more interpretable for tactical decision making. Techniques such as manifold dimensionality reduction can help operators comprehend large databases at a glance, identifying trends and anomalies in data. These onboard and ground-side analyses can complement a quantitative interpretation. We evaluate system performance for the case study of PIXL, an X-ray fluorescence spectrometer. Experiments on three representative samples demonstrate improved methods for onboard and ground-side automation and illustrate new astrobiological science capabilities unavailable in previous planetary instruments. Dimensionality reduction-Planetary science-Visualization.

  11. Life and the Universe: From Astrochemistry to Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allamandola, Louis J.

    2013-01-01

    Great strides have been made in our understanding of interstellar material thanks to advances in infrared astronomy and laboratory astrophysics. Ionized polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), shockingly large molecules by earlier astrochemical standards, are widespread and very abundant throughout much of the cosmos. In cold molecular clouds, the birthplace of planets and stars, interstellar atoms and molecules freeze onto extremely cold dust and ice particles forming mixed molecular ices dominated by simple species such as water, methanol, ammonia, and carbon monoxide. Within these clouds, and especially in the vicinity of star and planet forming regions, these ices and PAHs are processed by ultraviolet light and cosmic rays forming hundreds of far more complex species, some of biogenic interest. Eventually, these are delivered to primordial planets by comets and meteorites. As these materials are the building blocks of comets and related to carbonaceous micrometeorites, they are likely to be important sources of complex organic materials delivered to habitable planets (including the primordial Earth) and their composition may be related to the origin of life. This talk will focus on the chemical evolution of these cosmic materials and their relevance to astrobiology.

  12. A Micro Fluorescent Activated Cell Sorter for Astrobiology Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Platt, Donald W.; Hoover, Richard B.

    2009-01-01

    A micro-scale Fluorescent Activated Cell Sorter (microFACS) for astrobiology applications is under development. This device is designed to have a footprint of 7 cm x 7 cm x 4 cm and allow live-dead counts and sorting of cells that have fluorescent characteristics from staining. The FACS system takes advantage of microfluidics to create a cell sorter that can fit in the palm of the hand. A micron-scale channel allows cells to pass by a blue diode which causes emission of marker-expressed cells which are detected by a filtered photodetector. A small microcontroller then counts cells and operates high speed valves to select which chamber the cell is collected in (a collection chamber or a waste chamber). Cells with the expressed characteristic will be collected in the collection chamber. This system has been built and is currently being tested. We are also designing a system with integrated MEMS-based pumps and valves for a small and compact unit to fly on small satellite-based biology experiments.

  13. Secondary School Students' Knowledge and Opinions on Astrobiology Topics and Related Social Issues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oreiro, Raquel; Solbes, Jordi

    2017-01-01

    Astrobiology is the study of the origin of life on Earth and the distribution of life in the Universe. Its multidisciplinary approach, social and philosophical implications, and appeal within the discipline and beyond make astrobiology a uniquely qualified subject for general science education. In this study, student knowledge and opinions on astrobiology topics were investigated. Eighty-nine students in their last year of compulsory education (age 15) completed a written questionnaire that consisted of 10 open questions on the topic of astrobiology. The results indicate that students have significant difficulties understanding the origin of life on Earth, despite exposure to the topic by way of the assigned textbooks. The students were often unaware of past or present achievements in the search for life within the Solar System and beyond, topics that are far less commonly seen in textbooks. Student questionnaire answers also indicated that students had problems in reasoning and critical thinking when asked for their opinions on issues such as the potential for life beyond Earth, the question of whether UFOs exist, or what our place is in the Universe. Astrobiology might help initiate student awareness as to current thinking on these matters and should be considered for general science education.

  14. Data management in astrobiology: challenges and opportunities for an interdisciplinary community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aydinoglu, Arsev Umur; Suomela, Todd; Malone, Jim

    2014-06-01

    Data management and sharing are growing concerns for scientists and funding organizations throughout the world. Funding organizations are implementing requirements for data management plans, while scientists are establishing new infrastructures for data sharing. One of the difficulties is sharing data among a diverse set of research disciplines. Astrobiology is a unique community of researchers, containing over 110 different disciplines. The current study reports the results of a survey of data management practices among scientists involved in the astrobiology community and the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI) in particular. The survey was administered over a 2-month period in the first half of 2013. Fifteen percent of the NAI community responded (n=114), and additional (n=80) responses were collected from members of an astrobiology Listserv. The results of the survey show that the astrobiology community shares many of the same concerns for data sharing as other groups. The benefits of data sharing are acknowledged by many respondents, but barriers to data sharing remain, including lack of acknowledgement, citation, time, and institutional rewards. Overcoming technical, institutional, and social barriers to data sharing will be a challenge into the future.

  15. Infrared Spectroscopy of Parent Volatiles in Comets: Implications for Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    DiSanti, Michael A.

    2010-01-01

    Current cometary orbits provide information on their recent dynamical history. However, determining a given comet's formation region from its current dynamical state alone is complicated by radial migration in the proto-planetary disk and by dynamical interactions with the growing giant planets. Because comets reside for long periods of time in the outer Solar System, the ices contained in their nuclei (native ices) retain a relatively well-preserved footprint of when and where they formed, and this in turn can provide clues to conditions in the formation epoch. As a comet approaches the Sun, sublimation of its native ices releases parent volatiles into the coma where they can be measured spectroscopically. The past to - 15 years have seen the advent of infrared spectrometers with high sensitivity between about 2.8 and 5.0 micron, enabling a taxonomy among comets based on abundances of parent volatiles (e.g., H2O, CO, CH4, C2H6, HCN, CH30H, H2CO, NH3). Such molecules are of keen interest to Astrobiology, as they include important pre-biotic species that likely were required for the emergence of life on Earth and perhaps elsewhere. Approximately 20 comets have thus far been characterized, beginning with C/1996 82 (Hyakutake) in 1996. Molecular production rates are established through comparison of observed emission line intensities with those predicted by quantum mechanical fluorescence models. Abundances of parent volatiles (relative to H2O) vary among even the relatively small number of comets sampled, with the most volatile species (CO and CH4) displaying the largest variations. Techniques developed for measuring parent volatile abundances in comets will be discussed, as will possible implications for their formation.

  16. Astrobiology as an Interdisciplinary Starting Point to Natural Sciences for High-potential Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leitner, J. J.; Firneis, M. G.; Hitzenberger, R.

    2013-09-01

    One of the corner stones of the Research Platform on ExoLife, University of Vienna, Austria is public outreach and education with respect to astrobiology, exoplanets, and planetary sciences. Since 2009 several initiatives have been started by the Research Platform to concentrate the interest of students in and outside the University onto natural sciences. Astrobiology as a very interdisciplinary scientific discipline with questions like "Are we alone in the Universe?," "How unique is Earth as a planet?" or "How did life originate?" will fascinate youngsters and junior scientists (see [1]).

  17. Backward Planetary Protection Issues and Possible Solutions for Icy Plume Sample Return Missions from Astrobiological Targets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yano, Hajime; McKay, Christopher P.; Anbar, Ariel; Tsou, Peter

    The recent report of possible water vapor plumes at Europa and Ceres, together with the well-known Enceladus plume containing water vapor, salt, ammonia, and organic molecules, suggests that sample return missions could evolve into a generic approach for outer Solar System exploration in the near future, especially for the benefit of astrobiology research. Sampling such plumes can be accomplished via fly-through mission designs, modeled after the successful Stardust mission to capture and return material from Comet Wild-2 and multiple, precise trajectory controls of the Cassini mission to fly through Enceladus’ plume. The proposed LIFE (Life Investigation For Enceladus) mission to Enceladus, which would sample organic molecules from the plume of that apparently habitable world, provides one example of the appealing scientific return of such missions. Beyond plumes, the upper atmosphere of Titan could also be sampled in this manner. The SCIM mission to Mars, also inspired by Stardust, would sample and return aerosol dust in the upper atmosphere of Mars and thus extends this concept even to other planetary bodies. Such missions share common design needs. In particular, they require large exposed sampler areas (or sampler arrays) that can be contained to the standards called for by international planetary protection protocols that COSPAR Planetary Protection Policy (PPP) recommends. Containment is also needed because these missions are driven by astrobiologically relevant science - including interest in organic molecules - which argues against heat sterilization that could destroy scientific value of samples. Sample containment is a daunting engineering challenge. Containment systems must be carefully designed to appropriate levels to satisfy the two top requirements: planetary protection policy and the preserving the scientific value of samples. Planning for Mars sample return tends to center on a hermetic seal specification (i.e., gas-tight against helium escape

  18. A quantitative metabolomics study of high sodium response in Clostridium acetobutylicum ATCC 824 acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) fermentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Xinhe; Condruz, Stefan; Chen, Jingkui; Jolicoeur, Mario

    2016-01-01

    Hemicellulose hydrolysates, sugar-rich feedstocks used in biobutanol refinery, are normally obtained by adding sodium hydroxide in the hydrolyze process. However, the resulting high sodium concentration in the hydrolysate inhibits ABE (acetone-butanol-ethanol) fermentation, and thus limits the use of these low-cost feedstocks. We have thus studied the effect of high sodium on the metabolic behavior of Clostridium acetobutyricum ATCC 824, with xylose as the carbon source. At a threshold sodium concentration of 200 mM, a decrease of the maximum cell dry weight (−19.50 ± 0.85%) and of ABE yield (−35.14 ± 3.50% acetone, −33.37 ± 0.74% butanol, −22.95 ± 1.81% ethanol) were observed compared to control culture. However, solvents specific productivities were not affected by supplementing sodium. The main effects of high sodium on cell metabolism were observed in acidogenesis, during which we observed the accumulation of ATP and NADH, and the inhibition of the pentose phosphate (PPP) and the glycolytic pathways with up to 80.73 ± 1.47% and 68.84 ± 3.42% decrease of the associated metabolic intermediates, respectively. However, the NADP+-to-NADPH ratio was constant for the whole culture duration, a phenomenon explaining the robustness of solvents specific productivities. Therefore, high sodium, which inhibited biomass growth through coordinated metabolic effects, interestingly triggered cell robustness on solvents specific productivity. PMID:27321153

  19. Psychrophiles and astrobiology: microbial life of frozen worlds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pikuta, Elena V.; Hoover, Richard B.

    2003-01-01

    consider the Astrobiological significance of the Fox Tunnel with its rich assemblage of frozen microbes as proxy for developing techniques that may help optimize the search for evidence of life in the permafrost of Mars. We provide images of a novel anaerobic, heterotrophic, psychrotrophic bacterium (str.FTR1) isolated in pure culture from the Fox Tunnel. We also describe novel psychrotrophs isolated from guano of the Magellanic penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus) from the southern tip of Patagonia. These strains PmagG1 and PPP2) represent new species and genera of anaerobic microbes that grow at very low temperatures. The lowest limit for growth without morphological changes of str.PmagG1 is -4°C.

  20. EVA Swab Tool to Support Planetary Protection and Astrobiology Evaluations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rucker, Michelle A.; Hood, Drew; Walker, Mary; Venkateswaran, Kasthuri J.; Schuerger, Andrew C.

    2018-01-01

    various pressure environments. To further minimize cost, the design team acquired extensive ground test experience in a relevant flight environment by piggy-backing onto suited crew training runs. These training runs allowed the project to validate tool interfaces with pressurized EVA gloves and collect user feedback on the tool design and function, as well as characterize baseline microbial data for different types of spacesuits. In general, test subjects found the EVA Swab Kit relatively straightforward to operate, but identified a number of design improvements that will be incorporated into the final design. Although originally intended to help characterize human forward contaminants, this tool has other potential applications, such as for collecting and preserving space-exposed materials to support astrobiology experiments.

  1. Applicability of cryoconite consortia of microorganisms and glacier-dwelling animals in astrobiological studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zawierucha Krzysztof

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available For several years it has been of interest to astrobiologists to focus on Earth’s glaciers as a habitat that can be similar to glaciers on other moons and planets. Microorganisms on glaciers form consortia – cryoconite granules (cryoconites. They are granular/spherical mineral particles connected with archaea, cyanobacteria, heterotrophic bacteria, algae, fungi, and micro animals (mainly Tardigrada and Rotifera. Cryophilic organisms inhabiting glaciers have been studied in different aspects: from taxonomy, ecology and biogeography, to searching of biotechnological potentials and physiological strategies to survive in extreme glacial habitats. However, they have never been used in astrobiological experiments. The main aim of this paper is brief review of literature and supporting assumptions that cryoconite granules and microinvertebrates on glaciers, are promising models in astrobiology for looking for analogies and survival strategies in terms of icy planets and moons. So far, astrobiological research have been conducted on single strains of prokaryotes or microinvertebrates but never on a consortium of them. Due to the hypothetical similarity of glaciers on the Earth to those on other planets these cryoconites consortia of microorganisms and glacier microinvertebrates may be applied in astrobiological experiments instead of the limno-terrestrial ones used currently. Those consortia and animals have qualities to use them in such studies and they may be the key to understanding how organisms are able to survive, reproduce and remain active at low temperatures.

  2. Field astrobiology research instruments and methods in moon-mars analogue site.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Foing, B.H.; Stoker, C.; Zavaleta, J.; Ehrenfreund, P.; Sarrazin, P.; Blake, D.; Page, J.; Pletser, V.; Hendrikse, J.; Oliveira Lebre Direito, M.S.; Kotler, M.; Martins, Z.; Orzechowska, G.; Thiel, C.S.; Clarke, J.; Gross, J.; Wendt, L.; Borst, A.; Peters, S.; Wilhelm, M.-B.; Davies, G.R.; EuroGeoMars 2009 Team, ILEWG

    2011-01-01

    We describe the field demonstration of astrobiology instruments and research methods conducted in and from the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in Utah during the EuroGeoMars campaign 2009 coordinated by ILEWG, ESA/ESTEC and NASA Ames, with the contribution of academic partners. We discuss the

  3. Understanding the nineteenth century origins of disciplines: lessons for astrobiology today?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brazelton, William J.; Sullivan, Woodruff T., III

    2009-10-01

    Astrobiology's goal of promoting interdisciplinary research is an attempt to reverse a trend that began two centuries ago with the formation of the first specialized scientific disciplines. We have examined this era of discipline formation in order to make a comparison with the situation today in astrobiology. Will astrobiology remain interdisciplinary or is it becoming yet another specialty? As a case study, we have investigated effects on the scientific literature when a specialized community is formed by analyzing the citations within papers published during 1802-1856 in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society (Phil. Trans.), the most important ‘generalist’ journal of its day, and Transactions of the Geological Society of London (Trans. Geol. Soc.), the first important disciplinary journal in the sciences. We find that these two journals rarely cited each other, and papers published in Trans. Geol. Soc. cited fewer interdisciplinary sources than did geology papers in Phil. Trans. After geology had become established as a successful specialized discipline, geologists returned to publishing papers in Phil. Trans., but they wrote in the new, highly specialized style developed in Trans. Geol. Soc. They had succeeded in not only creating a new scientific discipline, but also a new way of doing science with its own modes of research and communication. A similar citation analysis was applied to papers published over the period 2001-2008 in the contemporary journals Astrobiology and the International Journal of Astrobiology to test the hypothesis that astrobiologists are in the early stages of creating their own specialized community. Although still too early to reliably detect any but the largest trends, there is no evidence yet that astrobiologists are drifting into their own isolated discipline. Instead, to date they appear to remain interdisciplinary.

  4. El-AbedOroub, Unprotected: Palestinians in Egypt since 1948, Washington, DC, Institute for Palestine Studies / Ottawa: International Development Research Centre, 2009, 253 p.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Françoise de Bel-Air

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available L’ouvrage proposé par Oroub El-Abed sur les Palestiniens d’Égypte comble un manque : cette communauté n’avait, en effet, encore jamais fait l’objet d’une étude scientifique de grande ampleur telle que celle entreprise par l’auteur sous les auspices du programme Forced Migration and Refugee Studies de l’Université américaine au Caire. L’ambition initiale de Oroub El-Abed et de son équipe était de réaliser une enquête de terrain portant sur un échantillon de 300 ménages répartis dans 15 gouvern...

  5. A dynamic metabolic flux analysis of ABE (acetone-butanol-ethanol) fermentation by Clostridium acetobutylicum ATCC 824, with riboflavin as a by-product.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Xinhe; Kasbi, Mayssa; Chen, Jingkui; Peres, Sabine; Jolicoeur, Mario

    2017-12-01

    The present study reveals that supplementing sodium acetate (NaAc) strongly stimulates riboflavin production in acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) fermentation by Clostridium acetobutylicum ATCC 824 with xylose as carbon source. Riboflavin production increased from undetectable concentrations to ∼0.2 g L -1 (0.53 mM) when supplementing 60 mM NaAc. Of interest, solvents production and biomass yield were also promoted with fivefold acetone, 2.6-fold butanol, and 2.4-fold biomass adding NaAc. A kinetic metabolic model, developed to simulate ABE biosystem, with riboflavin production, revealed from a dynamic metabolic flux analysis (dMFA) simultaneous increase of riboflavin (ribA) and GTP (precursor of riboflavin) (PurM) synthesis flux rates under NaAc supplementation. The model includes 23 fluxes, 24 metabolites, and 72 kinetic parameters. It also suggested that NaAc condition has first stimulated the accumulation of intracellular metabolite intermediates during the acidogenic phase, which have then fed the solventogenic phase leading to increased ABE production. In addition, NaAc resulted in higher intracellular levels of NADH during the whole culture. Moreover, lower GTP-to-adenosine phosphates (ATP, ADP, AMP) ratio under NaAc supplemented condition suggests that GTP may have a minor role in the cell energetic metabolism compared to its contribution to riboflavin synthesis. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Acetone-Butanol-Ethanol (ABE) production in fermentation of enzymatically hydrolyzed cassava flour by Clostridium beijerinckii BA101 and solvent separation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lépiz-Aguilar, Leonardo; Rodríguez-Rodríguez, Carlos E; Arias, María Laura; Lutz, Giselle

    2013-08-01

    Cassava constitutes an abundant substrate in tropical regions. The production of butanol in ABE fermentation by Clostridium beijerinckii BA101 using cassava flour (CF) was scaled-up to bioreactor level (5 L). Optimized fermentation conditions were applied; that is, 40℃, 60 g/l CF, and enzymatic pretreatment of the substrate. The batch fermentation profile presented an acidogenic phase for the first 24 h and a solventogenic phase afterwards. An average of 37.01 g/l ABE was produced after 83 h, with a productivity of 0.446 g/l/h. Butanol production was 25.71 g/l with a productivity of 0.310 g/l/h, high or similar to analogous batch processes described for other substrates. Solvent separation by different combinations of fractioned and azeotropic distillation and liquid-liquid separation were assessed to evaluate energetic and economic costs in downstream processing. Results suggest that the use of cassava as a substrate in ABE fermentation could be a cost-effective way of producing butanol in tropical regions.

  7. Flexible CP-ABE Based Access Control on Encrypted Data for Mobile Users in Hybrid Cloud System

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Wen-Min Li; Xue-Lei Li; Qiao-Yan Wen; Shuo Zhang; Hua Zhang

    2017-01-01

    In hybrid cloud computing, encrypted data access control can provide a fine-grained access method for orga-nizations to enact policies closer to organizational policies. This paper presents an improved CP-ABE (ciphertext-policy attribute-based encryption) scheme to construct an encrypted data access control solution that is suitable for mobile users in hybrid cloud system. In our improvement, we split the original decryption keys into a control key, a secret key and a set of transformation keys. The private cloud managed by the organization administrator takes charge of updating the transformation keys using the control key. It helps to handle the situation of flexible access management and attribute alteration. Meanwhile, the mobile user's single secret key remains unchanged as well as the ciphertext even if the data user's attribute has been revoked. In addition, we modify the access control list through adding the attributes with corresponding control key and transformation keys so as to manage user privileges depending upon the system version. Finally, the analysis shows that our scheme is secure, flexible and efficient to be applied in mobile hybrid cloud computing.

  8. Preparation of Organic/Inorganic Siloxane Composite Membranes and Concentration of n-butanol from ABE Solution by Pervaporation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jee, Ki Yong; Lee, Yong Taek [Kyung Hee University, Yongin (Korea, Republic of)

    2013-10-15

    In this paper, polymer composite membranes and ceramic composite membranes were prepared in order to compare differences in pervaporation performances relative to the support layers. PVDF was used for the polymer support layers, and a-Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} was used for the ceramic support layers. For active layer was coated for PDMS, which is a rubbery polymer. The characterization of membranes were analysed by SEM, contact angle, and XPS. We studied performances relative to the composite membrane support layers in the ABE mixture solutions. The results of the pervaporation, the flux of the ceramic composite membrane was shown to be 250.87 g/m{sup 2}h, which was higher than that of polymer composite membranes, at 195.64 g/m{sup 2}h. However, it was determined that the separation factor of the polymer composite membranes was 31.98 which were higher than that of the ceramic composite membranes, at 20.66.

  9. Widening Perspectives: The Intellectual and Social Benefits of Astrobiology (Regardless of Whether Extraterrestrial Life is Discovered or Not)

    OpenAIRE

    Crawford, Ian A.

    2017-01-01

    Astrobiology is usually defined as the study of the origin, evolution, distribution, and future of life in the universe. As such it is inherently interdisciplinary and cannot help but engender a worldview infused by cosmic and evolutionary perspectives. Both these attributes of the study of astrobiology are, and will increasingly prove to be, beneficial to society regardless of whether extraterrestrial life is discovered or not.

  10. Widening perspectives: the intellectual and social benefits of astrobiology (regardless of whether extraterrestrial life is discovered or not)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crawford, I. A.

    2018-01-01

    Astrobiology is usually defined as the study of the origin, evolution, distribution and future of life in the Universe. As such it is inherently interdisciplinary and cannot help but engender a worldview infused by cosmic and evolutionary perspectives. Both these attributes of the study of astrobiology are, and will increasingly prove to be, beneficial to society regardless of whether extraterrestrial life is discovered or not.

  11. Spectroscopic Studies of Molecular Systems relevant in Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fornaro, Teresa

    2016-01-01

    In the Astrobiology context, the study of the physico-chemical interactions involving "building blocks of life" in plausible prebiotic and space-like conditions is fundamental to shed light on the processes that led to emergence of life on Earth as well as to molecular chemical evolution in space. In this PhD Thesis, such issues have been addressed both experimentally and computationally by employing vibrational spectroscopy, which has shown to be an effective tool to investigate the variety of intermolecular interactions that play a key role in self-assembling mechanisms of nucleic acid components and their binding to mineral surfaces. In particular, in order to dissect the contributions of the different interactions to the overall spectroscopic signals and shed light on the intricate experimental data, feasible computational protocols have been developed for the characterization of the spectroscopic properties of such complex systems. This study has been carried out through a multi-step strategy, starting the investigation from the spectroscopic properties of the isolated nucleobases, then studying the perturbation induced by the interaction with another molecule (molecular dimers), towards condensed phases like the molecular solid, up to the case of nucleic acid components adsorbed on minerals. A proper modeling of these weakly bound molecular systems has required, firstly, a validation of dispersion-corrected Density Functional Theory methods for simulating anharmonic vibrational properties. The isolated nucleobases and some of their dimers have been used as benchmark set for identifying a general, reliable and effective computational procedure based on fully anharmonic quantum mechanical computations of the vibrational wavenumbers and infrared intensities within the generalized second order vibrational perturbation theory (GVPT2) approach, combined with the cost-effective dispersion-corrected density functional B3LYP-D3, in conjunction with basis sets of

  12. Measuring the effect of an astrobiology course on student optimism regarding extraterrestrial life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, David L.

    2017-07-01

    Students in an introductory undergraduate Astrobiology course were given a pre/post-test based on the Drake Equation in an attempt to measure changes in their perceptions regarding the prevalence of life in the Galaxy after taking the course. The results indicated that, after taking the course, the students were considerably more optimistic, by a 2 to 1 margin or more, about the prospect of habitable planets, the origin of life, and the evolution of intelligence in other planetary systems. The results suggest that, while it may not be the explicit goal of an astrobiology course to change student beliefs about the abundance or rarity of extraterrestrial life, such changes in opinion can and do occur.

  13. Space as a Tool for Astrobiology: Review and Recommendations for Experimentations in Earth Orbit and Beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cottin, Hervé; Kotler, Julia Michelle; Billi, Daniela; Cockell, Charles; Demets, René; Ehrenfreund, Pascale; Elsaesser, Andreas; d'Hendecourt, Louis; van Loon, Jack J. W. A.; Martins, Zita; Onofri, Silvano; Quinn, Richard C.; Rabbow, Elke; Rettberg, Petra; Ricco, Antonio J.; Slenzka, Klaus; de la Torre, Rosa; de Vera, Jean-Pierre; Westall, Frances; Carrasco, Nathalie; Fresneau, Aurélien; Kawaguchi, Yuko; Kebukawa, Yoko; Nguyen, Dara; Poch, Olivier; Saiagh, Kafila; Stalport, Fabien; Yamagishi, Akihiko; Yano, Hajime; Klamm, Benjamin A.

    2017-07-01

    The space environment is regularly used for experiments addressing astrobiology research goals. The specific conditions prevailing in Earth orbit and beyond, notably the radiative environment (photons and energetic particles) and the possibility to conduct long-duration measurements, have been the main motivations for developing experimental concepts to expose chemical or biological samples to outer space, or to use the reentry of a spacecraft on Earth to simulate the fall of a meteorite. This paper represents an overview of past and current research in astrobiology conducted in Earth orbit and beyond, with a special focus on ESA missions such as Biopan, STONE (on Russian FOTON capsules) and EXPOSE facilities (outside the International Space Station). The future of exposure platforms is discussed, notably how they can be improved for better science return, and how to incorporate the use of small satellites such as those built in cubesat format.

  14. Miniature GC: Minicell ion mobility spectrometer (IMS) for astrobiology planetary missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kojiro, Daniel R.; Holland, Paul M.; Stimac, Robert M.; Kaye, William J.; Takeuchi, Norishige

    2006-01-01

    Astrobiology flight experiments require highly sensitive instrumentation for in situ analysis of volatile chemical species and minerals present in the atmospheres and surfaces of planets, moons, and asteroids. The complex mixtures encountered place a heavy burden on the analytical instrumentation to detect and identify all species present. The use of land rovers and balloon aero-rovers place additional emphasis on miniaturization of the analytical instrumentation. In addition, smaller instruments, using tiny amounts of consumables, allow the use of more instrumentation and/or longer mission life for stationary landers/laboratories. We describe here the development of a miniature GC - Minicell Ion Mobility Spectrometer (IMS) under development through NASA's Astrobiology Science and Technology Instrument Development (ASTID) Program and NASA's Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Program.

  15. Ethics and the Potential Conflicts between Astrobiology, Planetary Protection, and Commercial Use of Space

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erik Persson

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available A high standard of planetary protection is important for astrobiology, though the risk for contamination can never be zero. It is therefore important to find a balance. If extraterrestrial life has a moral standing in its own right, it will also affect what we have to do to protect it. The questions of how far we need to go to protect extraterrestrial life will be even more acute and complicated when the time comes to use habitable worlds for commercial purposes. There will also be conflicts between those who want to set a world aside for more research and those who want to give the green light for development. I believe it is important to be proactive in relation to these issues. The aim of my project is therefore to identify, elucidate, and if possible, suggest solutions to potential conflicts between astrobiology, planetary protection, and commercial use of space.

  16. Miniature GC-Minicell Ion Mobility Spectrometer (IMS) for In Situ Measurements in Astrobiology Planetary Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kojiro, Daniel R.; Stimac, Robert M.; Kaye, William J.; Holland, Paul M.; Takeuchi, Norishige

    2006-01-01

    Astrobiology flight experiments require highly sensitive instrumentation for in situ analysis of volatile chemical species and minerals present in the atmospheres and surfaces of planets, moons, and asteroids. The complex mixtures encountered place a heavy burden on the analytical instrumentation to detect and identify all species present. The use of land rovers and balloon aero-rovers place additional emphasis on miniaturization of the analytical instrumentation. In addition, smaller instruments, using tiny amounts of consumables, allow the use of more instrumentation and/or ionger mission life for stationary landers/laboratories. The miniCometary Ice and Dust Experiment (miniCIDEX), which combined Gas Chromatography (GC) with helium Ion Mobility Spectrometry (IMS), was capable of providing the wide range of analytical information required for Astrobiology missions. The IMS used here was based on the PCP model 111 IMS. A similar system, the Titan Ice and Dust Experiment (TIDE), was proposed as part of the Titan Orbiter Aerorover Mission (TOAM). Newer GC systems employing Micro Electro- Mechanical System (MEMS) based technology have greatly reduced both the size and resource requirements for space GCs. These smaller GCs, as well as the continuing miniaturization of Astrobiology analytical instruments in general, has highlighted the need for smaller, dry helium IMS systems. We describe here the development of a miniature, MEMS GC-IMS system (MEMS GC developed by Thorleaf Research Inc.), employing the MiniCell Ion Mobility Spectrometer (IMS), from Ion Applications Inc., developed through NASA's Astrobiology Science and Technology Instrument Development (ASTID) Program and NASA s Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Program.

  17. Lunar and Planetary Science XXXV: Astrobiology: Analogs and Applications to the Search for Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    The session "Astrobiology: Analogs and Applications to the Search for Life" included the folowing reports:The Search for Life on Mars Using Macroscopically Visible Microbial Mats (Stromatolites) in 3.5/3.3 Ga Cherts from the Pilbara in Australia and Barberton in South Africa as Analogues; Life in a Mars Analog: Microbial Activity Associated with Carbonate Cemented Lava Breccias from NW Spitsbergen; Groundwater-fed Iron-rich Microbial Mats in a Freshwater Creek: Growth Cycles and Fossilization Potential of Microbial Features; Episodic Fossilization of Microorganisms on an Annual Timescale in an Anthropogenically Modified Natural Environment: Geochemical Controls and Implications for Astrobiology; Proterozoic Microfossils and Their Implications for Recognizing Life on Mars; Microbial Alteration of Volcanic Glass in Modern and Ancient Oceanic Crust as a Proxy for Studies of Extraterrestrial Material ; Olivine Alteration on Earth and Mars; Searching for an Acidic Aquifer in the R!o Tinto Basin. First Geobiology Results of MARTE Project; In-Field Testing of Life Detection Instruments and Protocols in a Mars Analogue Arctic Environment; Habitability of the Shallow Subsurface on Mars: Clues from the Meteorites; Mars Analog Rio Tinto Experiment (MARTE): 2003 Drilling Campaign to Search for a Subsurface Biosphere at Rio Tinto Spain; Characterization of the Organic Matter in an Archean Chert (Warrawoona, Australia); and The Solfatara Crater, Italy: Characterization of Hydrothermal Deposits, Biosignatures and Their Astrobiological Implication.

  18. Role of the observer in the scientific process in astrobiology and in defining life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolb, Vera M.

    2010-09-01

    The role of the observer in the scientific process has been studied in various contexts, including philosophical. It is notorious that the experiments are theory-loaded, that the observers pick and choose what they consider important based on their scientific and cultural backgrounds, and that the same phenomenon may be studied by different observers from different angles. In this paper we critically review various authors' views of the role of the observer in the scientific process, as they apply to astrobiology. Astrobiology is especially vulnerable to the role of the observer, since it is an interdisciplinary science. Thus, the backgrounds of the observers in the astrobiology field are even more heterogeneous than in the other sciences. The definition of life is also heavily influenced by the observer of life who injects his/her own prejudices in the process of observing and defining life. Such prejudices are often dictated by the state of science, instrumentation, and the science politics at the time, as well as the educational, scientific, cultural and other background of the observer.

  19. STARLIFE - An International Campaign to Study the Role of Galactic Cosmic Radiation in Astrobiological Model Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moeller, Ralf; Raguse, Marina; Leuko, Stefan; Berger, Thomas; Hellweg, Christine Elisabeth; Fujimori, Akira; Okayasu, Ryuichi; Horneck, Gerda

    2017-02-01

    In-depth knowledge regarding the biological effects of the radiation field in space is required for assessing the radiation risks in space. To obtain this knowledge, a set of different astrobiological model systems has been studied within the STARLIFE radiation campaign during six irradiation campaigns (2013-2015). The STARLIFE group is an international consortium with the aim to investigate the responses of different astrobiological model systems to the different types of ionizing radiation (X-rays, γ rays, heavy ions) representing major parts of the galactic cosmic radiation spectrum. Low- and high-energy charged particle radiation experiments have been conducted at the Heavy Ion Medical Accelerator in Chiba (HIMAC) facility at the National Institute of Radiological Sciences (NIRS) in Chiba, Japan. X-rays or γ rays were used as reference radiation at the German Aerospace Center (DLR, Cologne, Germany) or Beta-Gamma-Service GmbH (BGS, Wiehl, Germany) to derive the biological efficiency of different radiation qualities. All samples were exposed under identical conditions to the same dose and qualities of ionizing radiation (i) allowing a direct comparison between the tested specimens and (ii) providing information on the impact of the space radiation environment on currently used astrobiological model organisms.

  20. Microbes in the upper atmosphere and unique opportunities for astrobiology research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, David J

    2013-10-01

    Microbial taxa from every major biological lineage have been detected in Earth's upper atmosphere. The goal of this review is to communicate (1) relevant astrobiology questions that can be addressed with upper atmosphere microbiology studies and (2) available sampling methods for collecting microbes at extreme altitudes. Precipitation, mountain stations, airplanes, balloons, rockets, and satellites are all feasible routes for conducting aerobiology research. However, more efficient air samplers are needed, and contamination is also a pervasive problem in the field. Measuring microbial signatures without false positives in the upper atmosphere might contribute to sterilization and bioburden reduction methods for proposed astrobiology missions. Intriguingly, environmental conditions in the upper atmosphere resemble the surface conditions of Mars (extreme cold, hypobaria, desiccation, and irradiation). Whether terrestrial microbes are active in the upper atmosphere is an area of intense research interest. If, in fact, microbial metabolism, growth, or replication is achievable independent of Earth's surface, then the search for habitable zones on other worlds should be broadened to include atmospheres (e.g., the high-altitude clouds of Venus). Furthermore, viable cells in the heavily irradiated upper atmosphere of Earth could help identify microbial genes or enzymes that bestow radiation resistance. Compelling astrobiology questions on the origin of life (if the atmosphere synthesized organic aerosols), evolution (if airborne transport influenced microbial mutation rates and speciation), and panspermia (outbound or inbound) are also testable in Earth's upper atmosphere.

  1. The Cuatro Ciénegas Basin in Coahuila, Mexico: An Astrobiological Precambrian Park

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siefert, Janet L.; Escalante, Ana E.; Elser, James J.; Eguiarte, Luis E.

    2012-01-01

    Abstract The Cuatro Ciénegas Basin (CCB) is a rare oasis in the Chihuahuan Desert in the state of Coahuila, Mexico. It has a biological endemism similar to that of the Galapagos Islands, and its spring-fed ecosystems have very low nutrient content (nitrogen or phosphorous) and are dominated by diverse microbialites. Thus, it has proven to be a distinctive opportunity for the field of astrobiology, as the CCB can be seen as a proxy for an earlier time in Earth's history, in particular the late Precambrian, the biological frontier when prokaryotic life yielded at least partial dominance to eukaryotes and multicellular life. It is a kind of ecological time machine that provides abundant opportunities for collaborative investigations by geochemists, geologists, ecologists, and population biologists in the study of the evolutionary processes that structured Earth-based life, especially in the microbial realm. The CCB is an object of investigation for the identification of biosignatures of past and present biota that can be used in our search for extraterrestrial life. In this review, we summarize CCB research efforts that began with microbial ecology and population biology projects and have since been expanded into broader efforts that involve biogeochemistry, comparative genomics, and assessments of biosignatures. We also propose that, in the future, the CCB is sanctioned as a “Precambrian Park” for astrobiology. Key Words: Microbial mats—Stromatolites—Early Earth—Extremophilic microorganisms—Microbial ecology. Astrobiology 12, 641–647. PMID:22920514

  2. The astrobiology primer: an outline of general knowledge--version 1, 2006.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Billings, L; Cameron, V; Claire, M; Dick, G J; Domagal-Goldman, S D; Javaux, E J; Johnson, O J; Laws, C; Race, M S; Rask, J; Rummel, J D; Schelble, R T; Vance, S

    2006-10-01

    The Astrobiology Primer has been created as a reference tool for those who are interested in the interdisciplinary field of astrobiology. The field incorporates many diverse research endeavors, but it is our hope that this slim volume will present the reader with all he or she needs to know to become involved and to understand, at least at a fundamental level, the state of the art. Each section includes a brief overview of a topic and a short list of readable and important literature for those interested in deeper knowledge. Because of the great diversity of material, each section was written by a different author with a different expertise. Contributors, authors, and editors are listed at the beginning, along with a list of those chapters and sections for which they were responsible. We are deeply indebted to the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI), in particular to Estelle Dodson, David Morrison, Ed Goolish, Krisstina Wilmoth, and Rose Grymes for their continued enthusiasm and support. The Primer came about in large part because of NAI support for graduate student research, collaboration, and inclusion as well as direct funding. We have entitled the Primer version 1 in hope that it will be only the first in a series, whose future volumes will be produced every 3-5 years. This way we can insure that the Primer keeps up with the current state of research. We hope that it will be a great resource for anyone trying to stay abreast of an ever-changing field.

  3. The Biomolecule Sequencer Project: Nanopore Sequencing as a Dual-Use Tool for Crew Health and Astrobiology Investigations

    Science.gov (United States)

    John, K. K.; Botkin, D. S.; Burton, A. S.; Castro-Wallace, S. L.; Chaput, J. D.; Dworkin, J. P.; Lehman, N.; Lupisella, M. L.; Mason, C. E.; Smith, D. J.; hide

    2016-01-01

    Human missions to Mars will fundamentally transform how the planet is explored, enabling new scientific discoveries through more sophisticated sample acquisition and processing than can currently be implemented in robotic exploration. The presence of humans also poses new challenges, including ensuring astronaut safety and health and monitoring contamination. Because the capability to transfer materials to Earth will be extremely limited, there is a strong need for in situ diagnostic capabilities. Nucleotide sequencing is a particularly powerful tool because it can be used to: (1) mitigate microbial risks to crew by allowing identification of microbes in water, in air, and on surfaces; (2) identify optimal treatment strategies for infections that arise in crew members; and (3) track how crew members, microbes, and mission-relevant organisms (e.g., farmed plants) respond to conditions on Mars through transcriptomic and genomic changes. Sequencing would also offer benefits for science investigations occurring on the surface of Mars by permitting identification of Earth-derived contamination in samples. If Mars contains indigenous life, and that life is based on nucleic acids or other closely related molecules, sequencing would serve as a critical tool for the characterization of those molecules. Therefore, spaceflight-compatible nucleic acid sequencing would be an important capability for both crew health and astrobiology exploration. Advances in sequencing technology on Earth have been driven largely by needs for higher throughput and read accuracy. Although some reduction in size has been achieved, nearly all commercially available sequencers are not compatible with spaceflight due to size, power, and operational requirements. Exceptions are nanopore-based sequencers that measure changes in current caused by DNA passing through pores; these devices are inherently much smaller and require significantly less power than sequencers using other detection methods

  4. Geology of McLaughlin Crater, Mars: A Unique Lacustrine Setting with Implications for Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michalski, J. R.; Niles, P. B.; Rogers, A. D.; Johnson, S. S.; Ashley, J. W.; Golombek, M. P.

    2016-01-01

    McLaughlin crater is a 92-kmdiameter Martian impact crater that contained an ancient carbonate- and clay mineral-bearing lake in the Late Noachian. Detailed analysis of the geology within this crater reveals a complex history with important implications for astrobiology [1]. The basin contains evidence for, among other deposits, hydrothermally altered rocks, delta deposits, deep water (>400 m) sediments, and potentially turbidites. The geology of this basin stands in stark contrast to that of some ancient basins that contain evidence for transient aqueous processes and airfall sediments (e.g. Gale Crater [2-3]).

  5. Report on a NASA astrobiology institute-funded workshop without walls: stellar stoichiometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desch, Steven J; Young, Patrick A; Anbar, Ariel D; Hinkel, Natalie; Pagano, Michael; Truitt, Amanda; Turnbull, Margaret

    2014-04-01

    We report on the NASA Astrobiology Institute-funded Workshop Without Walls entitled "Stellar Stoichiometry," hosted by the "Follow the Elements" team at Arizona State University in April 2013. We describe several innovative practices we adopted that made effective use of the Workshop Without Walls videoconferencing format, including use of information technologies, assignment of scientific tasks before the workshop, and placement of graduate students in positions of authority. A companion article will describe the scientific results arising from the workshop. Our intention here is to suggest best practices for future Workshops Without Walls.

  6. Japan's 2014 General Election: Political Bots, Right-Wing Internet Activism, and Prime Minister Shinzō Abe's Hidden Nationalist Agenda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schäfer, Fabian; Evert, Stefan; Heinrich, Philipp

    2017-12-01

    In this article, we present results on the identification and behavioral analysis of social bots in a sample of 542,584 Tweets, collected before and after Japan's 2014 general election. Typical forms of bot activity include massive Retweeting and repeated posting of (nearly) the same message, sometimes used in combination. We focus on the second method and present (1) a case study on several patterns of bot activity, (2) methodological considerations on the automatic identification of such patterns and the prerequisite near-duplicate detection, and (3) we give qualitative insights into the purposes behind the usage of social/political bots. We argue that it was in the latency of the semi-public sphere of social media-and not in the visible or manifest public sphere (official campaign platform, mass media)-where Shinzō Abe's hidden nationalist agenda interlocked and overlapped with the one propagated by organizations such as Nippon Kaigi and Internet right-wingers (netto uyo) during the election campaign, the latter potentially forming an enormous online support army of Abe's agenda.

  7. Astrobiological neurosystems rise and fall of intelligent life forms in the universe

    CERN Document Server

    Cranford, Jerry L

    2015-01-01

    This book explains why scientists believe that life may be more common in the Universe than previously considered possible. It presents the tools and strategies astronomers and astrobiologists are using in their formal search for habitable exoplanets as well as more advanced forms of life in other parts of our galaxy. The author then summarizes what is currently known about how and where organic molecules critical to our form of carbon-based life are manufactured. The core of the book explains (and presents educated guesses) how nervous systems evolved on Earth, how they work, and how they might work on other worlds. Combining his knowledge of neuroscience, computers, and astrobiology the author jumps into the discussion whether biological nervous systems are just the first step in the rise of intelligence in the Universe. The book ends with a description from both the psychologist’s and the neuroscientist’s viewpoints, exactly what it is about the fields of astrobiology and astronomy that “boggles...

  8. Life Out There: An Astrobiological Multimedia Experience for the Digital Planetarium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, K. C.; Grinspoon, D.

    2013-04-01

    Planetariums have a long history of experimentation with audio and visuals to create new multimedia experiences. We report on a series of innovative experiences in the Gates Planetarium at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science in 2009-2011 combining live performances of music and navigation through scientific visualizations. The Life Out There productions featured a story showcasing astrobiology concepts at scales ranging from galactic to molecular, and told using VJ-ing of immersive visualizations and musical performances from the House Band to the Universe. Funded by the NASA Astrobiology Institute's JPL-Titan Team, these hour-long shows were broken into four separate themed musical movements, with an improvisatory mix of music, dome visuals, and spoken science narrative which resulted in no two performances being exactly alike. Post-performance dissemination is continuing via a recorded version of the performance available as a DVD and online streaming video. Written evaluations from visitors who were present at the live shows reveal high satisfaction, while one of the Life Out There concerts was used to inaugurate a new evening program to draw in a younger audience demographic to DMNS.

  9. From Extremophiles to Star Trek, The Use of Synthetic Biology in Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothschild, Lynn J.; Fujishima, Kosuke; Lima, Ivan Paulino; Gentry, Diana; Phan, Samson; Navarette, Jesica; Palmer, Jesse; Burnier, Andre

    2012-01-01

    Synthetic biology – the design and construction of new biological parts and systems and the redesign of existing ones for useful purposes – has the potential to transform fields from pharmaceuticals to fuels. Our lab has focused on the potential of synthetic biology to revolutionize all three major parts of astrobiology: Where do we come from? Where are we going? and Are we alone? For the first and third, synthetic biology is allowing us to answer whether the evolutionary narrative that has played out on planet earth is likely to have been unique or universal. For example, in our lab we are re-evolving biotic functions using only the most thermodynamically stable amino acids in order to understand potential capabilities of an early organism with a limited repertoire of amino acids. In the future synthetic biology will play an increasing role in human activities both on earth, in fields as diverse as bio-mining, human health and the industrial production of novel bio-composites. Beyond earth, we will rely increasingly on biologically-provided life support, as we have throughout our evolutionary history. In order to do this, the field will build on two of the great contributions of astrobiology: studies of the origin of life and life in extreme environments.

  10. EXPOSE-E: an ESA astrobiology mission 1.5 years in space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabbow, Elke; Rettberg, Petra; Barczyk, Simon; Bohmeier, Maria; Parpart, André; Panitz, Corinna; Horneck, Gerda; von Heise-Rotenburg, Ralf; Hoppenbrouwers, Tom; Willnecker, Rainer; Baglioni, Pietro; Demets, René; Dettmann, Jan; Reitz, Guenther

    2012-05-01

    The multi-user facility EXPOSE-E was designed by the European Space Agency to enable astrobiology research in space (low-Earth orbit). On 7 February 2008, EXPOSE-E was carried to the International Space Station (ISS) on the European Technology Exposure Facility (EuTEF) platform in the cargo bay of Space Shuttle STS-122 Atlantis. The facility was installed at the starboard cone of the Columbus module by extravehicular activity, where it remained in space for 1.5 years. EXPOSE-E was returned to Earth with STS-128 Discovery on 12 September 2009 for subsequent sample analysis. EXPOSE-E provided accommodation in three exposure trays for a variety of astrobiological test samples that were exposed to selected space conditions: either to space vacuum, solar electromagnetic radiation at >110 nm and cosmic radiation (trays 1 and 3) or to simulated martian surface conditions (tray 2). Data on UV radiation, cosmic radiation, and temperature were measured every 10 s and downlinked by telemetry. A parallel mission ground reference (MGR) experiment was performed on ground with a parallel set of hardware and samples under simulated space conditions. EXPOSE-E performed a successful 1.5-year mission in space.

  11. Astrobiology, history, and society life beyond earth and the impact of discovery

    CERN Document Server

    2013-01-01

    This book addresses important current and historical topics in astrobiology and the search for life beyond Earth, including the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). The first section covers the plurality of worlds debate from antiquity through the nineteenth century, while section two covers the extraterrestrial life debate from the twentieth century to the present. The final section examines the societal impact of discovering life beyond Earth, including both cultural and religious dimensions. Throughout the book, authors draw links between their own chapters and those of other contributors, emphasizing the interconnections between the various strands of the history and societal impact of the search for extraterrestrial life. The chapters are all written by internationally recognized experts and are carefully edited by Douglas Vakoch, professor of clinical psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies and Director of Interstellar Message Composition at the SETI Institute. This interd...

  12. Assessing the Ecophysiology of Methanogens in the Context of Recent Astrobiological and Planetological Studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruth-Sophie Taubner

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Among all known microbes capable of thriving under extreme and, therefore, potentially extraterrestrial environmental conditions, methanogens from the domain Archaea are intriguing organisms. This is due to their broad metabolic versatility, enormous diversity, and ability to grow under extreme environmental conditions. Several studies revealed that growth conditions of methanogens are compatible with environmental conditions on extraterrestrial bodies throughout the Solar System. Hence, life in the Solar System might not be limited to the classical habitable zone. In this contribution we assess the main ecophysiological characteristics of methanogens and compare these to the environmental conditions of putative habitats in the Solar System, in particular Mars and icy moons. Eventually, we give an outlook on the feasibility and the necessity of future astrobiological studies concerning methanogens.

  13. The Formation of Organic Compounds of Astrobiological Interest by the Irradiation Processing of Astrophysical Ices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandford, Scott A.

    2015-01-01

    Many environments in space contain very low temperature mixed molecular ices that are exposed to ionizing radiation in the form of cosmic rays and high-energy photons. While traditional chemistry would not be expected to occur at the temperatures typical of these ices (T compounds. Many of these new products are of direct interest to astrobiology. For example, the irradiation of mixed molecular ices has been shown to produce amino acids, amphiphiles, quinones, sugars, heterocyclic compounds, and nucleobases, all molecular building blocks used by terrestrial life. Insofar as the presence of these materials plays a role in the origin of life on planets, this has profound implications for the potential abundance of life in the universe since these experiments simulate universal conditions that are expected to be found wherever new stars and planets form.

  14. Tumbleweed: Wind-propelled Surficial Measurements for Astrobiology and Planetary Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhlman, K. R.; Behar, A. E.; Jones, J. A.; Carsey, F.; Coleman, M.; Bearman, G.; Buehler, M.; Boston, P. J.; McKay, C. P.; Rothschild, L.

    2004-01-01

    Tumbleweed is a wind-propelled long-range vehicle based on well-developed and tested technology, instrumented to perform surveys Mars analog environments for habitability and suitable for a variety of missions on Mars. Tumbleweeds are light-weight and relatively inexpensive, making it very attractive for multiple deployments or piggy-backing on a larger mission. Tumbleweeds with rigid structures are also being developed for similar applications. Modeling and testing have shown that a 6 meter diameter Tumbleweed is capable of climbing 25 hills, traveling over 1 meter diameter boulders, and ranging over a thousand kilometers. Tumbleweeds have a potential payload capability of about 10 kilograms with approximately 10-20 Watts of power. Stopping for science investigations can also be accomplished using partial deflation or other braking mechanisms. Surveys for Astrobiology and other applications of tumbleweeds are shown.

  15. The Formation of Complex Organic Compounds in Astrophysical Ices and their Implications for Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandford, Scott A.

    2015-01-01

    Ices in astrophysical environments are generally dominated by very simple molecules like H2O, CH3OH, CH4, NH3, CO, CO2, etc, although they likely contain PAHs as well. These molecules, particularly H2O, are of direct interest to astrobiology in-and-of themselves since they represent some of the main carriers of the biogenic elements C, H, O, and N. In addition, these compounds are present in the dense interstellar clouds in which new stars and planetary systems are formed and may play a large role in the delivery of volatiles and organics to the surfaces of new planets. However, these molecules are all far simpler than the more complex organic compounds found in living systems.

  16. Titan Ice and Dust Experiment (TIDE): Detection and Analysis of Compounds of Interest to Astrobiology in the Lower Atmosphere and Surface of Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kojiro, Daniel R.; Holland Paul M.; Stimac, Robert M.; Kaye, William J.; Takeruchi, Noreshige

    2004-01-01

    The Titan Orbiter Aerorover Mission (TOAM) is a proposed concept for the Solar System Exploration Visions Mission, Titan Explorer, a follow-on to the Cassini-Huygens mission. TOAM would use a Titan polar orbiter and a lighter-than-air aerorover to investigate the surface and atmosphere of Titan. Astrobiology issues will be addressed though TOAM investigations including, for example: Distribution and composition of organics (atmospheric, aerosol, surface); Organic chemical processes, their chemical context and energy sources; and Seasonal variations and interactions of the atmosphere and surface. The TIDE instrument will perform in-situ analyses to obtain comprehensive and sensitive molecular and elemental assays of volatile organics in the atmosphere, oceans and surface. TIDE chemical analyses are conducted by a Gas Chromatograph-Ion Mobility Spectrometer (GC-IMS). This TIDE GC-IMS was a component of the mini-Cometary Ice and Dust Experiment (mini-CIDEX) developed for the chemical analysis of a cometary environment. Both the GC and helium IMS of mini-CIDEX have been further developed to better meet the analytical and operational requirements of the TOAM. application. A Micro-ElectroMechanical System (MEMS) GC and Mini-Cell helium IMS are under development to replace their respective mini-CIDEX components, providing similar or advanced analytical capabilities.

  17. Astrobiology Sample Analysis Program (ASAP) for Advanced Life Detection Instrumentation Development and Calibration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glavin, Daniel; Brinkerhoff, Will; Dworkin, Jason; Eigenbrode, Jennifer; Franz, Heather; Mahaffy, Paul; Stern, Jen; Blake, Daid; Sandford, Scott; Fries, marc; hide

    2008-01-01

    Scientific ground-truth measurements for near-term Mars missions, such as the 2009 Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission, are essential for validating current in situ flight instrumentation and for the development of advanced instrumentation technologies for life-detection missions over the next decade. The NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI) has recently funded a consortium of researchers called the Astrobiology Sample Analysis Program (ASAP) to analyze an identical set of homogenized martian analog materials in a "round-robin" style using both state-of-the-art laboratory techniques as well as in-situ flight instrumentation including the SAM gas chromatograph mass spectrometer and CHEMIN X-ray diffraction/fluorescence instruments on MSL and the Urey and MOMA organic analyzer instruments under development for the 2013 ExoMars missions. The analog samples studied included an Atacama Desert soil from Chile, the Murchison meteorite, a gypsum sample from the 2007 AMASE Mars analog site, jarosite from Panoche Valley, CA, a hydrothermal sample from Rio Tinto, Spain, and a "blind" sample collected during the 2007 MSL slow-motion field test in New Mexico. Each sample was distributed to the team for analysis to: (1) determine the nature and inventory of organic compounds, (2) measure the bulk carbon and nitrogen isotopic composition, (3) investigate elemental abundances, mineralogy and matrix, and (4) search for biological activity. The experimental results obtained from the ASAP Mars analog research consortium will be used to build a framework for understanding the biogeochemistry of martian analogs, help calibrate current spaceflight instrumentation, and enhance the scientific return from upcoming missions.

  18. Astrobiology Results from ILEWG EuroMoonMars Analogue Field Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foing, Bernard H.

    We give an update on the astrobiology results from a series of field research campaigns (ILEWG EuroMoonMars) in the extreme environment of the Utah desert. These are relevant to prepare future lunar landers and polar sample return missions, interpret Moon-Mars data (eg SMART1, LRO, Mars Express, MRO, MER, MSL), study habitability and astrobiology in Moon-Mars environments, or to test human-robotic surface EVA or base operations. In the frame of ILEWG EuroMoonMars campaigns (2009 to 2013) we deployed at Mars Desert Research station near Hanksville Utah, a suite of instruments and techniques [0, 1, 2, 9-11] including sample collection, context imaging from re-mote to local and microscale, drilling, spectrometers and life sensors. We analyzed how geological and geo-chemical evolution affected local parameters (mineralogy, organics content, environment variations) and the habitability and signature of organics and biota. Results: Among the important findings are the diversity in the composition of soil samples even when collected in close proximity, the low abundances of detectable PAHs and amino acids and the presence of biota of all three domains of life with significant heterogeneity. An extraordinary variety of putative extremophiles was observed [3,4,9]. A dominant factor seems to be soil porosity and lower clay-sized particle content [6-8]. A protocol was developed for sterile sampling, contamination issues, and the diagnostics of biodiversity via PCR and DGGE analysis in soils and rocks samples [10, 11]. We compare the 2009 campaign results [0-9] to new measurements from 2010-2013 campaigns relevant to: comparison between remote sensing and in-situ measurements; the study of minerals; the detection of organics and signs of life. We acknowledge team members and supporting institutes: B.H. Foing (1, 2, 6), C. Stoker (3), P. Ehrenfreund (4, 5), I. Rammos (2), L. Rodrigues (2), A. Svendsen (2), D. Oltheten (2), I. Schlacht (2), K. Nebergall (6), M. Battler (6, 7), H

  19. Industrial culture media optimization for acetrobutilic Fermentation Optimización de un medio de cultivo industrial para la fermentación acetobutilica (abe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ramos J.

    1999-12-01

    Full Text Available The industrial culture media for butanol-ethanol-acetone fermentation (ABE was optimized by experimental design. A butanol resistant mutant isolated from Clostridium acetobutylicum DSM 1732 was used. This mutant produced 15.5 g/1 of total solvents, 30% more than the wild strain solvent production. Mutant strain resists a concentration of 2,5% v/v meanwhile the type strain resists 1 % v/v butanol concentration. Molasses of sugar cane as carbon source were used. The molasses concentration was determined based on the necessary glucose concentration for producing 15 g/1 of butanol as limit product in the ABE fermentation. The nutrients were calculated in according lo literature reports and lo highest biomasse production on vegetative medium 3.8g/l. For determining which variables have significant effect on the total solvent production, the PLAKET-BURMAN method was used. The final concentrations of the culture medium were determined by EVOP-Simplex method. A liter of optimized industrial medium is composed by: molasses 130 g, biotin 4.0 mg, PAB A 3.0 mg, KH2PO41.8 g, yeast extract 3.0 g, minerals stock 4 ml and distilled water lo complete 1 liter; pH 6.1 before sterilization. Using this medium the total solvents production was 24,6 g/1. The production increment is equivalent lo 58,7%, compared lo the mutant strain before the medium was optimized. En el presente trabajo se optimizó un medio de cultivo industrial para la fermentación acetobutilica (ABE mediante la aplicación de diseño de experimentos. Se empleó una mutante espontánea resistente al butanol aislada de la cepa de Clostridium acetobutylicum DSM 1732 la cual tolera una concentración de butanol de 2.5% v/v. La mutante produce 15.5 g/1 de solventes totales que representan 30% más que la cepa silvestre. Para diseñar el medio se empleó como fuente de carbono, melazas de caña. Los nutrientes se calcularon de acuerdo con la máxima cantidad de biomasa obtenida en medio vegetativo (3

  20. The subsurface geology of Río Tinto: material examined during a simulated Mars drilling mission for the Mars Astrobiology Research and Technology Experiment (MARTE).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prieto-Ballesteros, Olga; Martínez-Frías, Jesús; Schutt, John; Sutter, Brad; Heldmann, Jennifer L; Bell, Mary Sue; Battler, Melissa; Cannon, Howard; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Stoker, Carol R

    2008-10-01

    The 2005 Mars Astrobiology Research and Technology Experiment (MARTE) project conducted a simulated 1-month Mars drilling mission in the Río Tinto district, Spain. Dry robotic drilling, core sampling, and biological and geological analytical technologies were collectively tested for the first time for potential use on Mars. Drilling and subsurface sampling and analytical technologies are being explored for Mars because the subsurface is the most likely place to find life on Mars. The objectives of this work are to describe drilling, sampling, and analytical procedures; present the geological analysis of core and borehole material; and examine lessons learned from the drilling simulation. Drilling occurred at an undisclosed location, causing the science team to rely only on mission data for geological and biological interpretations. Core and borehole imaging was used for micromorphological analysis of rock, targeting rock for biological analysis, and making decisions regarding the next day's drilling operations. Drilling reached 606 cm depth into poorly consolidated gossan that allowed only 35% of core recovery and contributed to borehole wall failure during drilling. Core material containing any indication of biology was sampled and analyzed in more detail for its confirmation. Despite the poorly consolidated nature of the subsurface gossan, dry drilling was able to retrieve useful core material for geological and biological analysis. Lessons learned from this drilling simulation can guide the development of dry drilling and subsurface geological and biological analytical technologies for future Mars drilling missions.

  1. Extremotolerance and resistance of lichens: comparative studies on five species used in astrobiological research II. Secondary lichen compounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meessen, J; Sánchez, F J; Sadowsky, A; de la Torre, R; Ott, S; de Vera, J-P

    2013-12-01

    Lichens, which are symbioses of a fungus and one or two photoautotrophs, frequently tolerate extreme environmental conditions. This makes them valuable model systems in astrobiological research to fathom the limits and limitations of eukaryotic symbioses. Various studies demonstrated the high resistance of selected extremotolerant lichens towards extreme, non-terrestrial abiotic factors including space exposure, hypervelocity impact simulations as well as space and Martian parameter simulations. This study focusses on the diverse set of secondary lichen compounds (SLCs) that act as photo- and UVR-protective substances. Five lichen species used in present-day astrobiological research were compared: Buellia frigida, Circinaria gyrosa, Rhizocarpon geographicum, Xanthoria elegans, and Pleopsidium chlorophanum. Detailed investigation of secondary substances including photosynthetic pigments was performed for whole lichen thalli but also for axenically cultivated mycobionts and photobionts by methods of UV/VIS-spectrophotometry and two types of high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Additionally, a set of chemical tests is presented to confirm the formation of melanic compounds in lichen and mycobiont samples. All investigated lichens reveal various sets of SLCs, except C. gyrosa where only melanin was putatively identified. Such studies will help to assess the contribution of SLCs on lichen extremotolerance, to understand the adaptation of lichens to prevalent abiotic stressors of the respective habitat, and to form a basis for interpreting recent and future astrobiological experiments. As most of the identified SLCs demonstrated a high capacity in absorbing UVR, they may also explain the high resistance of lichens towards non-terrestrial UVR.

  2. Extremotolerance and Resistance of Lichens: Comparative Studies on Five Species Used in Astrobiological Research II. Secondary Lichen Compounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meeßen, J.; Sánchez, F. J.; Sadowsky, A.; de la Torre, R.; Ott, S.; de Vera, J.-P.

    2013-12-01

    Lichens, which are symbioses of a fungus and one or two photoautotrophs, frequently tolerate extreme environmental conditions. This makes them valuable model systems in astrobiological research to fathom the limits and limitations of eukaryotic symbioses. Various studies demonstrated the high resistance of selected extremotolerant lichens towards extreme, non-terrestrial abiotic factors including space exposure, hypervelocity impact simulations as well as space and Martian parameter simulations. This study focusses on the diverse set of secondary lichen compounds (SLCs) that act as photo- and UVR-protective substances. Five lichen species used in present-day astrobiological research were compared: Buellia frigida, Circinaria gyrosa, Rhizocarpon geographicum, Xanthoria elegans, and Pleopsidium chlorophanum. Detailed investigation of secondary substances including photosynthetic pigments was performed for whole lichen thalli but also for axenically cultivated mycobionts and photobionts by methods of UV/VIS-spectrophotometry and two types of high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Additionally, a set of chemical tests is presented to confirm the formation of melanic compounds in lichen and mycobiont samples. All investigated lichens reveal various sets of SLCs, except C. gyrosa where only melanin was putatively identified. Such studies will help to assess the contribution of SLCs on lichen extremotolerance, to understand the adaptation of lichens to prevalent abiotic stressors of the respective habitat, and to form a basis for interpreting recent and future astrobiological experiments. As most of the identified SLCs demonstrated a high capacity in absorbing UVR, they may also explain the high resistance of lichens towards non-terrestrial UVR.

  3. Producción de Biobutanol mediante fermentación ABE a partir de suero lácteo. (Efecto de suplementar el medio de fermentación con nutrientes esenciales)

    OpenAIRE

    Díez Antolínez, Rebeca

    2013-01-01

    Este trabajo tiene como principal objetivo mejorar el rendimiento y la productividad de la fermentación ABE en un proceso discontinuo, empleando suero bruto desproteinizado suplementado con nutrientes esenciales como sustrato y la cepa C. beijerinckii NCIMB 8052, como catalizador. Pruebas preliminares empleando suero bruto desproteinizado reportaron pequeñas concentraciones de solventes y bajas productividades y rendimientos. La suplementación del sustrato con concentraciones limitadas de nut...

  4. Astrobiology Research on Board of the International Space Station as part of the European Space Exploration Initiative

    OpenAIRE

    Horneck, Gerda; Horneck, Gerda

    2013-01-01

    会議情報: 国際アストロバイオロジーワークショップ2013(第6回日本アストロバイオロジーネットワーク年次研究会)(2013年11月28日-30日. 宇宙航空研究開発機構宇宙科学研究所(JAXA)(ISAS)), 相模原市, 神奈川県

  5. Nitrogen Concentrations and Isotopic Compositions of Seafloor-Altered Terrestrial Basaltic Glass: Implications for Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banerjee, N.R.; Izawa, M.R.M.; Kobayashi, K.; Lazzeri, K.; Ranieri, L.A.; Nakamura, E.

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Observed enrichments of N (and the δ15N of this N) in volcanic glasses altered on Earth's modern and ancient seafloor are relevant in considerations of modern global N subduction fluxes and ancient life on Earth, and similarly altered glasses on Mars and other extraterrestrial bodies could serve as valuable tracers of biogeochemical processes. Palagonitized glasses and whole-rock samples of volcanic rocks on the modern seafloor (ODP Site 1256D) contain 3–18 ppm N with δ15Nair values of up to +4.5‰. Variably altered glasses from Mesozoic ophiolites (Troodos, Cyprus; Stonyford volcanics, USA) contain 2–53 ppm N with δ15N of −6.3 to +7‰. All of the more altered glasses have N concentrations higher than those of fresh volcanic glass (for MORB, smectite, illite) in both the palagonitized cracks and the microtubules. These phyllosilicates (particularly illite), and possibly also zeolites, are the likely hosts for N in these glasses. Key Words: Nitrogen—Nitrogen isotope—Palagonite—Volcanic glass—Mars. Astrobiology 18, 330–342. PMID:29106312

  6. Resistance of Microorganisms to Extreme Environmental Conditions and Its Contribution to Astrobiology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pabulo Henrique Rampelotto

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available In the last decades, substantial changes have occurred regarding what scientists consider the limits of habitable environmental conditions. For every extreme environmental condition investigated, a variety of microorganisms have shown that not only can they tolerate these conditions, but that they also often require these extreme conditions for survival. Microbes can return to life even after hundreds of millions of years. Furthermore, a variety of studies demonstrate that microorganisms can survive under extreme conditions, such as ultracentrifugation, hypervelocity, shock pressure, high temperature variations, vacuums, and different ultraviolet and ionizing radiation intensities, which simulate the conditions that microbes could experience during the ejection from one planet, the journey through space, as well as the impact in another planet. With these discoveries, our knowledge about the biosphere has grown and the putative boundaries of life have expanded. The present work examines the recent discoveries and the principal advances concerning the resistance of microorganisms to extreme environmental conditions, and analyzes its contributions to the development of the main themes of astrobiology: the origins of life, the search for extraterrestrial life, and the dispersion of life in the Universe.

  7. The importance of the Maillard-metal complexes and their silicates in astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liesch, Patrick J.; Kolb, Vera M.

    2007-09-01

    The Maillard reaction occurs when sugars and amino acids are mixed together in the solid state or in the aqueous solution. Since both amino acids and sugar-like compounds are found on meteorites, we hypothesized that they would also undergo the Maillard reaction. Our recent work supports this idea. We have shown previously that the water-insoluble Maillard products have substantial similarities with the insoluble organic materials from the meteorites. The Maillard organic materials are also part of the desert varnish on Earth, which is a dark, shiny, hard rock coating that contains iron and manganese and is glazed in silicate. Rocks that are similar in appearance to the desert varnish have been observed on the Martian surface. They may also contain the organic materials. We have undertaken study of the interactions between the Maillard products, iron and other metals, and silicates, to elucidate the role of the Maillard products in the chemistry of desert varnish and meteorites. Specifically, we have synthesized a series of the Maillard-metal complexes, and have tested their reactivity towards silicates. We have studied the properties of these Maillard-metal-silicate products by the IR spectroscopy. The astrobiological potential of the Maillard-metal complexes is assessed.

  8. A Statistical Approach to Illustrate the Challenge of Astrobiology for Public Outreach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frédéric Foucher

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available In this study, we attempt to illustrate the competition that constitutes the main challenge of astrobiology, namely the competition between the probability of extraterrestrial life and its detectability. To illustrate this fact, we propose a simple statistical approach based on our knowledge of the Universe and the Milky Way, the Solar System, and the evolution of life on Earth permitting us to obtain the order of magnitude of the distance between Earth and bodies inhabited by more or less evolved past or present life forms, and the consequences of this probability for the detection of associated biosignatures. We thus show that the probability of the existence of evolved extraterrestrial forms of life increases with distance from the Earth while, at the same time, the number of detectable biosignatures decreases due to technical and physical limitations. This approach allows us to easily explain to the general public why it is very improbable to detect a signal of extraterrestrial intelligence while it is justified to launch space probes dedicated to the search for microbial life in the Solar System.

  9. EXPOSE-R2: The Astrobiological ESA Mission on Board of the International Space Station

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elke Rabbow

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available On July 23, 2014, the Progress cargo spacecraft 56P was launched from Baikonur to the International Space Station (ISS, carrying EXPOSE-R2, the third ESA (European Space Agency EXPOSE facility, the second EXPOSE on the outside platform of the Russian Zvezda module, with four international astrobiological experiments into space. More than 600 biological samples of archaea, bacteria (as biofilms and in planktonic form, lichens, fungi, plant seeds, triops eggs, mosses and 150 samples of organic compounds were exposed to the harsh space environment and to parameters similar to those on the Mars surface. Radiation dosimeters distributed over the whole facility complemented the scientific payload. Three extravehicular activities later the chemical samples were returned to Earth on March 2, 2016, with Soyuz 44S, having spent 588 days in space. The biological samples arrived back later, on June 18, 2016, with 45S, after a total duration in space of 531 days. The exposure of the samples to Low Earth Orbit vacuum lasted for 531 days and was divided in two parts: protected against solar irradiation during the first 62 days, followed by exposure to solar radiation during the subsequent 469 days. In parallel to the space mission, a Mission Ground Reference (MGR experiment with a flight identical Hardware and a complete flight identical set of samples was performed at the premises of DLR (German Aerospace Center in Cologne by MUSC (Microgravity User Support Center, according to the mission data either downloaded from the ISS (temperature data, facility status, inner pressure status or provided by RedShift Design and Engineering BVBA, Belgium (calculated ultra violet radiation fluence data. In this paper, the EXPOSE-R2 facility, the experimental samples, mission parameters, environmental parameters, and the overall mission and MGR sequences are described, building the background for the research papers of the individual experiments, their analysis and results.

  10. The Lost City Hydrothermal Field: A Spectroscopic and Astrobiological Analogue for Nili Fossae, Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amador, Elena S; Bandfield, Joshua L; Brazelton, William J; Kelley, Deborah

    2017-11-01

    Low-temperature serpentinization is a critical process with respect to Earth's habitability and the Solar System. Exothermic serpentinization reactions commonly produce hydrogen as a direct by-product and typically produce short-chained organic compounds indirectly. Here, we present the spectral and mineralogical variability in rocks from the serpentine-driven Lost City Hydrothermal Field on Earth and the olivine-rich region of Nili Fossae on Mars. Near- and thermal-infrared spectral measurements were made from a suite of Lost City rocks at wavelengths similar to those for instruments collecting measurements of the martian surface. Results from Lost City show a spectrally distinguishable suite of Mg-rich serpentine, Ca carbonates, talc, and amphibole minerals. Aggregated detections of low-grade metamorphic minerals in rocks from Nili Fossae were mapped and yielded a previously undetected serpentine exposure in the region. Direct comparison of the two spectral suites indicates similar mineralogy at both Lost City and in the Noachian (4-3.7 Ga) bedrock of Nili Fossae, Mars. Based on mapping of these spectral phases, the implied mineralogical suite appears to be extensive across the region. These results suggest that serpentinization was once an active process, indicating that water and energy sources were available, as well as a means for prebiotic chemistry during a time period when life was first emerging on Earth. Although the mineralogical assemblages identified on Mars are unlikely to be directly analogous to rocks that underlie the Lost City Hydrothermal Field, related geochemical processes (and associated sources of biologically accessible energy) were once present in the subsurface, making Nili Fossae a compelling candidate for a once-habitable environment on Mars. Key Words: Mars-Habitability-Serpentinization-Analogue. Astrobiology 17, 1138-1160.

  11. The Mojave Desert: A Martian Analog Site for Future Astrobiology Themed Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salas, E.; Abbey, W.; Bhartia, R.; Beegle, L. W.

    2011-01-01

    Astrobiological interest in Mars is highlighted by evidence that Mars was once warm enough to have liquid water present on its surface long enough to create geologic formations that could only exist in the presense of extended fluvial periods. These periods existed at the same time life on Earth arose. If life began on Mars as well during this period, it is reasonable to assume it may have adapted to the subsurface as environments at the surface changed into the inhospitable state we find today. If the next series of Mars missions (Mars Science Laboratory, the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter proposed for launch in 2016, and potential near surface sample return) fail to discover either extinct or extant life on Mars, a subsurface mission would be necessary to attempt to "close the book" on the existence of martian life. Mars is much colder and drier than Earth, with a very low pressure CO2 environment and no obvious habitats. Terrestrial regions with limited precipitation, and hence reduced active biota, are some of the best martian low to mid latitude analogs to be found on Earth, be they the Antarctic dry valleys, the Atacama or Mojave Deserts. The Mojave Desert/Death Valley region is considered a Mars analog site by the Terrestrial Analogs Panel of the NSF-sponsored decadal survey; a field guide was even developed and a workshop was held on its applicability as a Mars analog. This region has received a great deal of attention due to its accessibility and the variety of landforms and processes observed relevant to martian studies.

  12. Science goals and mission concept for the future exploration of Titan and Enceladus

    OpenAIRE

    Tobie, G.; Teanby, N.A.; Coustenis, A.; Jaumann, R.; Raulin, F; Schmidt, J.; Carrasco, N.; Coates, A.J.; Cordier, D.; de Kok, Remco; Geppert, W.D.; Lebreton, J.-P.; Lefevre, A.; Livengood, T.A.; Mandt, K.E.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Saturn?s moons, Titan and Enceladus, are two of the Solar System?s most enigmatic bodies and are prime targets for future space exploration. Titan provides an analogue for many processes relevant to the Earth, more generally to outer Solar System bodies, and a growing host of newly discovered icy exoplanets. Processes represented include atmospheric dynamics, complex organic chemistry, meteorological cycles (with methane as a working fluid), astrobiology, surface liquids and lakes, g...

  13. Mars exploration program analysis group goal one: determine if life ever arose on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoehler, Tori M; Westall, Frances

    2010-11-01

    The Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group (MEPAG) maintains a standing document that articulates scientific community goals, objectives, and priorities for mission-enabled Mars science. Each of the goals articulated within the document is periodically revisited and updated. The astrobiology-related Goal One, "Determine if life ever arose on Mars," has recently undergone such revision. The finalized revision, which appears in the version of the MEPAG Goals Document posted on September 24, 2010, is presented here.

  14. Astronomía y Astrobiología con internet : recursos informáticos y material multimedia interactivo

    OpenAIRE

    Ruiz Rey, Francisco José

    2006-01-01

    El artículo de Francisco José Ruiz Rey presenta información sobre diversos recursos didácticos de Astronomía y Astrobiología disponibles en Internet. Previamente, el autor hace una reflexión sobre Internet como un elemento que favorece el aprendizaje significativo constructivo y que modifica el patrón de escuela tradicional que requiere la presencia física del profesor y de los alumnos. Partiendo de esta reflexión, Francisco José Ruiz ofrece una selección amplia de sitios Web comentados divid...

  15. Factor structure of the arthritis body experience scale (ABES) in a U.S. population of people with osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), fibromyalgia (FM) and other rheumatic conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyington, J E A; Devellis, R; Shreffler, J; Schoster, B; Callahan, L F

    2008-01-01

    To examine the psychometric properties of the Arthritis Body Experience Scale (ABES) in a US sample of people with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia and other rheumatic conditions. The ABES, with the scoring direction modified, was phone-administered to 937 individuals who self-identified as having one or more arthritis conditions based on a validated, US, national survey assessment tool. Descriptive statistics of demographic variables and factor analysis of scale items were conducted. Scale dimensionality was assessed using principal component analysis (PCA) with oblique rotation. Criteria for assessing factors were eigenvalues > 1, visual assessment of scree plot, and structure and pattern matrices. The predominantly female (74.2%) and Caucasian (79.9%) sample had a mean age of 61.0 ± 13.1 years, and a mean BMI of 30.2 ± 7.1. Major arthritis conditions reported were rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia. A three-factor structure with cronbach alpha values of .84, .85 and .53 was elicited, and accounted for 72% of the variance. Compared to the two-factor structure evidenced by the original ABES scale in a sample of UK adults, the data from this sample evidenced a three-factor structure with higher variance. The third factor's cronbach alpha of .53 was low and could be improved by the addition of salient questions derived from further qualitative interviews with patients with arthritis and other rheumatic conditions and from current literature findings. The observed psychometrics indicate the scale usefully assesses body image in populations with arthritis and related conditions. However, further testing and refinement is needed to determine its utility in clinical and other settings.

  16. Enhancing a Person, Enhancing a Civilization: A Research Program at the Intersection of Bioethics, Future Studies, and Astrobiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ćirković, Milan M

    2017-07-01

    There are manifold intriguing issues located within largely unexplored borderlands of bioethics, future studies (including global risk analysis), and astrobiology. Human enhancement has for quite some time been among the foci of bioethical debates, but the same cannot be said about its global, transgenerational, and even cosmological consequences. In recent years, discussions of posthuman and, in general terms, postbiological civilization(s) have slowly gained a measure of academic respect, in parallel with the renewed interest in the entire field of future studies and the great strides made in understanding of the origin and evolution of life and intelligence in their widest, cosmic context. These developments promise much deeper synergic answers to questions regarding the long-term future of enhancement: how far can it go? Is human enhancement a further step toward building a true postbiological civilization? Should we actively participate and help shape this process? Is the future of humanity "typical" in the same Copernican sense as our location in space and time is typical in the galaxy, and if so, can we derive important insights about the evolutionary pathways of postbiological evolution from astrobiological and Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence (SETI) studies? These and similar questions could be understood as parts of a possible unifying research program attempting to connect cultural and moral evolution with what we know and understand about their cosmological and biological counterparts.

  17. Establishment of a rearing system of the extremotolerant tardigrade Ramazzottius varieornatus: a new model animal for astrobiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horikawa, Daiki D; Kunieda, Takekazu; Abe, Wataru; Watanabe, Masahiko; Nakahara, Yuichi; Yukuhiro, Fumiko; Sakashita, Tetsuya; Hamada, Nobuyuki; Wada, Seiichi; Funayama, Tomoo; Katagiri, Chihiro; Kobayashi, Yasuhiko; Higashi, Seigo; Okuda, Takashi

    2008-06-01

    Studies on the ability of multicellular organisms to tolerate specific environmental extremes are relatively rare compared to those of unicellular microorganisms in extreme environments. Tardigrades are extremotolerant animals that can enter an ametabolic dry state called anhydrobiosis and have high tolerance to a variety of extreme environmental conditions, particularly while in anhydrobiosis. Although tardigrades have been expected to be a potential model animal for astrobiological studies due to their excellent anhydrobiotic and extremotolerant abilities, few studies of tolerance with cultured tardigrades have been reported, possibly due to the absence of a model species that can be easily maintained under rearing conditions. We report the successful rearing of the herbivorous tardigrade, Ramazzottius varieornatus, by supplying the green alga Chlorella vulgaris as food. The life span was 35 +/- 16.4 d, deposited eggs required 5.7 +/- 1.1 d to hatch, and animals began to deposit eggs 9 d after hatching. The reared individuals of this species had an anhydrobiotic capacity throughout their life cycle in egg, juvenile, and adult stages. Furthermore, the reared adults in an anhydrobiotic state were tolerant of temperatures of 90 degrees C and -196 degrees C, and exposure to 99.8% acetonitrile or irradiation with 4000 Gy (4)He ions. Based on their life history traits and tolerance to extreme stresses, R. varieornatus may be a suitable model for astrobiological studies of multicellular organisms.

  18. أور في زمـن المـــلك (آبـي _ سيـن 2028 – 2004 ق.م Or in the time of King (Abe _ Sen 2028 - 2004 BC.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmad Najee Sabba أحمد ناجي سبع

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The king Abe Sen is considered (2028 - 2004 the fifth and last king of Third Dynasty of Ur, and sources indicate cuneiform he was crowned king on the throne of the state of Ur III in the tenth month of the ninth year of the rule of his father, King Chusein (2037 - 2029 BC., And indicate sources also said that he was young when he was crowned on the throne. The sources said that some of the kings belonging to the authority of Ur III has rushed glorifying King Abe O, where raises sources cuneiform to the existence of a number of texts which concluded in the name of King Abe Sen texts still dated for years to rule Chusein, and this was confirmed by one of the texts that go back the Kododo writer son of Uma governor.

  19. Planetary exploration and science recent results and advances

    CERN Document Server

    Jin, Shuanggen; Ip, Wing-Huen

    2014-01-01

    This contributed monograph is the first work to present the latest results and findings on the new topic and hot field of planetary exploration and sciences, e.g., lunar surface iron content and mare orientale basalts, Earth's gravity field, Martian radar exploration, crater recognition, ionosphere and astrobiology, Comet ionosphere, exoplanetary atmospheres and planet formation in binaries. By providing detailed theory and examples, this book helps readers to quickly familiarize themselves with the field. In addition, it offers a special section on next-generation planetary exploration, which opens a new landscape for future exploration plans and missions. Prof. Shuanggen Jin works at the Shanghai Astronomical Observatory, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China. Dr. Nader Haghighipour works at the University of Hawaii-Manoa, USA. Prof. Wing-Huen Ip works at the National Central University, Taiwan.

  20. Lunar and Planetary Science XXXV: Astrobiology Stew: Pinch of Microbes, Smidgen of UV, Touch of Organics, and Dash of Meteorites

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    The session Astrobiology Stew: Pinch of Microbes, Smidgen of UV, Touch of Organics, and Dash of Meteorites includes the following topics: 1) Investigating the Impact of UV Radiation on High-Altitude Shallow Lake Habitats, Life Diversity, and Life Survival Strategies: Clues for Mars' Past Habitability Potential? 2) An Analysis of Potential Photosynthetic Life on Mars; 3) Radiation Inactivation of Bacterial spores on Mars; 4) Hydrophobic Surfaces of Spacecraft Components Enhance the Aggregation of Microorganisms and May Lead to Higher Survival Rates of Bacteria on Mars Landers; 5) Optical Detection of Organic Chemical Biosignatures at Hydrothermal Vents; 6) Signs of Life in Meridiani Planum-What Might Opportunity See (or Miss)? 7) Isolation of PUrines and Pyrimidines from the Murchison Meteorite Using Sublimation; and 8) Relative Amino Acid Composition of CM1 Carbonaceous Chondrites.

  1. The Coevolution of Life and Environment on Mars: An Ecosystem Perspective on the Robotic Exploration of Biosignatures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabrol, Nathalie A

    2018-01-01

    Earth's biological and environmental evolution are intertwined and inseparable. This coevolution has become a fundamental concept in astrobiology and is key to the search for life beyond our planet. In the case of Mars, whether a coevolution took place is unknown, but analyzing the factors at play shows the uniqueness of each planetary experiment regardless of similarities. Early Earth and early Mars shared traits. However, biological processes on Mars, if any, would have had to proceed within the distinctive context of an irreversible atmospheric collapse, greater climate variability, and specific planetary characteristics. In that, Mars is an important test bed for comparing the effects of a unique set of spatiotemporal changes on an Earth-like, yet different, planet. Many questions remain unanswered about Mars' early environment. Nevertheless, existing data sets provide a foundation for an intellectual framework where notional coevolution models can be explored. In this framework, the focus is shifted from planetary-scale habitability to the prospect of habitats, microbial ecotones, pathways to biological dispersal, biomass repositories, and their meaning for exploration. Critically, as we search for biosignatures, this focus demonstrates the importance of starting to think of early Mars as a biosphere and vigorously integrating an ecosystem approach to landing site selection and exploration. Key Words: Astrobiology-Biosignatures-Coevolution of Earth and life-Mars. Astrobiology 18, 1-27.

  2. NASA Virtual Institutes: International Bridges for Space Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Gregory K.

    2016-01-01

    NASA created the first virtual institute, the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI), in 2009 with an aim toward bringing together geographically disparate and multidisciplinary teams toward the goal of answering broad questions in the then-new discipline of astrobiology. With the success of the virtual institute model, NASA then created the NASA Lunar Science Institute (NLSI) in 2008 to address questions of science and human exploration of the Moon, and then the NASA Aeronautics Research Institute (NARI) in 2012 which addresses key questions in the development of aeronautics technologies. With the broadening of NASA's human exploration targets to include Near Earth Asteroids and the moons of Mars as well as the Moon, the NLSI morphed into the Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI) in 2012. SSERVI funds domestic research teams to address broad questions at the intersection of science and human exploration, with the underlying principle that science enables human exploration, and human exploration enables science. Nine domestic teams were funded in 2014 for a five-year period to address a variety of different topics, and nine international partners (with more to come) also work with the U.S. teams on a variety of topics of mutual interest. The result is a robust and productive research infrastructure that is not only scientifically productive but can respond to strategic topics of domestic and international interest, and which develops a new generation of researchers. This is all accomplished with the aid of virtual collaboration technologies which enable scientific research at a distance. The virtual institute model is widely applicable to a range of space science and exploration problems.

  3. A criação da Seção Pelotense da Associação Brasileira de Educação (ABE e suas primeiras ações no campo educacional

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aliana Anghinoni Cardoso, Eliane Teresinha Peres

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Resumo O presente artigo expõe alguns resultados da pesquisa O Movimento da Escola Nova e seus desdobramentos na Região Sul do Rio Grande do Sul, desenvolvida junto ao Centro de Estudos e Investigações em História da Educação (CEIHE-FaE/UFPel. Neste trabalho enfocamos o processo de criação da Seção Pelotense da ABE, em 1926, e suas principais ações em âmbito local. Baseadas em notícias veiculadas no jornal pelotense Diário Popular, apresentamos alguns dados que mostram a fase de estruturação e o começo da atuação da Sessão Pelotense da ABE. Em seguida analisamos a participação da Seção Pelotense na 1ª Conferência Nacional de Educação realizada em Curitiba, em 1927. Palavras-chave: Escola Nova, Associação Brasileira de Educação, Associação Pelotense de Educação, 1ª Conferência Nacional de Educação.   Abstact This article exposes some results about the research " the movement of the New School and its consequences on South region of Rio Grande do Sul, developed in conjunction with the Center of Studies and Investigation on History’s education (CEIHE – Fae/Ufpel. In this work we emphasized the process of creation of the ABE´S Pelotas session, in 1926, and its main actions in the region. Based on news published on the town’s newspaper called Diario Popular, at firstwe present some data that show the structuration stage and the beginning of the actuation of the Pelotas Session of the ABE. Next that we analyzed the participation of Pelotas Session in the1st Education’s National Conference happened in Curitiba, at 1927. Keywords: New School, Education’s Brazilian Association, Education’s Pelotas Association, 1st Education’s National Conference.

  4. Artificial Life as an Aid to Astrobiology: Testing Life Seeking Techniques

    OpenAIRE

    Centler, F.; Dittrich, P.; Ku, L.; Matsumaru, N.; Pfaffmann, J.; Zauner, K.-P.

    2003-01-01

    Searching for signatures of fossil or present life in our solar system requires autonomous devices capable of investigating remote locations with limited assistance from earth. Here, we use an artificial chemistry model to create spatially complex chemical environments. An autonomous experimentation technique based on evolutionary computation is then employed to explore these environments with the aim of discovering the chemical signature of small patches of biota present in the simulation sp...

  5. Planetary protection in the framework of the Aurora exploration program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kminek, G.

    The Aurora Exploration Program will give ESA new responsibilities in the field of planetary protection. Until now, ESA had only limited exposure to planetary protection from its own missions. With the proposed ExoMars and MSR missions, however, ESA will enter the realm of the highest planetary protection categories. As a consequence, the Aurora Exploration Program has initiated a number of activities in the field of planetary protection. The first and most important step was to establish a Planetary Protection Working Group (PPWG) that is advising the Exploration Program Advisory Committee (EPAC) on all matters concerning planetary protection. The main task of the PPWG is to provide recommendations regarding: Planetary protection for robotic missions to Mars; Planetary protection for a potential human mission to Mars; Review/evaluate standards & procedures for planetary protection; Identify research needs in the field of planetary protection. As a result of the PPWG deliberations, a number of activities have been initiated: Evaluation of the Microbial Diversity in SC Facilities; Working paper on legal issues of planetary protection and astrobiology; Feasibility study on a Mars Sample Return Containment Facility; Research activities on sterilization procedures; Training course on planetary protection (May, 2004); Workshop on sterilization techniques (fall 2004). In parallel to the PPWG, the Aurora Exploration Program has established an Ethical Working Group (EWG). This working group will address ethical issues related to astrobiology, planetary protection, and manned interplanetary missions. The recommendations of the working groups and the results of the R&D activities form the basis for defining planetary protection specification for Aurora mission studies, and for proposing modification and new inputs to the COSPAR planetary protection policy. Close cooperation and free exchange of relevant information with the NASA planetary protection program is strongly

  6. Assessing Student Attitudes Towards Science in an Adaptive Online Astrobiology Course: Comparing Online and On-Campus Undergraduates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buxner, S.; Perera, V.; Mead, C.; Horodyskyj, L.; Semken, S. C.; Lopatto, D.; Anbar, A. D.

    2016-12-01

    General-education Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) courses are considered essential to a college education, in part, to train students to think critically and to make informed decisions about complex scientific issues such as climate change and public health. Therefore, the goals of these STEM courses go beyond content knowledge to include generating positive attitudes towards science, developing competence in evaluating scientific information in everyday life, and understanding the nature of science. The Classroom Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) survey is frequently used to measure these attitudes, but it has not previously been used in an online, general education course. In this work, we administered the CURE survey for three semesters (N = 774) before and after completion of an online astrobiology course called Habitable Worlds. We compare students taking this course as part of fully-online degree programs (o-course) with those taking it as part of traditional undergraduate programs (i-course). More females and older students were among the o-course group, while overall the course had more white students than the Arizona State University average. Mean course grades were similar between the two groups but attitudes toward science differred significantly. O-course students began the course with more positive attitudes than i-course students, and o-course students also showed more positive changes at the end of the course. These differences suggest lesser intrinsic motivation among the i-course students. Additionally, pre-course attitudes correlated with final course grade for o-course students, but not for i-course students, which implies that success among o-course students is influenced by different factors than i-course students. Thus, effective student support strategies may differ for online-only students. Future work will include student interviews to better calibrate the CURE survey to online science courses.

  7. Assessing Attitudes Towards Science During an Adaptive Online Astrobiology Course: Comparing Online and On-Campus Undergraduates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perera, Viranga; Mead, Chris; Buxner, Sanlyn; Horodyskyj, Lev; Semken, Steven; Lopatto, David; Anbar, Ariel

    2016-10-01

    General-education Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) courses are accepted as essential to a college education. An often cited reason is to train a scientifically literate populace who can think critically and make informed decisions about complex issues such as climate change, health care, and atomic energy. Goals of these STEM courses, therefore, go beyond content knowledge to include generating positive attitudes towards science, developing competence in evaluating scientific information in everyday life and understanding the nature of science. To gauge if such non-content learning outcomes are being met in our course, an online astrobiology course called Habitable Worlds, we administered the Classroom Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) survey to students. The survey was administered before and after completion of the course for three semesters starting with the Fall 2014 semester and ending with the Fall 2015 semester (N = 774). A factor analysis indicated three factors on attitudes: toward science education, toward the interconnectedness of science with non-science fields, and toward the nature of science. Here we present some differences between students enrolled in online degree programs (o-course) and those enrolled in traditional undergraduate programs (i-course). While mean course grades were similar, changes in attitudes toward science differ significantly between o-course and i-course students. The o-course students began the course with more positive attitudes across all three factors than the i-course students. Their attitudes toward science education improved during the course, while the i-course students showed no change. Attitudes toward the other two factors declined in both populations during the course, but declines were smaller among o-course students. These differences may indicate lesser intrinsic motivation among the i-course students. The CURE survey has not been used before in an online course; therefore, we will

  8. Prospects for nasa s astrobiology mission Leonid Mac and ground-based observations during the upcoming 2002 Leonid storms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenniskens, P.; Schmidt, G.

    Meteors represent a unique pathway from organic matter in space to prebiotic molecules on Earth. In the process, the organic material is changed in ways that are not easily simulated in the laboratory. An essential step to knowing what molecules may have been delivered from space at the time of the origin of life is understanding the physical conditions in the meteor phenomenon and to trace the fate of organic compounds in real-live meteors. This was the objective of the NASA and USAF sponsored Leonid Multi-Instrument Aircraft Campaign, wth successful missionsi during the strong Leonid showers of November 1998, 1999 and 2001. The research aircraft offer an international team of observers the opportunity to be above clouds and scattered Moon light and to be at the right place, at the right time. One further campaign is being prepared for a mission on November 19, 2002, when the Leonid meteor shower is expected to peak twice in succession, at rates of around ZHR = 4000/hr and 5000/hr, which will be best seen over western Europe and the America's, respectively. This presentation serves to encourage ground-based observations for observers at those locations. To that purpose, a summary will be given of the results to date, with emphasis on the progress made during the spectacular storms of 2001. We will briefly outline the new meteor model that has evolved and our new understanding of persistent emissions and the fate of meteoric matter after deposition. The new data have answered some questions, but also raised numerous issues that need to be addressed further. Finally, past Leonid storms have proven ideal to involve the public in astrobiology and provided a trilling experience, examples of which will be given. The 2002 Leonid storms are expected to be the last until 2099.

  9. Astrobiology Training in Lava Tubes (ATiLT): Characterizing coralloid speleothems in basaltic lava tubes as a Mars analogue

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ni, J.; Leveille, R. J.; Douglas, P.

    2017-12-01

    Coralloid speleothems or cave corals are small mineralised nodes that can take a variety of forms, and which develop through groundwater seepage and water-rock interaction in caves. They are found commonly on Earth in a plethora of caves, including lava tubes. Since lava tubes have been identified on the surface of Mars from remotely sensed images, there has been interest in studying Earth's lava tube systems as an analogue for understanding Martian lava environments. If cave minerals were found on Mars, they could indicate past or present water-rock interaction in the Martian subsurface. Martian lava tubes could also provide insights into habitable subsurface environments as well as conditions favourable for the synthesis and preservation of biosignatures. One of the aims of the Astrobiology Training in Lava Tubes (ATiLT) project is to analyze biosignatures and paleoenvironmental indicators in secondary cave minerals, which will be looked at in-situ and compared to collected field samples. In this study, secondary mineralization in lava cave systems from Lava Beds National Monument, CA is examined. In the field, coralloid speleothems have been observed growing on all surfaces of the caves, including cave ceilings, floors, walls and overhangs. They are also observed growing adjacent to biofilms, which sometimes fill in the cracks of the coralloid nodes. Preliminary results show the presence of opal, calcite, quartz and other minor minerals in the speleothems. This study seeks to understand the formation mechanism and source of these secondary minerals, as well as determine their possible relation to the biofilms. This will be done through the analysis of the water chemistry, isotope geochemistry and microscale mineralogy.

  10. Evaluación de la enseñanza de la Astrobiología en Secundaria: análisis de libros de texto y opiniones de profesores en formación

    OpenAIRE

    Oreiro Rey, Raquel; Solbes Matarredona, Jordi

    2015-01-01

    En este trabajo se presenta una evaluación diagnóstica de la enseñanza de la Astrobiología mediante el análisis de libros de texto de las asignaturas de Biología y Geología de 4º de la ESO y Ciencias para el Mundo Contemporáneo de 1º de Bachillerato. El objetivo principal es comprobar si la Astrobiología se ha incorporado adecuadamente en la enseñanza secundaria. Se muestran, además, las opiniones de un grupo de profesores en formación sobre la enseñanza de la Astrobiología. In this work, ...

  11. Exploration Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilburn, D.R.; Stanley, K.A.

    2013-01-01

    This summary of international mineral exploration activities for 2012 draws upon information from industry sources, published literature and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) specialists. The summary provides data on exploration budgets by region and mineral commodity, identifies significant mineral discoveries and areas of mineral exploration, discusses government programs affecting the mineral exploration industry and presents analyses of exploration activities performed by the mineral industry. Three sources of information are reported and analyzed in this annual review of international exploration for 2012: 1) budgetary statistics expressed in U.S. nominal dollars provided by SNL Metals Economics Group (MEG) of Halifax, Nova Scotia; 2) regional and site-specific exploration activities that took place in 2012 as compiled by the USGS and 3) regional events including economic, social and political conditions that affected exploration activities, which were derived from published sources and unpublished discussions with USGS and industry specialists.

  12. Exploration technology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Roennevik, H.C. [Saga Petroleum A/S, Forus (Norway)

    1996-12-31

    The paper evaluates exploration technology. Topics discussed are: Visions; the subsurface challenge; the creative tension; the exploration process; seismic; geology; organic geochemistry; seismic resolution; integration; drilling; value creation. 4 refs., 22 figs.

  13. BASALT A: Basaltic Terrains in Idaho and Hawaii as Planetary Analogs for Mars Geology and Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Scott S.; Haberle, Christopher W.; Nawotniak, Shannon E. Kobs; Sehlke, Alexander; Garry, W. Brent; Elphic, Richard C.; Payler, Sam J.; Stevens, Adam H.; Cockell, Charles S.; Brady, Allyson L.; hide

    2018-01-01

    Assessments of field research target regions are described within two notably basaltic geologic provinces as Earth analogs to Mars. Regions within the eastern Snake River Plain of Idaho and the Big Island of Hawaii, USA, provinces that represent analogs of present-day and early Mars, respectively, were evaluated on the basis of geologic settings, rock lithology and geochemistry, rock alteration, and climate. Each of these factors provide rationale for the selection of specific targets for field research in five analog target regions: (1) Big Craters and (2) Highway lava flows at Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, Idaho; and (3) Mauna Ulu low shield, (4) Kilauea Iki lava lake and (5) Kilauea caldera in the Kilauea Volcano summit region and the East Rift Zone of Hawaii. Our evaluation of compositional and textural differences, as well as the effects of syn- and post-eruptive rock alteration, shows that the basaltic terrains in Idaho and Hawaii provide a way to characterize the geology and major geologic substrates that host biological activity of relevance to Mars exploration. This work provides the foundation to better understand the scientific questions related to the habitability of basaltic terrains, the rationale behind selecting analog field targets, and their applicability as analogs to Mars.

  14. Astrobiology's Central Dilemma: How can we detect Life if we cannot even Define it?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, B. C.

    2001-11-01

    Culling and consolidating from a collection of 102 attributes asserted as properties of Life, and the numerous Definitions of Life which invoke them, a new definition is proposed. Analysis of the pathways to proving that any given entity, from micro-sample to planetary object, harbors one or more lifeforms provides strategies for the observations, experiments and detection approaches. These are necessarily varied because of the relative accessibility/inaccessibility of the samples themselves, for example, from Mars, Europa, the ancient Earth or extra-solar system planets. A two-tiered Definition of Life has been formulated, involving both Lifeform and Organism. Devising exploration strategies with a reasonable probability of success and acceptance should proceed along the steps needed for detection and verification of the minimal properties which define Life itself. Multiple approaches, such as high resolution remote spectroscopy for detection of biomarker gases, in situ demonstrations of energy utilization to performs functions such as anabolic or catabolic transformations, achievement of demonstrated reproduction through multi-condition incubations, and probes for macromolecular biochemicals which indicate information storage should be undertaken wherever possible, as should return of samples to terrestrial laboratories for more versatile, more sensitive and more definitive examinations. Use of control samples is paramount, as is detailed understanding of the chemistry and physics of the environment which constrains the activities and tracers being sought.

  15. Repository exploration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pentz, D.L.

    1984-01-01

    This paper discusses exploration objectives and requirements for a nuclear repository in the U.S.A. The importance of designing the exploration program to meet the system performance objectives is emphasized and some examples of the extent of exploration required before the License Application for Construction Authorization is granted are also discussed

  16. Atacama Desert: Determination of two new extremophilic microbial model systems for space exploration and astrobiology studies - data from a large-scale transect study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boy, Diana; Godoy, Roberto; Guggenberger, Georg; Möller, Ralf; Boy, Jens

    2017-04-01

    The hyper-arid region of Yungay in the Atacama Desert in Chile is believed to be the driest place on Earth thus harboring the most desiccation-resistant microorganisms. Hence the search for new extremophilic model organisms is traditionally limited to this rather narrow strip. However, it is not clear whether Yungay is indeed the most arid place, as this should be the one with the lowest soil organic carbon (SOC) stock and soil water (SW) content. Therefore we tested soil samples from a humidity-gradient transect with comparable sites (inclination, location in the rain shadow of the coastal mountain range, 100 km distance between the sites) spanning roughly 600 km in the Atacama Desert for SOC stocks and SW content. We found, that SOC stocks decreased with aridity from 25.5 to 2.1 kg m-2 cm-1, while the SW contents decreased at 5 of our sites and increased in the hyper-arid zone. To our surprise, we identified two sites located 100 km north and south of Yungay which had substantially lower (1.92 ± 0.73 kg m-2 cm-1) or slightly higher (2.39 ± 1.2 kg m-2 cm-1) SOC stocks than Yungay (2.21 ± 0.75 kg m-2 cm-1), but with 0.043 ± 0.03 g respectively 0.0033 ± 0.0016 g of water per 1 g of soil comparable or substantially lower SW contents, while Yungay has 0.043 ± 0.06 g. Thus we consider these sites to display different growth conditions and ecological niches compared to Yungay and therefore as promising candidate sites for the identification of new species of polyextremophilic radiation-resistant microorganisms, as the resistance against desiccation is paired with a distinct resistance to ionizing radiation due to same microbial DNA repair mechanisms. Soil samples were irradiated with high doses of gamma radiation up to 25 000 Gy. Surviving colonies were cultivated on a medium favoring the growth of Deinococcus-like species, currently the most radiation-resistant organisms on Earth, and their affiliation was determined using 16SrRNA next generation sequencing. Here, we discuss the hypothesis of ecological niching even at the most hyper-arid places of our planet on grounds of our recently identified sites - with implications for life-detection missions in hyper-arid Martian regolith.

  17. Mineralogy of Surface Serpentinite Outcrops in the Coast Range Ophiolite: Implications for the Deep Biosphere and Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mccann, A. R.; Cardace, D.; Carnevale, D.; Ehlmann, B. L.

    2011-12-01

    Range Ophiolite, along with aerial-view maps, which will be compared with imagery and data for recently confirmed serpentinite exposures in the Nili Fossae region of the Martian surface. A summary table of terrestrial microbes (and their metabolisms) detected in serpentinite groundwaters will be provided, to add specificity to candidate subterranean life forms on Mars, be they active presently or in the planet's history. Ehlmann et al. 2010. GRL 37:1-5 Schulte et al. 2006. Astrobiology 6(2):364-376

  18. Reviews in Modern Astronomy 28: From the First Quasars to Life-Bearing Planets - From Accretion Physics to Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berlepsch, Regina v.

    2016-07-01

    The current issue of AN is Volume 28 of the Reviews in Modern Astronomy and presents the Karl Schwarzschild Award Lecture, the Ludwig Bierman n Award Lecture and the Doctoral Thesis Award Lecture given at the 88th Annual International Scientific Meeting of the Astronomische Gesellschaft held in Kiel, Germany, September 14-18, 2015. It was the fifth time that Kiel hosted a meeting of the AG, the first one was in 1887. In 2015 the fall meeting was a part of the celebrations of the 350th anniversary of the Christiana Albertina University Kiel in 1665. For astronomers around the globe, the astrophysical group is well known for the Kieler Schule and its fundamental contributions to the physics of stellar atmospheres. Based on the work by Albrecht Unsöld during his tenure of 41 years as active researcher and lecturer (and many more after becoming emeritus), the quantitative analysis of stellar atmospheres and the reliable determination of chemical abundances is nowadays a cornerstone of modern astrophysics. Even more, it is of ground-laying importance for the whole field, from the characterization of exoplanets and their host stars to the properties of galaxies at cosmic dawn. The meeting was guided by the theme "From the First Quasars to Life-Bearing Planets -- From Accretion Physics to Astrobiology". The meeting was attended by almost 300 participants from around the world. The Karl Schwarzschild Medal 2015 of the Astronomische Gesellschaft was awarded to Professor Immo Appenzeller, Heidelberg. His lecture with the title "Astronomical technology -- the past and the future" opened the meeting. The talk presented by the Ludwig Biermann Award winner 2015, Dr. Ivan Minchev, Potsdam, dealt with the topic "Constraining the Milky Way assembly history with Galactic Archaeology". The Doctoral Thesis Award 2015 was awarded to Dr. Cornelia Müller (Würzburg). In her lecture she discussed the subject "Multiwavelength and parsec-scale properties of extragalactic Jets". The AG

  19. A Conspicuous Clay Ovoid in Nakhla: Evidence for Subsurface Hydrothermal Alteration on Mars with Implications for Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haigh, Sarah; Lyon, Ian

    2014-01-01

    layer of iron oxides/hydroxides. Carbonates, halite, and sulfates were deposited last within interstitial spaces and along fractures. Among three plausible competing hypotheses here, this particular abiotic scenario is considered to be the most reasonable explanation for the formation of the ovoid structure in Nakhla, and although compelling evidence for a biotic origin is lacking, it is evident that the martian subsurface contains niche environments where life could develop. Key Words: Biomorph—Clays—Search for life (biosignatures)—Martian meteorites—Hydrothermal systems. Astrobiology 14, 651–693. PMID:25046549

  20. Comparison of Historic Exploration with Contemporary Space Policy Suggests a Retheorisation of Settings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cokely, J.; Rankin, W.; Heinrich, P.; McAuliffe, M.

    The 2008 NASA Astrobiology Roadmap provides one way of theorising this developing field, a way which has become the normative model for the discipline: science-and scholarship-driven funding for space. By contrast, a novel re-evaluation of funding policies is undertaken in this article to reframe astrobiology, terraforming and associated space travel and research. Textual visualisation, discourse and numeric analytical methods, and value theory are applied to historical data and contemporary sources to re-investigate significant drivers and constraints on the mechanisms of enabling space exploration. Two data sets are identified and compared: the business objectives and outcomes of major 15th-17th century European joint-stock exploration and trading companies and a case study of a current space industry entrepreneur company. Comparison of these analyses suggests that viable funding policy drivers can exist outside the normative science and scholarship-driven roadmap. The two drivers identified in this study are (1) the intrinsic value of space as a territory to be experienced and enjoyed, not just studied, and (2) the instrumental, commercial value of exploiting these experiences by developing infrastructure and retail revenues. Filtering of these results also offers an investment rationale for companies operating in, or about to enter, the space business marketplace.

  1. Developing the "Lunar Vicinity" Scenario of the Global Exploration Roadmap

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, G.; Neal, C. R.; Crawford, I. A.; Ehrenfreund, P.

    2014-04-01

    The Global Exploration Roadmap (GER, [1]) has been developed by the International Space Exploration Coordination Group (ISECG - comprised of 14 space agencies) to define various pathways to getting humans beyond low Earth orbit and eventually to Mars. Such pathways include visiting asteroids or the Moon before going on to Mars. This document has been written at a very high level and many details are still to be determined. However, a number of important papers regarding international space exploration can form a basis for this document (e.g. [2,3]). In this presentation, we focus on developing the "Lunar Vicinity" scenario by adding detail via mapping a number of recent reports/documents into the GER. Precedence for this scenario is given by Szajnfarber et al. [4] who stated "We find that when international partners are considered endogenously, the argument for a "flexible path" approach is weakened substantially. This is because international contributions can make "Moon first" economically feasible". The documents highlighted here are in no way meant to be all encompassing and other documents can and should be added, (e.g., the JAXA Space Exploration Roadmap). This exercise is intended to demonstrate that existing documents can be mapped into the GER despite the major differences in granularity, and that this mapping is a way to promote broader national and international buy-in to the Lunar Vicinity scenario. The documents used here are: the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) Panel on Exploration report on developing a global space exploration program [5], the Strategic Knowledge Gaps (SKGs) report from the Lunar Exploration Analysis Group (LEAG) [6], the Lunar Exploration Roadmap developed by LEAG [7], the National Research Council report Scientific Context for the Exploration of the Moon (SCEM) [8], the scientific rationale for resuming lunar surface exploration [9], the astrobiological benefits of human space exploration [9,10].

  2. Strategic Map for Exploring the Ocean-World Enceladus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherwood, Brent

    2015-01-01

    Among the many "ocean worlds" of our solar system, Enceladus appears unique in its combination of astrobiologically relevant, exploration-worthy attributes: extensive liquid-water ocean with high-temperature hydrothermal activity, containing salts and organics expressed predictably into space. The Enceladus south polar plume allows direct access to telltale molecules, ions, isotopes, and potential cytofragments in space. Plume mass spectroscopy and sample return, in situ investigation of surface fallback deposits, direct vent exploration, and eventually oceanographic exploration can all be envisioned. However, building consensus to fund such ambitious exploration hinges on acquiring key new data. A roadmap is essential. It could start with cost-capped onramps: 1) flythrough analysis of the plume, following up on Cassini measurements with modern instruments; 2) sample return of plume material for analysis on Earth. A methodical mission sequence in which each step depends on emergent results from prior missions would push in situ oceanographic exploration into the second half of this century. Even for this scenario, prioritization by the next planetary Decadal Survey would be pivotal.

  3. Arsenic, Anaerobes, and Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stolz, J. F.; Oremland, R. S.; Switzer Blum, J.; Hoeft, S. E.; Baesman, S. M.; Bennett, S.; Miller, L. G.; Kulp, T. R.; Saltikov, C.

    2013-12-01

    Arsenic is an element best known for its highly poisonous nature, so it is not something one would associate with being a well-spring for life. Yet discoveries made over the past two decades have delineated that not only are some microbes resistant to arsenic, but that this element's primary redox states can be exploited to conserve energy and support prokaryotic growth ('arsenotrophy') in the absence of oxygen. Hence, arsenite [As(III)] can serve as an electron donor for chemo- or photo-autotrophy while arsenate [As(V)] will serve as an electron acceptor for chemo-heterotrophs and chemo-autotrophs. The phylogenetic diversity of these microbes is broad, encompassing many individual species from diverse taxonomic groups in the Domain Bacteria, with fewer representatives in the Domain Archaea. Speculation with regard to the evolutionary origins of the key functional genes in anaerobic arsenic transformations (arrA and arxA) and aerobic oxidation (aioB) has led to a disputation as to which gene and function is the most ancient and whether arsenic metabolism extended back into the Archaean. Regardless of its origin, robust arsenic metabolism has been documented in extreme environments that are rich in their arsenic content, such as hot springs and especially hypersaline soda lakes associated with volcanic regions. Searles Lake, CA is an extreme, salt-saturated end member where vigorous arsenic metabolism occurs, but there is no detectable sulfate-reduction or methanogenesis. The latter processes are too weak bio-energetically to survive as compared with arsenotrophy, and are also highly sensitive to the abundance of borate ions present in these locales. These observations have implications with respect to the search for microbial life elsewhere in the Solar System where volcanic-like processes have been operative. Hence, because of the likelihood of encountering dense brines in the regolith of Mars (formed by evapo-concentration) or beneath the ice layers of Europa, Ganymede, Titan or Enceladus (formed by cryo-concentration), arsenotrophy could serve as a credible means of microbial energy conservation. Regrettably, the direct search for arsenic biomarkers is restricted because only one stable isotope exists (75As), which rules out the use of stable isotopic ratios in this regard. However, antimony oxyanions often co-occur with arsenic in the environment. Its two stable isotopes (123Sb and 121Sb) hold the potential to be exploited as a proxy isotopic biomarker for the fingerprint of microbial arsenotrophy. Whether such an approach is feasible needs to be investigated.

  4. Microbiological Methodology in Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abyzov, S. S.; Gerasimenko, L. M.; Hoover, R. B.; Mitskevich, I. N.; Mulyukin, A. L.; Poglazova, M. N.; Rozanov, A. Y.

    2005-01-01

    Searching for life in astromaterials to be delivered from the future missions to extraterrestrial bodies is undoubtedly related to studies of the properties and signatures of living microbial cells and microfossils on Earth. As model terrestrial analogs of Martian polar subsurface layers are often regarded the Antarctic glacier and Earth permafrost habitats where alive microbial cells preserved viability for millennia years due to entering the anabiotic state. For the future findings of viable microorganisms in samples from extraterrestrial objects, it is important to use a combined methodology that includes classical microbiological methods, plating onto nutrient media, direct epifluorescence and electron microscopy examinations, detection of the elemental composition of cells, radiolabeling techniques, PCR and FISH methods. Of great importance is to ensure authenticity of microorganisms (if any in studied samples) and to standardize the protocols used to minimize a risk of external contamination. Although the convincing evidence of extraterrestrial microbial life will may come from the discovery of living cells in astromaterials, biomorphs and microfossils must also be regarded as a target in search of life evidence bearing in mind a scenario that alive microorganisms had not be preserved and underwent mineralization. Under the laboratory conditions, processes that accompanied fossilization of cyanobacteria were reconstructed, and artificially produced cyanobacterial stromatolites resembles by their morphological properties those found in natural Earth habitats. Regarding the vital importance of distinguishing between biogenic and abiogenic signatures and between living and fossil microorganisms in analyzed samples, it is worthwhile to use some previously developed approaches based on electron microscopy examinations and analysis of elemental composition of biomorphs in situ and comparison with the analogous data obtained for laboratory microbial cultures and fossilized microorganisms. This communication will be focused on the analysis of our experience in working with ancient microorganisms and fossils and discussion of some issues that are crucial for development of the program for future finding of extraterrestrial life and its evidence.

  5. The Coevolution of Life and Environment on Mars: An Ecosystem Perspective on the Robotic Exploration of Biosignatures

    Science.gov (United States)

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Earth's biological and environmental evolution are intertwined and inseparable. This coevolution has become a fundamental concept in astrobiology and is key to the search for life beyond our planet. In the case of Mars, whether a coevolution took place is unknown, but analyzing the factors at play shows the uniqueness of each planetary experiment regardless of similarities. Early Earth and early Mars shared traits. However, biological processes on Mars, if any, would have had to proceed within the distinctive context of an irreversible atmospheric collapse, greater climate variability, and specific planetary characteristics. In that, Mars is an important test bed for comparing the effects of a unique set of spatiotemporal changes on an Earth-like, yet different, planet. Many questions remain unanswered about Mars' early environment. Nevertheless, existing data sets provide a foundation for an intellectual framework where notional coevolution models can be explored. In this framework, the focus is shifted from planetary-scale habitability to the prospect of habitats, microbial ecotones, pathways to biological dispersal, biomass repositories, and their meaning for exploration. Critically, as we search for biosignatures, this focus demonstrates the importance of starting to think of early Mars as a biosphere and vigorously integrating an ecosystem approach to landing site selection and exploration. Key Words: Astrobiology—Biosignatures—Coevolution of Earth and life—Mars. Astrobiology 18, 1–27. PMID:29252008

  6. Farside explorer

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mimoun, David; Wieczorek, Mark A.; Alkalai, Leon

    2012-01-01

    the primary differentiation and evolution of the Moon, it can be continuously monitored from the Earth-Moon L2 Lagrange point, and there is a complete lack of reflected solar illumination from the Earth. Farside Explorer will exploit these properties and make the first radio-astronomy measurements from...... the most radio-quiet region of near-Earth space, determine the internal structure and thermal evolution of the Moon, from crust to core, and quantify impact hazards in near-Earth space by the measurement of flashes generated by impact events. The Farside Explorer flight system includes two identical solar......Farside Explorer is a proposed Cosmic Vision medium-size mission to the farside of the Moon consisting of two landers and an instrumented relay satellite. The farside of the Moon is a unique scientific platform in that it is shielded from terrestrial radio-frequency interference, it recorded...

  7. Uranium exploration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    De Voto, R.H.

    1984-01-01

    This paper is a review of the methodology and technology that are currently being used in varying degrees in uranium exploration activities worldwide. Since uranium is ubiquitous and occurs in trace amounts (0.2 to 5 ppm) in virtually all rocks of the crust of the earth, exploration for uranium is essentially the search of geologic environments in which geologic processes have produced unusual concentrations of uranium. Since the level of concentration of uranium of economic interest is dependent on the present and future price of uranium, it is appropriate here to review briefly the economic realities of uranium-fueled power generation. (author)

  8. College Explorer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahl, David H.

    1985-01-01

    The "College Explorer" is a software package (for the 64K Apple II, IBM PC, TRS-80 model III and 4 microcomputers) which aids in choosing a college. The major features of this package (manufactured by The College Board) are described and evaluated. Sample input/output is included. (JN)

  9. Exploring Size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brand, Judith, Ed.

    1995-01-01

    "Exploring" is a magazine of science, art, and human perception that communicates ideas museum exhibits cannot demonstrate easily by using experiments and activities for the classroom. This issue concentrates on size, examining it from a variety of viewpoints. The focus allows students to investigate and discuss interconnections among…

  10. Exploring quadrangulations

    KAUST Repository

    Peng, Chi-Han; Barton, Michael; Jiang, Caigui; Wonka, Peter

    2014-01-01

    Here we presented a framework to explore quad mesh topologies. The core of our work is a systematic enumeration algorithm that can generate all possible quadrangular meshes inside a defined boundary with an upper limit of v3-v5 pairs. The algorithm is orders of magnitude more efficient than previous work. The combination of topological enumeration and shape-space exploration demonstrates that mesh topology has a powerful influence on geometry. The Fig. 18. A gallery of different quadrilateral meshes for a Shuriken. The quadrilaterals of the model were colored in a postprocess. Topological variations have distinctive, interesting patterns of mesh lines. © 2014 ACM 0730-0301/2014/01-ART3 15.00.

  11. Exploring quadrangulations

    KAUST Repository

    Peng, Chi-Han

    2014-02-04

    Here we presented a framework to explore quad mesh topologies. The core of our work is a systematic enumeration algorithm that can generate all possible quadrangular meshes inside a defined boundary with an upper limit of v3-v5 pairs. The algorithm is orders of magnitude more efficient than previous work. The combination of topological enumeration and shape-space exploration demonstrates that mesh topology has a powerful influence on geometry. The Fig. 18. A gallery of different quadrilateral meshes for a Shuriken. The quadrilaterals of the model were colored in a postprocess. Topological variations have distinctive, interesting patterns of mesh lines. © 2014 ACM 0730-0301/2014/01-ART3 15.00.

  12. Explorative Faktorenanalyse

    OpenAIRE

    Klopp, Eric

    2010-01-01

    Die explorative Faktorenanalyse (EFA) ist ein Verfahren aus der multivariaten Statistik. Mithilfe der Faktorenanalyse kann aus den Beobachtungen vieler manifester Variablen (z .B Items eines Fragebogens) auf wenige zugrunde liegende latente Variablen, die Faktoren genannt werden, geschlossen werden. Eine EFA führt zu einer Reduktion der Variablen auf wenige, den manifesten Variablen zugrunde liegende Faktoren. Der folgende Text gibt einen Überblick über die Grundlagen der EFA sowie der wichti...

  13. Martian Chemical and Isotopic Reference Standards in Earth-based Laboratories — An Invitation for Geochemical, Astrobiological, and Engineering Dialog on Considering a Weathered Chondrite for Mars Sample Return.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashley, J. W.; Tait, A. W.; Velbel, M. A.; Boston, P. J.; Carrier, B. L.; Cohen, B. A.; Schröder, C.; Bland, P.

    2017-12-01

    Exogenic rocks (meteorites) found on Mars 1) have unweathered counterparts on Earth; 2) weather differently than indigenous rocks; and 3) may be ideal habitats for putative microorganisms and subsequent biosignature preservation. These attributes show the potential of meteorites for addressing hypothesis-driven science. They raise the question of whether chondritic meteorites, of sufficient weathering intensity, might be considered as candidates for sample return in a potential future mission. Pursuant to this discussion are the following questions. A) Is there anything to be learned from the laboratory study of a martian chondrite that cannot be learned from indigenous materials; and if so, B) is the science value high enough to justify recovery? If both A and B answer affirmatively, then C) what are the engineering constraints for sample collection for Mars 2020 and potential follow-on missions; and finally D) what is the likelihood of finding a favorable sample? Observations relevant to these questions include: i) Since 2005, 24 candidate and confirmed meteorites have been identified on Mars at three rover landing sites, demonstrating their ubiquity and setting expectations for future finds. All have been heavily altered by a variety of physical and chemical processes. While the majority of these are irons (not suitable for recovery), several are weathered stony meteorites. ii) Exogenic reference materials provide the only chemical/isotope standards on Mars, permitting quantification of alteration rates if residence ages can be attained; and possibly enabling the removal of Late Amazonian weathering overprints from other returned samples. iii) Recent studies have established the habitability of chondritic meteorites with terrestrial microorganisms, recommending their consideration when exploring astrobiological questions. High reactivity, organic content, and permeability show stony meteorites to be more attractive for colonization and subsequent biosignature

  14. Exploring Science Through Polar Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfirman, S. L.; Bell, R. E.; Zadoff, L.; Kelsey, R.

    2003-12-01

    Exploring the Poles is a First Year Seminar course taught at Barnard College, Columbia University. First Year Seminars are required of incoming students and are designed to encourage critical analysis in a small class setting with focused discussion. The class links historical polar exploration with current research in order to: introduce non-scientists to the value of environmental science through polar literature; discuss issues related to venturing into the unknown that are of relevance to any discipline: self-reliance, leadership, preparation, decisions under uncertainty; show students the human face of science; change attitudes about science and scientists; use data to engage students in exploring/understanding the environment and help them learn to draw conclusions from data; integrate research and education. These goals are met by bringing analysis of early exploration efforts together with a modern understanding of the polar environment. To date to class has followed the efforts of Nansen in the Fram, Scott and Amundsen in their race to the pole, and Shackleton's Endurance. As students read turn-of-the-century expedition journals, expedition progress is progressively revealed on an interactive map showing the environmental context. To bring the exploration process to life, students are assigned to expedition teams for specific years and the fates of the student "expeditions" are based on their own decisions. For example, in the Arctic, they navigate coastal sea ice and become frozen into the ice north of Siberia, re-creating Nansen's polar drift. Fates of the teams varied tremendously: some safely emerged at Fram Strait in 4 years, while others nearly became hopelessly lost in the Beaufort Gyre. Students thus learn about variability in the current polar environment through first hand experience, enabling them to appreciate the experiences, decisions, and, in some cases, the luck, of polar explorers. Evaluation by the Columbia Center for New Media, Teaching

  15. Space exploration

    CERN Document Server

    2009-01-01

    Space Exploration, is one book in the Britannica Illustrated Science Library Series that is correlated to the science curriculum in grades 5-8. The Britannica Illustrated Science Library is a visually compelling set that covers earth science, life science, and physical science in 16 volumes.  Created for ages 10 and up, each volume provides an overview on a subject and thoroughly explains it through detailed and powerful graphics-more than 1,000 per volume-that turn complex subjects into information that students can grasp.  Each volume contains a glossary with full definitions for vocabulary help and an index.

  16. Downstream process options for the ABE fermentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedl, Anton

    2016-05-01

    Butanol is a very interesting substance both for the chemical industry and as a biofuel. The classical distillation process for the removal of butanol is far too energy demanding, at a factor of 220% of the energy content of butanol. Alternative separation processes studied are hybrid processes of gas-stripping, liquid-liquid extraction and pervaporation with distillation and a novel adsorption/drying/desorption hybrid process. Compared with the energy content of butanol, the resulting energy demand for butanol separation and concentration of optimized hybrid processes is 11%-22% for pervaporation/distillation and 11%-17% for liquid-liquid extraction/distillation. For a novel adsorption/drying/desorption process, the energy demand is 9.4%. But all downstream process options need further proof of industrial applicability. © FEMS 2016. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  17. Geoelectrical exploration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mostafa Said Barseem

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Sinai development is a goal of successive governments in Egypt. The present study is a geoelectrical exploration to find appropriate solutions of the problems affecting the land of a Research Station in Southeast Al Qantara. This research station is one of the Desert Research Center stations to facilitate the development of desert land for agriculture by introducing applied research. It suffers from some problems which can be summarized in the shortage of irrigation water and water logging. The appropriate solutions of these problems have been delineated by the results of 1D and 2D geoelectrical measurements. Electrical resistivity (ER revealed the subsurface sedimentary sequences and extension of subsurface layers in the horizontal and vertical directions, especially, the water bearing layer. Additionally it helped to choose the most suitable places to drill productive wells with a good condition.

  18. Exploration economics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mcgill, R.E.

    1992-01-01

    This paper deals with determining the economic viability of the play or prospect. At the outset, one point is important. Preexploration economists are important because they enable geologists to see if their assumptions will prove profitable. Their assumptions must consider the full range of possible outcomes, even if only some portion of that range may contain prospects or plays that are estimated to be profitable. Play economics are preferable to prospect economics because, being the sum of several prospects, they give a broader view of the investment opportunity. Finally, remember that play and prospect economics are always slightly optimistic. They seldom include all of the exploration and overhead changes that must ultimately be borne by the successful prospects

  19. HR Explorer

    CERN Document Server

    Möller, M

    1997-01-01

    At the European Laboratory for Particle Physics Research (CERN), Geneva Switzerland we are using OracleHR for managing our human resources since 1995. After the first year of production it became clear that there was a strong need for an easy-to-use Decision Support Tool exploring the data in OracleHR. This paper illustrates an approach which we have adopted to provide on-line management reporting, multi-dimensional analysis, drill-down and slicing & dicing of data, warehoused from OracleHR. The tool offers strong resource management and planning capabilities including career follow-up. The user management and security monitoring are implemented using the Oracle WebServer.

  20. Hydrocarbon exploration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lerche, I. (South Carolina Univ., Columbia, SC (United States). Dept. of Geological Sciences)

    1993-01-01

    This special issue of the journal examines various aspects of the on-going search for hydrocarbons, ranging from frontier basins where little data are available, to more mature areas where considerable data are available. The incentives underlying the search for oil are roughly: the social, economic and industrial needs of a nation; the incentive of a corporation to be profitable; and the personal incentives of individuals in the oil industry and governments, which range from financial wealth to power and which are as diverse as the individuals who are involved. From a geopolitical perspective, the needs, requirements, goals, strategies, and philosophies of nations, and groups of nations, also impact on the oil exploration game. Strategies that have been employed have ranged from boycott to austerity and rationing, to physical intervention, to global ''flooding'' with oil by over-production. (author)

  1. Exploring ESASky

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Marchi, Guido; ESASky Team

    2017-06-01

    ESASky is a science-driven discovery portal for all ESA space astronomy missions. It also includes missions from international partners such as Suzaku and Chandra. The first public release of ESASky features interfaces for sky exploration and for single and multiple target searches. Using the application requires no prior-knowledge of any of the missions involved and gives users world-wide simplified access to high-level science-ready data products from space-based Astronomy missions, plus a number of ESA-produced source catalogues, including the Gaia Data Release 1 catalogue. We highlight here the latest features to be developed, including one that allows the user to project onto the sky the footprints of the JWST instruments, at any chosen position and orientation. This tool has been developed to aid JWST astronomers when they are defining observing proposals. We aim to include other missions and instruments in the near future.

  2. Astrobiology and habitability studies in preparation for future Mars missions: trends from investigating minerals, organics and biota

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ehrenfreund, P.; Roling, W.F.M.; Thiel, C.S.; Quin, R.; Septhon, M.A.; Stoker, C.; Kotler, M.; Oliveira Lebre Direito, M.S.; Martins, Z.; Orzechowska, G.; Kidd, R.D.; van Sluis, C.A.; Foing, H.

    2011-01-01

    Several robotic exploration missions will travel to Mars during this decade to investigate habitability and the possible presence of life. Field research at Mars analogue sites such as desert environments can provide important constraints for instrument calibration, landing site strategies and

  3. Astrobiology and habitability studies in preparation for future Mars missions : Trends from investigating minerals, organics and biota

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ehrenfreund, P.; Röling, W.F.M.; Thiel, C.S.; Quinn, R.; Sephton, M.A.; Stoker, C.; Kotler, J.M.; Direito, S.O.L.; Martins, Z.; Orzechowska, G.E.; Kidd, R.D.; Van Sluis, C.A.; Foing, B.H.

    2011-01-01

    Several robotic exploration missions will travel to Mars during this decade to investigate habitability and the possible presence of life. Field research at Mars analogue sites such as desert environments can provide important constraints for instrument calibration, landing site strategies and

  4. Strategic Map for Achieving Enceladus Ocean Exploration in Our Time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherwood, B.

    2015-12-01

    At AGU 2014, the author presented a decomposition and sequencing of science questions and technical capabilities that define viable programmatic pathways to enable sample return and advanced in situ exploration of the Enceladan ocean, consistent with NASA mission-opportunity constraints. Elaborated and refined in 2015 via JpGU, AbSciCon, IAC, and COSPAR Water, this plan is now specific: discrete and integrated analyses and coordination actions that, if acted on by the community over the next 45 months, could result in Enceladus ocean exploration appearing in the next Planetary Decadal Survey's mission priorities, issued in 2021. At AGU 2015, a product-based, outcome-measurable, stepwise milestone plan is presented to catalyze the next level of community discussion. Topics covered by the action plan include: hypothesis-driven science questions; mission cost as a function of mission capability; mission selectability as a function of programmatic constraints and evaluation process; exploration technologies as a function of funding and schedule; international consensus on forward and backward planetary protection requirements and solutions for exploring worlds with astrobiologically significant liquid water; and strategic balance among major NASA planetary science initiatives. Key Decadal-runup milestones are analyzed with respect to stakeholders, success criteria, and - critically - calendar and precedence. These results then inform a multi-year action plan to generate, vet, and socialize throughout the community a set of technically and fiscally viable mission concepts, respectively enabled by an achievable technology development roadmap also detailed in the presentation. This can begin to align advocate actions toward a broad community goal of exploring the Enceladan ocean. Without such coordination, which must reach fruition by Sep 2019, the probability that the next Decadal could explicitly prioritize mission objectives for Enceladus ocean exploration - as one of

  5. Space Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallagher, Dennis

    2017-01-01

    New range Passage Tomb may be the first structure with known astronomical significance. It was built around 3,200 B.C. in Ireland. It's central passage allows light end-to-end for about 2 weeks around winter solstice. The Sun, Moon, Planets, and Stars held significance in early times due to the seasons, significance for food crops, and mythology. Citation: Corel Photography and Windows to the Universe The Greek may be among the first to pursue analytical interpretations of what they saw in the sky. In about 280 B.C. Aristarchus suggested Earth revolves around the Sun and estimated the distance between. Around 130 B.C. Hipparchus developed the first accurate star map. Today still seek to understand how the universe formed and how we came to be and are we alone. Understanding the causes and consequences of climate change using advanced space missions with major Earth science and applications research. center dotFire the public imagination and inspire students to pursue STEM fields. Train college and graduate students to create a U.S. technical workforce with employees that embody the values of competence, innovation, and service. center dotDrive the technical innovations that enable exploration and become the engine of National economic growth. center dotPartner domestically and internationally to leverage resources to extend the reach of research.

  6. Exploring Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breuil, Stéphanie

    2016-04-01

    Mars is our neighbour planet and has always fascinated humans as it has been seen as a potential abode for life. Knowledge about Mars is huge and was constructed step by step through numerous missions. It could be difficult to describe these missions, the associated technology, the results, the questions they raise, that's why an activity is proposed, that directly interests students. Their production is presented in the poster. Step 1: The main Mars feature and the first Mars explorations using telescope are presented to students. It should be really interesting to present "Mars Canals" from Percival Lowell as it should also warn students against flawed interpretation. Moreover, this study has raised the big question about extra-terrestrial life on Mars for the first time. Using Google Mars is then a good way to show the huge knowledge we have on the planet and to introduce modern missions. Step 2: Students have to choose and describe one of the Mars mission from ESA and NASA. They should work in pairs. Web sites from ESA and NASA are available and the teacher makes sure the main missions will be studied. Step 3: Students have to collect different pieces of information about the mission - When? Which technology? What were the main results? What type of questions does it raise? They prepare an oral presentation in the form they want (role play, academic presentation, using a poster, PowerPoint). They also have to produce playing cards about the mission that could be put on a timeline. Step 4: As a conclusion, the different cards concerning different missions are mixed. Groups of students receive cards and they have to put them on a timeline as fast as possible. It is also possible to play the game "timeline".

  7. Recursos didácticos para comunicar aspectos metodológicos y conceptuales tanto de la exploración planetaria como de la astrobiología

    OpenAIRE

    Alcíbar Cuello, Miguel

    2007-01-01

    En este artículo se exponen algunos de los recursos didácticos que han sido concebidos para facilitar el aprendizaje de distintos aspectos de la Exploración Planetaria y, en concreto, de la Astrobiología como área transdisciplinar de conocimientos. El interés más evidente que presentan estos materiales didácticos, además de tener una vocación interactiva, es que combinan contenidos científicotecnológicos con cuestiones de índole metodológica, lo que proporciona al estudiante ...

  8. Bile Duct Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Home / Health Library / Diagnostics & Testing / Bile Duct Exploration Bile Duct Exploration Common bile duct exploration is a ... Test Details Results and Follow-Up What is bile, and what is bile duct exploration? Bile is ...

  9. Exploring Motivational System Theory within the Context of Adult Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutto, Debra Jean

    2013-01-01

    Adult Basic Education (ABE) and the General Equivalency Diploma (GED) programs serve those students who, for whatever reason, have left the educational system without attaining a regular high school diploma. Because of the manner in which they may have left the school system, many have negative emotions and personal agency beliefs hindering their…

  10. Tutor Training Packet. "Ready-Set-ABE" To Ease Students' Transition into ABE Level Studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molek, Carol

    This training packet, consisting of a workshop guide, two instructional guides, and assorted pamphlets and brochures, is intended for use by volunteer tutors who are themselves learning how to work with adults enrolled in an adult literacy program. The following topics are covered in the training workshop guide: the objectives and workings of…

  11. TSSM: The in situ exploration of Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coustenis, A.; Lunine, J. I.; Lebreton, J. P.; Matson, D.; Reh, K.; Beauchamp, P.; Erd, C.

    2008-09-01

    The Titan Saturn System Mission (TSSM) mission was born when NASA and ESA decided to collaborate on two missions independently selected by each agency: the Titan and Enceladus mission (TandEM), and Titan Explorer, a 2007 Flagship study. TandEM, the Titan and Enceladus mission, was proposed as an L-class (large) mission in response to ESA's Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 Call. The mission concept is to perform remote and in situ investigations of Titan primarily, but also of Enceladus and Saturn's magentosphere. The two satellites are tied together by location and properties, whose remarkable natures have been partly revealed by the ongoing Cassini-Huygens mission. These bodies still hold mysteries requiring a complete exploration using a variety of vehicles and instruments. TSSM will study Titan as a system, including its upper atmosphere, the interactions with the magnetosphere, the neutral atmosphere, surface, interior, origin and evolution, as well as the astrobiological potential of Titan. It is an ambitious mission because its targets are two of the most exciting and challenging bodies in the Solar System. It is designed to build on but exceed the scientific and technological accomplishments of the Cassini- Huygens mission, exploring Titan and Enceladus in ways that are not currently possible (full close-up and in situ coverage over long periods of time for Titan, several close flybys of Enceladus). One overarching goal of the TSSM mission is to explore in situ the atmosphere and surface of Titan. In the current mission architecture, TSSM consists of an orbiter (under NASA's responsibility) with a large host of instruments which would perform several Enceladus and Titan flybys before stabilizing in an orbit around Titan alone, therein delivering in situ elements (a Montgolfière, or hot air balloon, and a probe/lander). The latter are being studied by ESA. The balloon will circumnavigate Titan above the equator at an altitude of about 10 km for several months. The

  12. JAXA's Space Exploration Scenario

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sato, N. S.

    2018-04-01

    Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has been studying space exploration scenario, including human exploration for Japan since 2015, which encompasses goals, knowledge gap assessment, and architecture. assessment, and technology roadmap.

  13. Astrobiological significance of chemolithoautotrophic acidophiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pikuta, Elena V.; Hoover, Richard B.

    2004-02-01

    For more than a century (since Winogradsky discovered lithautotrophic bacteria) there has been a dilemma in microbiology about life that first inhabited the Earth. Which types of life forms first appeared in the primordial oceans during the earliest geological period on Earth as the primary ancestors of modern biological diversity? How did a metabolism of ancestors evolve: from lithoautotrophic to lithoheterotrophic and organoheterotrophic or from organoheterotrophic to organautotrophic and lithomixotrophic types? At the present time, it is known that chemolithoheterotrophic and chemolithoautotrophic metabolizing bacteria are wide spread in different ecosystems. On Earth the acidic ecosystems are associated with geysers, volcanic fumaroles, hot springs, deep sea hydrothermal vents, caves, acid mine drainage and other technogenic ecosystems. Bioleaching played a significant roel on a global geological scale during the Earth's formation. This important feature of bacteria has been successfully applied in industry. The lithoautotrophs include Bacteria and Archaea belonging to diverse genera containing thermophilic and mesophilic species. In this paper we discuss the lithotrophic microbial acidophiles and present some data with a description of new acidophilic iron- and sulfur-oxidizing bacterium isolated from the Chena Hot Springs in Alaska. We also consider the possible relevance of microbial acidophiles to Venus, Io, and acidic inclusions in glaciers and icy moons.

  14. Detailed exploration of Titan with a Montgolfiere aerobot

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spilker, T.; Tipex Team

    The International Cassini/Huygens (CH) mission has verified the expectation that Saturn's moon Titan offers many opportunities for studying high-priority planetary and astrobiology science objectives. CH results to date show that this world, though entirely alien in its frigid environment, presents an Earth-like and diverse appearance due to the relative balance of competing forces such as geology/tectonics, meteorology, aeronomy, and cosmic impacts. But with the limitations of a single Huygens probe, and a finite number of Cassini flybys limited in proximity and remote sensing resolution by Titan's thick atmosphere and hazes, there is much science to be done there after the CH mission has ended. Detailed exploration of Titan's surface and lower atmosphere, especially for astrobiological objectives, is best addressed by in situ investigations. The atmosphere and its hazes severely restrict orbital remote sensing: Titan cannot be mapped from orbit in the same manner as Mars, at (essentially) arbitrarily high resolution, and limited infrared (IR) windows allow only gross compositional interpretations. After CH indeed there will be further orbital investigations to be carried out, notably completion of the global mapping by Synthetic Aperture Radar and IR mapping spectrometry begun by CH, at the best resolutions practical from orbit. But to fully understand Titan as an evolving, planetary-scale body and an abode of preserved protobiological chemistry will require a platform that has access to, and mobility at, the surface and the lowest few kilometers of the atmosphere. The TiPEx study team weighed the options for Titan in situ exploration, and finds that a mission based on a Montgolfiere (a type of hot-air balloon) aerobot is the best candidate for post-CH exploration. Ground-based platforms of the type used to date on Mars are far too limited in range to sample the diversity of Titan, and do not adequately investigate the lower atmosphere. Titan's cold, dense

  15. Microwave spectrum, structure, and quantum chemical studies of a compound of potential astrochemical and astrobiological interest: Z-3-amino-2-propenenitrile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Askeland, Eva; Møllendal, Harald; Uggerud, Einar; Guillemin, Jean-Claude; Aviles Moreno, Juan-Ramon; Demaison, Jean; Huet, Thérèse R

    2006-11-23

    Z-3-Amino-2-propenenitrile, H2NCH=CHCN, a compound of astrochemical and astrobiological interest, has been studied by Stark and Fourier transform microwave spectroscopy along with eight of its isotopologues; the synthesis of five of these are reported. The spectra of the ground vibrational state and of three vibrationally excited states belonging to the two lowest normal modes were assigned for the parent species, whereas the ground states were assigned for the isotopologues. The frequency of the lowest in-plane bending fundamental vibration was determined to be 152(20) cm(-1) and the frequency of the lowest out-of-plane fundamental mode was found to be 176(20) cm(-1) by relative intensity measurements. A delicate problem is whether this compound is planar or slightly nonplanar. It was found that the rotational constants of the nine species cannot be used to conclude definitely whether the molecule is planar or not. The experimental dipole moment is mu(a) = 16.45(12), mu(b) = 2.86(6), mu(c) = 0 (assumed), and mu(tot.) = 16.70(12) x 10(-30) C m [5.01(4) D]. The quadrupole coupling constants of the two nitrogen nuclei are chi(aa) = -1.4917(21) and chi(cc) = 1.5644(24) MHz for the nitrogen atom of the cyano group and chi(aa) = 1.7262(18) and chi(cc) = -4.0591(17) MHz for the nitrogen atom of the amino group. Extensive quantum-chemical calculations have been performed, and the results obtained from these calculations have been compared with the experimental values. The equilibrium structures of vinylamine, vinyl cyanide, and Z-3-amino-2-propenenitrile have been calculated. These calculations have established that the equilibrium structure of the title compound is definitely nonplanar. However, the MP2/VQZ energy difference between the planar and nonplanar forms is small, only -423 J/mol. Z-Amino-2-propenenitrile and E-3-amino-2-propenenitrile are formed simply by mixing ammonia and cyanoacetylene at room temperature. A plausible reaction path has been modeled. G3

  16. Geophysical Exploration. New site exploration method

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Imai, Tsuneo; Otomo, Hideo; Sakayama, Toshihiko

    1988-07-25

    Geophysical exploration is used for geologic survey to serve purposes in civil engineering. New methods are being developed inside and outside Japan and are used to serve various purposes. This paper discusses recently developed techniques based on the measurement of seismic waves and electric potential. It also explains seismic tomography, radar tomography, and resistivity tomography which are included in the category of geotomography. At present, effort is being made to apply geophysical exploration technology to problems which were considered to be unsuitable for conventional exploration techniques. When such effort proceeds successfully, it is necessary to develop technology for presenting results quickly and exploration equipment which can work in various conditions. (10 figs, 15 refs)

  17. Exploration and Mining Roadmap

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    none,

    2002-09-01

    This Exploration and Mining Technology Roadmap represents the third roadmap for the Mining Industry of the Future. It is based upon the results of the Exploration and Mining Roadmap Workshop held May 10 ñ 11, 2001.

  18. Asteroid exploration and utilization: The Hawking explorer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, Alan; Date, Medha; Duarte, Manny; Erian, Neil; Gafka, George; Kappler, Peter; Patano, Scott; Perez, Martin; Ponce, Edgar; Radovich, Brian

    1991-01-01

    The Earth is nearing depletion of its natural resources at a time when human beings are rapidly expanding the frontiers of space. The resources which may exist on asteroids could have enormous potential for aiding and enhancing human space exploration as well as life on Earth. With the possibly limitless opportunities that exist, it is clear that asteroids are the next step for human existence in space. This report comprises the efforts of NEW WORLDS, Inc. to develop a comprehensive design for an asteroid exploration/sample return mission. This mission is a precursor to proof-of-concept missions that will investigate the validity of mining and materials processing on an asteroid. Project STONER (Systematic Transfer of Near Earth Resources) is based on two utilization scenarios: (1) moving an asteroid to an advantageous location for use by Earth; and (2) mining an asteroids and transporting raw materials back to Earth. The asteroid explorer/sample return mission is designed in the context of both scenarios and is the first phase of a long range plane for humans to utilize asteroid resources. The report concentrates specifically on the selection of the most promising asteroids for exploration and the development of an exploration scenario. Future utilization as well as subsystem requirements of an asteroid sample return probe are also addressed.

  19. Modelling oil exploration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Padilla, V.R.

    1992-01-01

    The analysis of oil exploration models in this paper is developed in four parts. The way in which exploration has been dealt with in oil supply models is first described. Five recent models are then looked at, paying particular attention to the explanatory variables used when modelling exploration activities. This is followed by a discussion of the factors which have been shown by several empirical studies to determine exploration in less developed countries. Finally, the interdependence between institutional factors, oil prices and exploration effort is analysed with a view to drawing conclusions for modelling in the future. (UK)

  20. Marine Mineral Exploration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    in EEZ areas are fairly unknown; many areas need detailed mapping and mineral exploration, and the majority of coastal or island states with large EEZ areas have little experience in exploration for marine hard minerals. This book describes the systematic steps in marine mineral exploration....... Such exploration requires knowledge of mineral deposits and models of their formation, of geophysical and geochemical exploration methods, and of data evaluation and interpretation methods. These topics are described in detail by an international group of authors. A short description is also given of marine...

  1. International exploration by independent

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bertragne, R.G.

    1992-01-01

    Recent industry trends indicate that the smaller U.S. independents are looking at foreign exploration opportunities as one of the alternatives for growth in the new age of exploration. Foreign finding costs per barrel usually are accepted to be substantially lower than domestic costs because of the large reserve potential of international plays. To get involved in overseas exploration, however, requires the explorationist to adapt to different cultural, financial, legal, operational, and political conditions. Generally, foreign exploration proceeds at a slower pace than domestic exploration because concessions are granted by a country's government, or are explored in partnership with a national oil company. First, the explorationist must prepare a mid- to long-term strategy, tailored to the goals and the financial capabilities of the company; next, is an ongoing evaluation of quality prospects in various sedimentary basins, and careful planning and conduct of the operations. To successfully explore overseas also requires the presence of a minimum number of explorationists and engineers thoroughly familiar with the various exploratory and operational aspects of foreign work. Ideally, these team members will have had a considerable amount of on-site experience in various countries and climates. Independents best suited for foreign expansion are those who have been financially successful in domestic exploration. When properly approached, foreign exploration is well within the reach of smaller U.S. independents, and presents essentially no greater risk than domestic exploration; however, the reward can be much larger and can catapult the company into the 'big leagues.'

  2. Geochemical exploration for uranium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1988-01-01

    This Technical Report is designed mainly to introduce the methods and techniques of uranium geochemical exploration to exploration geologists who may not have had experience with geochemical exploration methods in their uranium programmes. The methods presented have been widely used in the uranium exploration industry for more than two decades. The intention has not been to produce an exhaustive, detailed manual, although detailed instructions are given for a field and laboratory data recording scheme and a satisfactory analytical method for the geochemical determination of uranium. Rather, the intention has been to introduce the concepts and methods of uranium exploration geochemistry in sufficient detail to guide the user in their effective use. Readers are advised to consult general references on geochemical exploration to increase their understanding of geochemical techniques for uranium

  3. Visual explorer facilitator's guide

    CERN Document Server

    Palus, Charles J

    2010-01-01

    Grounded in research and practice, the Visual Explorer™ Facilitator's Guide provides a method for supporting collaborative, creative conversations about complex issues through the power of images. The guide is available as a component in the Visual Explorer Facilitator's Letter-sized Set, Visual Explorer Facilitator's Post card-sized Set, Visual Explorer Playing Card-sized Set, and is also available as a stand-alone title for purchase to assist multiple tool users in an organization.

  4. Exploring the Origin, Extent, and Future of Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertka, Constance M.

    2009-09-01

    1. Astrobiology in societal context Constance Bertka; Part I. Origin of Life: 2. Emergence and the experimental pursuit of the origin of life Robert Hazen; 3. From Aristotle to Darwin, to Freeman Dyson: changing definitions of life viewed in historical context James Strick; 4. Philosophical aspects of the origin-of-life problem: the emergence of life and the nature of science Iris Fry; 5. The origin of terrestrial life: a Christian perspective Ernan McMullin; 6. The alpha and the omega: reflections on the origin and future of life from the perspective of Christian theology and ethics Celia Deane-Drummond; Part II. Extent of Life: 7. A biologist's guide to the Solar System Lynn Rothschild; 8. The quest for habitable worlds and life beyond the Solar System Carl Pilcher; 9. A historical perspective on the extent and search for life Steven J. Dick; 10. The search for extraterrestrial life: epistemology, ethics, and worldviews Mark Lupisella; 11. The implications of discovering extraterrestrial life: different searches, different issues Margaret S. Race; 12. God, evolution, and astrobiology Cynthia S. W. Crysdale; Part III. Future of Life: 13. Planetary ecosynthesis on Mars: restoration ecology and environmental ethics Christopher P. McKay; 14. The trouble with intrinsic value: an ethical primer for astrobiology Kelly C. Smith; 15. God's preferential option for life: a Christian perspective on astrobiology Richard O. Randolph; 16. Comparing stories about the origin, extent, and future of life: an Asian religious perspective Francisca Cho; Index.

  5. The Coevolution of Life and Environment on Mars: An Ecosystem Perspective on the Robotic Exploration of Biosignatures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabrol, Nathalie A.

    2018-01-01

    Earth's biological and environmental evolution are intertwined and inseparable. This coevolution has become a fundamental concept in astrobiology and is key to the search for life beyond our planet. In the case of Mars, whether a coevolution took place is unknown, but analyzing the factors at play shows the uniqueness of each planetary experiment regardless of similarities. Early Earth and early Mars shared traits. However, biological processes on Mars, if any, would have had to proceed within the distinctive context of an irreversible atmospheric collapse, greater climate variability, and specific planetary characteristics. In that, Mars is an important test bed for comparing the effects of a unique set of spatiotemporal changes on an Earth-like, yet different, planet. Many questions remain unanswered about Mars' early environment. Nevertheless, existing data sets provide a foundation for an intellectual framework where notional coevolution models can be explored. In this framework, the focus is shifted from planetary-scale habitability to the prospect of habitats, microbial ecotones, pathways to biological dispersal, biomass repositories, and their meaning for exploration. Critically, as we search for biosignatures, this focus demonstrates the importance of starting to think of early Mars as a biosphere and vigorously integrating an ecosystem approach to landing site selection and exploration.

  6. A method to evaluate utility for architectural comparisons for a campaign to explore the surface of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, Eric D.; Webb, Ryan R.; deWeck, Olivier L.

    2016-11-01

    There is a general consensus that Mars is the next high priority destination for human space exploration. There has been no lack of analysis and recommendations for human missions to Mars, including, for example, the NASA Design Reference Architectures and the Mars Direct proposal. These studies and others usually employ the traditional approach of selecting a baseline mission architecture and running individual trade studies. However, this can cause blind spots, as not all combinations are explored. An alternative approach is to holistically analyze the entire architectural trade-space such that all of the possible system interactions are identified and measured. In such a framework, an optimal design is sought by minimizing cost for maximal value. While cost is relatively easy to model for manned spaceflight, value is more difficult to define. In our efforts to develop a surface base architecture for the MIT Mars 2040 project, we explored several methods for quantifying value, including technology development benefits, challenge, and various metrics for measuring scientific return. We developed a science multi-score method that combines astrobiology and geologic research goals, which is weighted by the crew-member hours that can be used for scientific research rather than other activities.

  7. Uranium exploration in Ecuador

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Severne, B.; Penaherrera, P.F.; Fiallos, V.S.

    1981-01-01

    The 600-km segment of the Andean Cordillera in Ecuador includes zones that can be correlated, geologically, with uranium districts elsewhere in the Andes. It is believed that these essentially unexplored zones have the potential for economic uranium mineralization. Exploration activity to date has been limited, although it has involved both geochemical and radiometric techniques to evaluate geological concepts. Minor uranium occurrences (with chemical analyses up to 100 ppm) have been encountered, which provide further incentive to commence large-scale systematic exploration. It is recognized that a very large exploration budget and considerable technical expertise will be required to ensure exploration success. Consequently, participation by groups of proven capability from other countries will be sought for Ecuador's national exploration programme. (author)

  8. International exploration by independents

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bertagne, R.G.

    1991-01-01

    Recent industry trends indicate that the smaller US independents are looking at foreign exploration opportunities as one of the alternatives for growth in the new age of exploration. It is usually accepted that foreign finding costs per barrel are substantially lower than domestic because of the large reserve potential of international plays. To get involved overseas requires, however, an adaptation to different cultural, financial, legal, operational, and political conditions. Generally foreign exploration proceeds at a slower pace than domestic because concessions are granted by the government, or are explored in partnership with the national oil company. First, a mid- to long-term strategy, tailored to the goals and the financial capabilities of the company, must be prepared; it must be followed by an ongoing evaluation of quality prospects in various sedimentary basins, and a careful planning and conduct of the operations. To successfully explore overseas also requires the presence on the team of a minimum number of explorationists and engineers thoroughly familiar with the various exploratory and operational aspects of foreign work, having had a considerable amount of onsite experience in various geographical and climatic environments. Independents that are best suited for foreign expansion are those that have been financially successful domestically, and have a good discovery track record. When properly approached foreign exploration is well within the reach of smaller US independents and presents essentially no greater risk than domestic exploration; the reward, however, can be much larger and can catapult the company into the big leagues

  9. Exploration: A misunderstood business

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lohrenz, J.

    1991-01-01

    The business of exploration is persistently misunderstand. Why? Misunderstandings persist and even pervade educated, sophisticated, and obviously capable business practitioners and savants of an array of disciplines - finance, economics, and the management sciences. Routine and appropriate assumptions that apply for most businesses invoke nonsense applied to exploration, a unique business. The uniqueness of exploration, unrecognized, sustains the misunderstandings. The authors will not here obliterate these obdurate misunderstandings with some revelation. They show, however, how the misunderstandings naturally arise among those who certainly are not used to being naive

  10. Arts of urban exploration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pinder, David

    2005-01-01

    to the city’ and ‘writing the city’. Through addressing recent cases of psychogeographical experimentation in terms of these themes, the paper raises broad questions about artistic practices and urban exploration to introduce this theme issue on ‘Arts of urban exploration’ and to lead into the specific......This paper addresses ways in which artists and cultural practitioners have recently been using forms of urban exploration as a means of engaging with, and intervening in, cities. It takes its cues from recent events on the streets of New York that involved exploring urban spaces through artistic...

  11. MBN Explorer Users' Guide

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Solov'yov, Ilia A.; Sushko, Gennady; Solov'yov, Andrey V.

    The MBN Explorer Users' Guide describes how to install and to run MBN Explorer, the software package for advanced multiscale simulations of complex molecular structure and dynamics. This guide includes the description of the main features and the algorithms of the program, the manual how to use...... simulations of structure and dynamics of a broad range of systems with the sizes from the atomic up to the mesoscopic scales. MBN Explorer is being developed and distributed by MBN Research Center, www.mbnresearch.com, which organises hands-on tutorials for the software, user's workshops and conferences....

  12. Avionics Architecture for Exploration

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The goal of the AES Avionics Architectures for Exploration (AAE) project is to develop a reference architecture that is based on standards and that can be scaled and...

  13. Titanic: A Statistical Exploration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takis, Sandra L.

    1999-01-01

    Uses the available data about the Titanic's passengers to interest students in exploring categorical data and the chi-square distribution. Describes activities incorporated into a statistics class and gives additional resources for collecting information about the Titanic. (ASK)

  14. Exploration Augmentation Module Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Exploration Augmentation Module (EAM) project goal is to design and deliver a flight module that is to be deployed to Earth-Lunar Distant Retrograde Orbit (DRO)....

  15. Foreign Aid Explorer)

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Agency for International Development — The Foreign Aid Explorer shows the multi-dimensional picture of U.S. foreign assistance through a highly visual and interactive website. The website makes it easy...

  16. Brazilian uranium exploration program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marques, J.P.M.

    1981-01-01

    General information on Brazilian Uranium Exploration Program, are presented. The mineralization processes of uranium depoits are described and the economic power of Brazil uranium reserves is evaluated. (M.C.K.) [pt

  17. Exploring Vietnam's oil potential

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1993-01-01

    A brief review is given of the oil production potential in Vietnam. Since Since 1987, the country has been open to foreign investment in offshore exploration but has suffered from a US embargo on trade and economic ties. Nevertheless some exploration has occurred and twenty production sharing contracts with international oil companies has been signed. To date most of the finds have been non-commercial but optimism remains high. (U.K.)

  18. Developing the MD Explorer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howie, Philip V.

    1993-04-01

    The MD Explorer is an eight-seat twin-turbine engine helicopter which is being developed using integrated product definition (IPD) team methodology. New techniques include NOTAR antitorque system for directional control, a composite fuselage, an all-composite bearingless main rotor, and digital cockpit displays. Three-dimensional CAD models are the basis of the entire Explorer design. Solid models provide vendor with design clarification, removing much of the normal drawing interpretation errors.

  19. Visible-near infrared point spectrometry of drill core samples from Río Tinto, Spain: results from the 2005 Mars Astrobiology Research and Technology Experiment (MARTE) drilling exercise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutter, Brad; Brown, Adrian J; Stoker, Carol R

    2008-10-01

    Sampling of subsurface rock may be required to detect evidence of past biological activity on Mars. The Mars Astrobiology Research and Technology Experiment (MARTE) utilized the Río Tinto region, Spain, as a Mars analog site to test dry drilling technologies specific to Mars that retrieve subsurface rock for biological analysis. This work examines the usefulness of visible-near infrared (VNIR) (450-1000 nm) point spectrometry to characterize ferric iron minerals in core material retrieved during a simulated Mars drilling mission. VNIR spectrometry can indicate the presence of aqueously precipitated ferric iron minerals and, thus, determine whether biological analysis of retrieved rock is warranted. Core spectra obtained during the mission with T1 (893-897 nm) and T2 (644-652 nm) features indicate goethite-dominated samples, while relatively lower wavelength T1 (832-880 nm) features indicate hematite. Hematite/goethite molar ratios varied from 0 to 1.4, and within the 880-898 nm range, T1 features were used to estimate hematite/goethite molar ratios. Post-mission X-ray analysis detected phyllosilicates, which indicates that examining beyond the VNIR (e.g., shortwave infrared, 1000-2500 nm) will enhance the detection of other minerals formed by aqueous processes. Despite the limited spectral range of VNIR point spectrometry utilized in the MARTE Mars drilling simulation project, ferric iron minerals could be identified in retrieved core material, and their distribution served to direct core subsampling for biological analysis.

  20. Exploration Laboratory Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krihak, M.; Ronzano, K.; Shaw, T.

    2016-01-01

    The Exploration Laboratory Analysis (ELA) project supports the Exploration Medical Capability (ExMC) risk to minimize or reduce the risk of adverse health outcomes and decrements in performance due to in-flight medical capabilities on human exploration missions. To mitigate this risk, the availability of inflight laboratory analysis instrumentation has been identified as an essential capability for manned exploration missions. Since a single, compact space-ready laboratory analysis capability to perform all exploration clinical measurements is not commercially available, the ELA project objective is to demonstrate the feasibility of emerging operational and analytical capability as a biomedical diagnostics precursor to long duration manned exploration missions. The initial step towards ground and flight demonstrations in fiscal year (FY) 2015 was the down selection of platform technologies for demonstrations in the space environment. The technologies selected included two Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) performers: DNA Medicine Institutes rHEALTH X and Intelligent Optical Systems later flow assays combined with Holomics smartphone analyzer. The selection of these technologies were based on their compact size, breadth of analytical capability and favorable ability to process fluids in a space environment, among several factors. These two technologies will be advanced to meet ground and flight demonstration success criteria and requirements that will be finalized in FY16. Also, the down selected performers will continue the technology development phase towards meeting prototype deliverables in either late 2016 or 2017.

  1. International exploration by independents

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bertagne, R.G.

    1992-01-01

    Recent industry trends indicate that the smaller U.S. independents are looking at foreign exploration opportunities as one of the alternatives for growth in the new age of exploration. The problems of communications and logistics caused by different cultures and by geographic distances must be carefully evaluated. A mid-term to long-term strategy tailored to the goals and the financial capabilities of the company should be prepared and followed by a careful planning of the operations. This paper addresses some aspects of foreign exploration that should be considered before an independent venture into the foreign field. It also provides some guidelines for conducting successful overseas operations. When properly assessed, foreign exploration is well within the reach of smaller U.S. independents and presents no greater risk than domestic exploration; the rewards, however, can be much larger. Furthermore, the Oil and Gas Journal surveys of the 300 largest U.S. petroleum companies show that companies with a consistent foreign exploration policy have fared better financially during difficult times

  2. The Cyborg Astrobiologist: testing a novelty detection algorithm on two mobile exploration systems at Rivas Vaciamadrid in Spain and at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGuire, P. C.; Gross, C.; Wendt, L.; Bonnici, A.; Souza-Egipsy, V.; Ormö, J.; Díaz-Martínez, E.; Foing, B. H.; Bose, R.; Walter, S.; Oesker, M.; Ontrup, J.; Haschke, R.; Ritter, H.

    2010-01-01

    In previous work, a platform was developed for testing computer-vision algorithms for robotic planetary exploration. This platform consisted of a digital video camera connected to a wearable computer for real-time processing of images at geological and astrobiological field sites. The real-time processing included image segmentation and the generation of interest points based upon uncommonness in the segmentation maps. Also in previous work, this platform for testing computer-vision algorithms has been ported to a more ergonomic alternative platform, consisting of a phone camera connected via the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) network to a remote-server computer. The wearable-computer platform has been tested at geological and astrobiological field sites in Spain (Rivas Vaciamadrid and Riba de Santiuste), and the phone camera has been tested at a geological field site in Malta. In this work, we (i) apply a Hopfield neural-network algorithm for novelty detection based upon colour, (ii) integrate a field-capable digital microscope on the wearable computer platform, (iii) test this novelty detection with the digital microscope at Rivas Vaciamadrid, (iv) develop a Bluetooth communication mode for the phone-camera platform, in order to allow access to a mobile processing computer at the field sites, and (v) test the novelty detection on the Bluetooth-enabled phone camera connected to a netbook computer at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah. This systems engineering and field testing have together allowed us to develop a real-time computer-vision system that is capable, for example, of identifying lichens as novel within a series of images acquired in semi-arid desert environments. We acquired sequences of images of geologic outcrops in Utah and Spain consisting of various rock types and colours to test this algorithm. The algorithm robustly recognized previously observed units by their colour, while requiring only a single image or a few images to

  3. Exploration of Icy Moons in the Outer Solar System: Updated Planetary Protection Requirements for Missions to Enceladus and Europa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rummel, J. D.; Race, M. S.

    2016-12-01

    Enceladus and Europa are bodies with icy/watery environments and potential habitable conditions for life, making both of great interest in astrobiological studies of chemical evolution and /or origin of life. They are also of significant planetary protection concern for spacecraft missions because of the potential for harmful contamination during exploration. At a 2015 COSPAR colloquium in Bern Switzerland, international scientists identified an urgent need to establish planetary protection requirements for missions proposing to return samples to Earth from Saturn's moon Enceladus. Deliberations at the meeting resulted in recommended policy updates for both forward and back contamination requirements for missions to Europa and Enceladus, including missions sampling plumes originating from those bodies. These recently recommended COSPAR policy revisions and biological contamination requirements will be applied to future missions to Europa and Encealadus, particularly noticeable in those with plans for in situ life detection and sample return capabilities. Included in the COSPAR policy are requirementsto `break the chain of contact' with Europa or Enceladus, to keep pristine returned materials contained, and to complete required biohazard analyses, testing and/or sterilization upon return to Earth. Subsequent to the Bern meeting, additional discussions of Planetary Protection of Outer Solar System bodies (PPOSS) are underway in a 3-year study coordinated by the European Science Foundation and involving multiple international partners, including Japan, China and Russia, along with a US observer. This presentation will provide science and policy updates for those whose research or activities will involve icy moon missions and exploration.

  4. Dealing with exploration uncertainties

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Capen, E.

    1992-01-01

    Exploration for oil and gas should fulfill the most adventurous in their quest for excitement and surprise. This paper tries to cover that tall order. The authors will touch on the magnitude of the uncertainty (which is far greater than in most other businesses), the effects of not knowing target sizes very well, how to build uncertainty into analyses naturally, how to tie reserves and chance estimates to economics, and how to look at the portfolio effect of an exploration program. With no apologies, the authors will be using a different language for some readers - the language of uncertainty, which means probability and statistics. These tools allow one to combine largely subjective exploration information with the more analytical data from the engineering and economic side

  5. Exploring ambiguous realms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Clemensen, Nana

    2016-01-01

    In Hang'ombe Village in rural Zambia, the relative lack of physical boundaries between the activities of family members allow children to observe the actions and discussions of adults on close hand, exposing them to the ambiguities of daily life. Children explore these ambiguities in their intera...... in their interactions, testing social roles and conventions. This article explores the vigilance and creative agency displayed by Hang'ombe children, in an environment spurring their acquisition of distinct social and discursive skills.......In Hang'ombe Village in rural Zambia, the relative lack of physical boundaries between the activities of family members allow children to observe the actions and discussions of adults on close hand, exposing them to the ambiguities of daily life. Children explore these ambiguities...

  6. Exploring the solar system

    CERN Document Server

    Bond, Peter

    2012-01-01

    The exploration of our solar system is one of humanity's greatest scientific achievements. The last fifty years in particular have seen huge steps forward in our understanding of the planets, the sun, and other objects in the solar system. Whilst planetary science is now a mature discipline - involving geoscientists, astronomers, physicists, and others - many profound mysteries remain, and there is indeed still the tantalizing possibility that we may find evidence of life on another planet in our system.Drawing upon the latest results from the second golden age of Solar System exploration, aut

  7. Optimal exploration target zones

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Debba, Pravesh

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available -of-evidence (WofE) method logistic regression canonical favorability analysis neural networks evidential belief functions Optimal Exploration Target Zones Debba, Carranza, Stein, van der Meer Introduction to Remote Sensing Background and Objective of the study... for the following equation: n∑ i=r ( n i ) pi(1− p)n−i = 0.95 . (1) Optimal Exploration Target Zones Debba, Carranza, Stein, van der Meer Introduction to Remote Sensing Background and Objective of the study Methodology Results METHODS (cont. . . ): FITNESS FUNCTION...

  8. Effective public health management: The Nigerian experience | Abe ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Public health management in Nigeria is the process of mobilizing and deploying resources for the provision of effective public health services. To ensure an effective public health, population based strategies would need to be put in place and this would require proper management to yield desired results. This paper ...

  9. Exploring Racism through Photography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fey, Cass; Shin, Ryan; Cinquemani, Shana; Marino, Catherine

    2010-01-01

    Photography is a powerful medium with which to explore social issues and concerns through the intersection of artistic form and concept. Through the discussions of images and suggested activities, students will understand various ways photographers have documented and addressed racism and discrimination. This Instructional Resource presents a…

  10. Exploring pedestrian movement patterns

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Orellana, D.A.

    2012-01-01

    The main objective of this thesis is to develop an approach for exploring, analysing and interpreting movement patterns of pedestrians interacting with the environment. This objective is broken down in sub-objectives related to four research questions. A case study of the movement of visitors in a

  11. Exploring Sound with Insects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, Laura; Meyer, John R.

    2010-01-01

    Differences in insect morphology and movement during singing provide a fascinating opportunity for students to investigate insects while learning about the characteristics of sound. In the activities described here, students use a free online computer software program to explore the songs of the major singing insects and experiment with making…

  12. Geophysics in uranium exploration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Darnley, A.G.

    1975-01-01

    There are no revolutionary new methods of uranium exploration on the horizon. Continuing improvements in existing methods and types of instrumentation are to be expected, but the main scope of improvement will hinge upon using the best of the available methods more meticulously and systematically, and paying more attention to the analysis of data. (author)

  13. Exploring heroin consumption

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Trautmann, Franz; Frijns, Tom

    2013-01-01

    In this report we explore some aspects of heroin consumption, using the data we collected through the face-to-face interviews and comparing our findings with data from other research and monitoring sources. We focus on Italy, the Netherlands and England, the three sample Member States where we have

  14. Antarctica: Discovery & Exploration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gascoigne, Toss; Collett, Peter

    An examination of Antarctica, from the first sightings to the heroic explorations of the late 18th and early 19th centuries to modern-day research, is presented in this book. Twelve chapters are as follows: (1) The search begins; (2) Whalers and sealers: bites and nibbles; (3) The new continent: first sight; (4) Wintering: the first party; (5)…

  15. Exploring Project Management Education

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Steven Nijhuis

    2017-01-01

    From the article: "The object of this paper is to explore the actual practice in project management education in the Netherlands and compare it to reference institutions and recent literature. A little over 40% of the Higher Education institutions in the Netherlands mentions PM education in

  16. Exploring processes and deviations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leemans, S.J.J.; Fahland, D.; Aalst, van der W.M.P.; Fournier, F.; Mendling, J.

    2015-01-01

    In process mining, one of the main challenges is to discover a process model, while balancing several quality criteria. This often requires repeatedly setting parameters, discovering a map and evaluating it, which we refer to as process exploration. Commercial process mining tools like Disco,

  17. Beyond frontier exploration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Visser, A.; Ji, X.; van Ittersum, M.; González Jaime, L.A.; Stancu, L.A.

    2008-01-01

    This article investigates the prerequisites for a global exploration strategy in an unknown environment on a virtual disaster site. Assume that a robot equipped with a laser range scanner can build a detailed map of a previous unknown environment. The remaining question is how to use this

  18. Domestic uranium exploration activities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chenoweth, W.L.

    1980-01-01

    Uranium exploration in the United States reached its alltime high in 1978 when the chief exploration indicator, surface drilling, totaled 47 million feet. In 1979, however, total drilling declined to 41 million feet, and during the first 8 months of 1980 the trend continued, as surface drilling was 27% less than for the same period in 1979. The total drilling for 1980 now is expected to be below 30 million feet, far less than the 39.4 million feet planned by industry at the beginning of the year. Falling uranium prices, the uncertainties of future uranium demand, rising costs, and the possibility of stiff foreign competition are the prime causes for the current reduction in domestic uranium exploration. Uranium exploration in the United States continues to be concentrated in the vicinity of major producing areas such as the San Juan Basin, Wyoming Basins, Texas Coastal Plain, Paradox Basin, and northeastern Washington, and in areas of recent discoveries including the Henry Mountains, Utah, the McDermitt caldera in Nevada and Oregon, and central Colorado. The distributions, by location, of total surface drilling for 1979 and the first half of 1980 are presented

  19. Exploring the nanoworld

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cockayne, D.

    2002-01-01

    Full text: The nanoworld is a real world waiting to be explored and to be exploited, and the key to this world is microscopy. Modem techniques of microscopy reveal not only atoms and molecules, but also how they combine and interact. They allow us to explore not only the natural but also the synthesised nanoworld. Through this exploration, we can discover new natural forms which can act as templates for constructing novel materials of technological and scientific importance, we can obtain knowledge about the nanoworld (eg the structure of macromolecules) which gives us the means to manipulate the natural world, and we can discover how nature uses microstructure to achieve materials properties (eg strength) which we can then mimic. There are many modern forms of microscopy which are used in this exploration. They include not only a variety of microscopes (eg electron, atomic force, scanning tunnelling) but also an increasing range of sophisticated techniques such as electron tomography, image reconstruction, energy loss spectroscopy and high resolution microscopy, in which mathematical manipulation of the data is playing an increasingly important role. Meanwhile developments in aberration correctors and electron energy monochromation are taking microscopy into a new realm of resolution both in imaging and spectroscopy. Research at the nanoscale is causing a convergence between the biological and physical sciences, largely because the tools and techniques they use are becoming increasingly common to both fields. This challenges us to arrange our activities to optimise our efforts and resources. So we see significant developments in shared instrumentation and remote operation, and we see the setting up of nanotechnology institutes where researchers from across the biological, mathematical, materials and medical disciplines explore together. Copyright (2002) Australian Society for Electron Microscopy Inc

  20. Uranium exploration in Australia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Battey, G.C.; Hawkins, B.W.

    1977-01-01

    As a result of exploration which recommenced in 1966 Australia's uranium reserves increased from 6,200 tonnes in 1967 to 227,000 tonnes uranium by June 1976. Most discoveries in the early 1950's were made by prospectors. The increase in reserves during the past decade is the result of exploration by companies utilising improved technology in areas selected as geologically favourable. These reserves were established at relatively low cost. In the Alligator Rivers Uranium Province the ''vein'' type deposits at Jabiluka, Ranger, Koongarra and Nabarlek contain 17% of the world's reserves. Most of these discoveries resulted from the investigation of airborne radiometric anomalies but cover over the prospective host rocks will necessitate the future use of costlier and more indirect exploration techniques. There was exploration for sandstone type uranium deposits in most of Australia's sedimentary basins. The greatest success was achieved in the Lake Frome Basin in South Australia. Other deposits were found in the Ngalia and Amadeus Basins in Central Australia and in the Westmoreland area, N.W. Queensland. A major uranium deposit was found in an unusual environment at Yeelirrie, Western Australia where carnotite occurs in a caliche and clay host which fills a shallow, ancient drainage channel. Although caliche occurrences are relatively widespread on the Precambrian shield no other economic deposit has been found. Recent discoveries in the Georgetown area of Queensland indicate the presence of another uranium province but it is too early to assess its potential. The ore occurs in clastic sediments at the base of a volcanic sequence overlying a Precambrian basement. Several companies which have established large uranium reserves have a number of additional attractive prospects. Exploration activity in Australia in 1975 was at a lower level than in previous years, but the potential for discovering further deposits is considered to be high

  1. Instrumentation for in situ sampling and analysis of compounds of interest to Astrobiology in the lower atmosphere and surface of Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holland, Paul M.; Kojiro, Daniel R.; Stimac, Robert; Kaye, William; Takeuchi, Nori

    2006-01-01

    Instrumentation for exploration of the solar system will require new enabling technology for in situ sample acquisition and analysis of pre-biotic chemistry in extreme planetary environments, such as that encountered at the surface of Titan. The potential use of balloon aero-rovers for Titan places special emphasis on the importance of miniaturization, low power and low usage of consumables. To help meet this need, we are developing a miniature gas chromatograph coupled with a new Mini-Cell ion mobility spectrometer (GC-IMS), and one of us (PMH) has begun development work on a miniaturized cryogenic inlet system with sampling probes for Titan. This instrumentation, and its approach for meeting measurement needs for the analysis of prebiotic chemistry on Titan, will be discussed.

  2. Exploring Urban Screens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zlatan Krajina

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available There is a tautological tendency in the widespread claims that urban space is 'me-diated'. Never before has the citizen, it is argued, been confronted with such an unprecedented array of signage. I depart from the rhetoric of 'biggest-ever-saturation' as not necessarily untrue, but as insufficient in exploring the diverse spatial operations of urban screens. I examine some contemporary cases of ani-mated architectural surfaces, informational panels, and advertising billboards, with reference to much longer standing cultural practices of spatial management in modern cities, such as illumination, to suggest that the contemporary display media do not mediate the city anew but re-invent urban space as a field of ubiqui-tous mediation. From that standpoint I suggest exploring urban screens as a both singular visual agents and indivisible items in plural structural assemblages, b complementary forces of public illumination, and c complex perceptual platforms in visual play of scale and distance.

  3. Exploring rationality in schizophrenia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Revsbech, Rasmus; Mortensen, Erik Lykke; Owen, Gareth

    2015-01-01

    Background Empirical studies of rationality (syllogisms) in patients with schizophrenia have obtained different results. One study found that patients reason more logically if the syllogism is presented through an unusual content. Aims To explore syllogism-based rationality in schizophrenia. Meth...... differences became non-significant. Conclusions When taking intelligence and neuropsychological performance into account, patients with schizophrenia and controls perform similarly on syllogism tests of rationality.......Background Empirical studies of rationality (syllogisms) in patients with schizophrenia have obtained different results. One study found that patients reason more logically if the syllogism is presented through an unusual content. Aims To explore syllogism-based rationality in schizophrenia. Method...... Thirty-eight first-admitted patients with schizophrenia and 38 healthy controls solved 29 syllogisms that varied in presentation content (ordinary v. unusual) and validity (valid v. invalid). Statistical tests were made of unadjusted and adjusted group differences in models adjusting for intelligence...

  4. Exploring textual data

    CERN Document Server

    Lebart, Ludovic; Berry, Lisette

    1998-01-01

    Researchers in a number of disciplines deal with large text sets requiring both text management and text analysis. Faced with a large amount of textual data collected in marketing surveys, literary investigations, historical archives and documentary data bases, these researchers require assistance with organizing, describing and comparing texts. Exploring Textual Data demonstrates how exploratory multivariate statistical methods such as correspondence analysis and cluster analysis can be used to help investigate, assimilate and evaluate textual data. The main text does not contain any strictly mathematical demonstrations, making it accessible to a large audience. This book is very user-friendly with proofs abstracted in the appendices. Full definitions of concepts, implementations of procedures and rules for reading and interpreting results are fully explored. A succession of examples is intended to allow the reader to appreciate the variety of actual and potential applications and the complementary processin...

  5. Exploring improvisation in nursing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanley, Mary Anne; Fenton, Mary V

    2007-06-01

    Improvisation has long been considered a function of music, dance, and the theatre arts. An exploration of the definitions and characteristics of this concept in relation to the art and practice of nursing provide an opportunity to illuminate related qualities within the field of nursing. Nursing has always demonstrated improvisation because it is often required to meet the needs of patients in a rapidly changing environment. However, little has been done to identify improvisation in the practice of nursing or to teach improvisation as a nursing knowledge-based skill. This article strives to explore the concept of improvisation in nursing, to describe the characteristics of improvisation as applied to nursing, and to utilize case studies to illustrate various manifestations of improvisation in nursing practice.

  6. The Primordial Inflation Explorer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kogut, Alan J.

    2012-01-01

    The Primordial Inflation Explorer is an Explorer-class mission to measure the gravity-wave signature of primordial inflation through its distinctive imprint on the linear polarization of the cosmic microwave background. PIXIE uses an innovative optical design to achieve background-limited sensitivity in 400 spectral channels spanning 2.5 decades in frequency from 30 GHz to 6 THz (1 cm to 50 micron wavelength). The principal science goal is the detection and characterization of linear polarization from an inflationary epoch in the early universe, with tensor-to-scalar ratio r < 10(exp -3) at 5 standard deviations. The rich PIXIE data set will also constrain physical processes ranging from Big Bang cosmology to the nature of the first stars to physical conditions within the interstellar medium of the Galaxy. I describe the PIXIE instrument and mission architecture needed to detect the inflationary signature using only 4 semiconductor bolometers.

  7. Scientific Resource EXplorer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xing, Z.; Wormuth, A.; Smith, A.; Arca, J.; Lu, Y.; Sayfi, E.

    2014-12-01

    Inquisitive minds in our society are never satisfied with curatedimages released by a typical public affairs office. They always want tolook deeper and play directly on original data. However, most scientificdata products are notoriously hard to use. They are immensely large,highly distributed and diverse in format. In this presentation,we will demonstrate Resource EXplorer (REX), a novel webtop applicationthat allows anyone to conveniently explore and visualize rich scientificdata repositories, using only a standard web browser. This tool leverageson the power of Webification Science (w10n-sci), a powerful enabling technologythat simplifies the use of scientific data on the web platform.W10n-sci is now being deployed at an increasing number of NASA data centers,some of which are the largest digital treasure troves in our nation.With REX, these wonderful scientific resources are open for teachers andstudents to learn and play.

  8. Optimal exploration target zones

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Debba, Pravesh

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available prospective map are the weights-of-evidence (WofE) method logistic regression canonical favorability analysis neural networks evidential belief functions Optimal Exploration Target Zones Debba, Carranza, Stein, van der Meer Introduction to Remote.... . . ): FITNESS FUNCTION φWMSD+V(Sn) = λ N(A) ∑ −→x ∈A P(−→x ) ∣ ∣ ∣ ∣−→x −QSn( −→x ) ∣ ∣ ∣ ∣ +(1− λ)s2(OSn) , (2) where QSn( −→x ) is the location vector of an optimal exploration focal point in Sn nearest to −→x , and s2(OSn) is the variance...

  9. An asteroseismology explorer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brown, T.M.; Cox, A.N.

    1987-01-01

    In response to a NASA opportunity, a proposal has been made to study the concept of an Asteroseismology Explorer (ASE). The goal of the ASE would be to measure solar-like oscillations on many (perhaps hundreds) of stars during a 1-year mission, including many members of open clusters. In this paper, the authors describe this proposal's observational goals, a strawman technical approach, and likely scientific rewards

  10. Gases in uranium exploration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wright, R.J.; Pacer, J.C.

    1981-01-01

    Interest continues to grow in the use of helium and radon detection as a uranium exploration tool because, in many instances, these radiogenic gases are the only indicators of deeply buried mineralization. The origin of these gases, their migration in the ground, the type of samples and measurement techniques are discussed. Case histories of comparative tests conducted on known uranium deposits at three geologically diverse sites in the United States of America are also presented. (author)

  11. COACH – EXPLORER - MANAGER

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Đorđe Nićin

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Nowdays technologies are characterised by the expert specialists. In training technologies there are also coaches-experts for some sports. Aport from governing training technology, thus he performs manager’s work (planning, programing, accomplishing, controlling, correcting the coach also performs the work of an explorer, because the work of the coach is creative, creating, exploring and it is necessary to include innovation into training process, and innovations are nothing but rehearse of someting new, what is but scientific approach to the training. More the coach succeeds in controlling more factors which influence the sport achievement, he will be more successful. To be able to do all that, the coach must observe, follow, control and correct sportist’s reactions on exercises and loads all the time. The coach demonstrates his activity even through marketing, educational psychological, administrative- technical, nutritional and entire useful social role, so his work is interdisciplinary very complex, important, public, and thus it is a subject to critics. In order to be successful, a modern coach must be an exellent expert-specialist, but also an explorer and manager, and before all a creator of training technology

  12. Affinity of Smectite and Divalent Metal Ions (Mg(2+), Ca(2+), Cu(2+)) with L-leucine: An Experimental and Theoretical Approach Relevant to Astrobiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandey, Pramod; Pant, Chandra Kala; Gururani, Kavita; Arora, Priyanka; Pandey, Neetu; Bhatt, Preeti; Sharma, Yogesh; Negi, Jagmohan Singh; Mehata, Mohan Singh

    2015-12-01

    Earth is the only known planet bestowed with life. Several attempts have been made to explore the pathways of the origin of life on planet Earth. The search for the chemistry which gave rise to life has given answers related to the formation of biomonomers, and their adsorption on solid surfaces has gained much attention for the catalysis and stabilization processes related to the abiotic chemical evolution of the complex molecules of life. In this communication, surface interactions of L-leucine (Leu) on smectite (SMT) group of clay (viz. bentonite and montmorillonite) and their divalent metal ion (Mg(2+), Ca(2+) and Cu(2+)) incorporated on SMT has been studied to find the optimal conditions of time, pH, and concentration at ambient temperature (298 K). The progress of adsorption was followed spectrophotometrically and further characterized by FTIR, SEM/EDS and XRD. Leu, a neutral/non polar amino acid, was found to have more affinity in its zwitterionic form towards Cu(2+)- exchanged SMT and minimal affinity for Mg(2+)- exchanged SMT. The vibrational frequency shifts of -NH3 (+) and -COO(-) favor Van der Waal's forces during the course of surface interaction. Quantum calculations using density functional theory (DFT) have been applied to investigate the absolute value of metal ion affinities of Leu (Leu-M(2+) complex, M = Mg(2+), Ca(2+), Cu(2+)) with the help of their physico-chemical parameters. The hydration effect on the relative stability and geometry of the individual species of Leu-M(2+) × (H2O)n, (n =2 and 4) has also been evaluated within the supermolecule approach. Evidence gathered from investigations of surface interactions, divalent metal ions affinities and hydration effects with biomolecules may be important for better understanding of chemical evolution, the stabilization of biomolecules on solid surfaces and biomolecular-metal interactions. These results may have implications for understanding the origin of life and the preservation of

  13. Exploring Monte Carlo methods

    CERN Document Server

    Dunn, William L

    2012-01-01

    Exploring Monte Carlo Methods is a basic text that describes the numerical methods that have come to be known as "Monte Carlo." The book treats the subject generically through the first eight chapters and, thus, should be of use to anyone who wants to learn to use Monte Carlo. The next two chapters focus on applications in nuclear engineering, which are illustrative of uses in other fields. Five appendices are included, which provide useful information on probability distributions, general-purpose Monte Carlo codes for radiation transport, and other matters. The famous "Buffon's needle proble

  14. Spacecraft exploration of asteroids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Veverka, J.; Langevin, Y.; Farquhar, R.; Fulchignoni, M.

    1989-01-01

    After two decades of spacecraft exploration, we still await the first direct investigation of an asteroid. This paper describes how a growing international interest in the solar system's more primitive bodies should remedy this. Plans are under way in Europe for a dedicated asteroid mission (Vesta) which will include multiple flybys with in situ penetrator studies. Possible targets include 4 Vesta, 8 Flora and 46 Hestia; launch its scheduled for 1994 or 1996. In the United States, NASA plans include flybys of asteroids en route to outer solar system targets

  15. Exploring C++ 11

    CERN Document Server

    Lischner, Ray

    2014-01-01

    Exploring C++ divides C++ up into bite-sized chunks that will help you learn the language one step at a time. Assuming no familiarity with C++, or any other C-based language, you'll be taught everything you need to know in a logical progression of small lessons that you can work through as quickly or as slowly as you need.C++ can be a complicated language. Writing even the most straight-forward of programs requires you to understand many disparate aspects of the language and how they interact with one another. C++ doesn't lend itself to neat compartmentalization the way other languages do. Rat

  16. Exploration Medical System Demonstration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubin, D. A.; Watkins, S. D.

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Exploration class missions will present significant new challenges and hazards to the health of the astronauts. Regardless of the intended destination, beyond low Earth orbit a greater degree of crew autonomy will be required to diagnose medical conditions, develop treatment plans, and implement procedures due to limited communications with ground-based personnel. SCOPE: The Exploration Medical System Demonstration (EMSD) project will act as a test bed on the International Space Station (ISS) to demonstrate to crew and ground personnel that an end-to-end medical system can assist clinician and non-clinician crew members in optimizing medical care delivery and data management during an exploration mission. Challenges facing exploration mission medical care include limited resources, inability to evacuate to Earth during many mission phases, and potential rendering of medical care by non-clinicians. This system demonstrates the integration of medical devices and informatics tools for managing evidence and decision making and can be designed to assist crewmembers in nominal, non-emergent situations and in emergent situations when they may be suffering from performance decrements due to environmental, physiological or other factors. PROJECT OBJECTIVES: The objectives of the EMSD project are to: a. Reduce or eliminate the time required of an on-orbit crew and ground personnel to access, transfer, and manipulate medical data. b. Demonstrate that the on-orbit crew has the ability to access medical data/information via an intuitive and crew-friendly solution to aid in the treatment of a medical condition. c. Develop a common data management framework that can be ubiquitously used to automate repetitive data collection, management, and communications tasks for all activities pertaining to crew health and life sciences. d. Ensure crew access to medical data during periods of restricted ground communication. e. Develop a common data management framework that

  17. SpaceExplorer

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Thomas Riisgaard

    2007-01-01

    Web pages are designed to be displayed on a single screen, but as more and more screens are being introduced in our surroundings a burning question becomes how to design, interact, and display web pages on multiple devices and displays. In this paper I present the SpaceExplorer prototype, which...... is able to display standard HTML web pages on multiple displays with only a minor modification to the language. Based on the prototype a number of different examples are presented and discussed and some preliminary findings are presented....

  18. The Cosmic Background Explorer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gulkis, Samuel; Lubin, Philip M.; Meyer, Stephan S.; Silverberg, Robert F.

    1990-01-01

    The Cosmic Background Explorer (CBE), NASA's cosmological satellite which will observe a radiative relic of the big bang, is discussed. The major questions connected to the big bang theory which may be clarified using the CBE are reviewed. The satellite instruments and experiments are described, including the Differential Microwave Radiometer, which measures the difference between microwave radiation emitted from two points on the sky, the Far-Infrared Absolute Spectrophotometer, which compares the spectrum of radiation from the sky at wavelengths from 100 microns to one cm with that from an internal blackbody, and the Diffuse Infrared Background Experiment, which searches for the radiation from the earliest generation of stars.

  19. Uranium exploration techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nichols, C.E.

    1984-01-01

    The subject is discussed under the headings: introduction (genetic description of some uranium deposits; typical concentrations of uranium in the natural environment); sedimentary host rocks (sandstones; tabular deposits; roll-front deposits; black shales); metamorphic host rocks (exploration techniques); geologic techniques (alteration features in sandstones; favourable features in metamorphic rocks); geophysical techniques (radiometric surveys; surface vehicle methods; airborne methods; input surveys); geochemical techniques (hydrogeochemistry; petrogeochemistry; stream sediment geochemistry; pedogeochemistry; emanometry; biogeochemistry); geochemical model for roll-front deposits; geologic model for vein-like deposits. (U.K.)

  20. Exploring Opponent Formats

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Mads Møller; Rasmussen, Majken; Grønbæk, Kaj

    2013-01-01

    of how the opponent format and relationships impact a game are almost absent in current research. Thus, this paper aims to elucidate how the perception of a competition differs, depending on the opponent format, by presenting a game mechanic framework. The paper furthermore presents an interactive...... football-training platform, as well as games designed to explore the different opponent formats. The games are qualitatively evaluated to illuminate the qualities of and distinctions between different types of opponent formats, proposed by the framework terminology....

  1. Uranium reserves and exploration activity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Meehan, R.J.

    1975-01-01

    The strategy that ERDA plans to employ regarding resource appraisal is outlined. All types of uranium occurrences will be evaluated as sources of domestic ore reserves. Industry's exploration efforts will be compiled. These data will include information on land acquisition and costs, footage drilled and costs, estimates of exploration activities and expenditures, exploration for non-sandstone deposits, exploration in non-established areas, and foreign exploration plans and costs. Typical data in each of these areas are given

  2. Cosmochemistry and Human Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, G. J.

    2004-12-01

    About 125 scientists, engineers, business men and women, and other specialists attended the sixth meeting of the Space Resources Roundtable, held at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado. The meeting was co-sponsored by the Space Resources Roundtable, Inc. (a nonprofit organization dedicated to the use of space resources for the benefit of humankind), the Lunar and Planetary Institute, and the Colorado School of Mines. Presentations and discussions during the meeting made it clear that the knowledge gained from cosmochemical studies of the Moon and Mars is central to devising ways to use in situ resources. This makes cosmochemistry central to the human exploration and development of space, which cannot happen without extensive in situ resource utilization (ISRU). Cosmochemists at the meeting reported on an array of topics: the nature of lunar surface materials and our lack of knowledge about surface materials in permanently shadowed regions at the lunar poles; how to make reasonable simulated lunar materials for resource extraction testbeds, vehicle design tests, and construction experiments on Earth; and how to explore for resources on the Moon and Mars.

  3. Religion and Lunar Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pop, V.

    1969: The Eagle lands on the Moon. A moment that would not only mark the highest scientific achievement of all times, but would also have significant religious impli- cations. While the island of Bali lodges a protest at the United Nations against the US for desecrating a sacred place, Hopi Indians celebrate the fulfilment of an ancient prophecy that would reveal the "truth of the Sacred Ways". The plaque fastened to the Eagle - "We Came in Peace for All Mankind" would have contained the words "under God" as directed by the US president, if not for an assistant administrator at NASA that did not want to offend any religion. In the same time, Buzz Aldrin takes the Holy Communion on the Moon, and a Bible is left there by another Apollo mission - not long after the crew of Apollo 8 reads a passage from Genesis while circling the Moon. 1998: Navajo Indians lodge a protest with NASA for placing human ashes aboard the Lunar Prospector, as the Moon is a sacred place in their religion. Past, present and fu- ture exploration of the Moon has significant religious and spiritual implications that, while not widely known, are nonetheless important. Is lunar exploration a divine duty, or a sacrilege? This article will feature and thoroughly analyse the examples quoted above, as well as other facts, as for instance the plans of establishing lunar cemeteries - welcomed by some religions, and opposed by others.

  4. The advanced composition explorer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stone, E.C.; Burlaga, L.F.; Cummings, A.C.; Feldman, W.C.; Frain, W.E.; Geiss, J.; Gloeckler, G.; Gold, R.E.; Hovestadt, D.; Krimigis, S.M.; Mason, G.M.; McComas, D.; Mewaldt, R.A.; Simpson, J.A.; von Rosenvinge, T.T.; Wiedenbeck, M.E.

    1990-01-01

    The Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) was recently selected as one of two new Explorer-class missions to be developed for launch during the mid-1990's ACE will observe particles of solar, interplanetary, interstellar, and galactic origins, spanning the energy range from that of the solar wind (∼1 keV/nucleon) to galactic cosmic ray energies (several hundred MeV/nucleon). Definitive studies will be made of the abundance of nearly all isotopes from H to Zn (1≤Z≤30), with exploratory isotope studies extending to Zr(Z=40). To accomplish this, the ACE payload includes six high-resolution spectrometers, each designed to provide the optimum charge, mass, or charge-state resolution in its particular energy range, and each having a geometry factor optimized for the expected flux levels, so as to provide a collecting power a factor of 10 to 1000 times greater than previous or planned experiments. The payload also includes several instruments of standard design that will monitor solar wind and magnetic field conditions and energetic H, He, and electron fluxes. We summarize here the scientific objectives, instrumentation, spacecraft, and mission approach that were defined for ACE during the Phase-A study period

  5. Human exploration mission studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cataldo, Robert L.

    1989-01-01

    The Office of Exploration has established a process whereby all NASA field centers and other NASA Headquarters offices participate in the formulation and analysis of a wide range of mission strategies. These strategies were manifested into specific scenarios or candidate case studies. The case studies provided a systematic approach into analyzing each mission element. First, each case study must address several major themes and rationale including: national pride and international prestige, advancement of scientific knowledge, a catalyst for technology, economic benefits, space enterprise, international cooperation, and education and excellence. Second, the set of candidate case studies are formulated to encompass the technology requirement limits in the life sciences, launch capabilities, space transfer, automation, and robotics in space operations, power, and propulsion. The first set of reference case studies identify three major strategies: human expeditions, science outposts, and evolutionary expansion. During the past year, four case studies were examined to explore these strategies. The expeditionary missions include the Human Expedition to Phobos and Human Expedition to Mars case studies. The Lunar Observatory and Lunar Outpost to Early Mars Evolution case studies examined the later two strategies. This set of case studies established the framework to perform detailed mission analysis and system engineering to define a host of concepts and requirements for various space systems and advanced technologies. The details of each mission are described and, specifically, the results affecting the advanced technologies required to accomplish each mission scenario are presented.

  6. Exploring Servitization in China

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Raja, Jawwad Z.; Frandsen, Thomas

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: Previous research has predominately focused on the servitization strategies of Western manufacturers in advanced economies, neglecting the potential for servitization in those which are emerging, such as China. This paper explores the role of the external service partner network of a Eur......Purpose: Previous research has predominately focused on the servitization strategies of Western manufacturers in advanced economies, neglecting the potential for servitization in those which are emerging, such as China. This paper explores the role of the external service partner network...... of a European manufacturer providing services in China, in order to develop a better understanding of the resulting and associated challenges. Design/methodology/approach: An in-depth case study approach was used to examine the parent company, its subsidiary in China and the related service partner network....... Data collection involved all three actors and took place in Denmark and China. Findings: The findings suggest that motivation, opportunity and ability (MOA) need not only be mutually reinforcing for the organization attempting to move towards services but also aligned between organizational units...

  7. Exploration Supply Chain Simulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    The Exploration Supply Chain Simulation project was chartered by the NASA Exploration Systems Mission Directorate to develop a software tool, with proper data, to quantitatively analyze supply chains for future program planning. This tool is a discrete-event simulation that uses the basic supply chain concepts of planning, sourcing, making, delivering, and returning. This supply chain perspective is combined with other discrete or continuous simulation factors. Discrete resource events (such as launch or delivery reviews) are represented as organizational functional units. Continuous resources (such as civil service or contractor program functions) are defined as enabling functional units. Concepts of fixed and variable costs are included in the model to allow the discrete events to interact with cost calculations. The definition file is intrinsic to the model, but a blank start can be initiated at any time. The current definition file is an Orion Ares I crew launch vehicle. Parameters stretch from Kennedy Space Center across and into other program entities (Michaud Assembly Facility, Aliant Techsystems, Stennis Space Center, Johnson Space Center, etc.) though these will only gain detail as the file continues to evolve. The Orion Ares I file definition in the tool continues to evolve, and analysis from this tool is expected in 2008. This is the first application of such business-driven modeling to a NASA/government-- aerospace contractor endeavor.

  8. Considering the Ethical Implications of Space Exploration and Potential Impacts on Planetary Environments and Possible Indigenous Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Race, Margaret

    Since the early days of the Outer Space Treaty, a primary concern of planetary protection policy has been to avoid contamination of planetary environments by terrestrial microbes that could compromise current or subsequent scientific investigations, particularly those searching for indigenous life. Over the past decade robotic missions and astrobiological research have greatly increased our understanding of diverse planetary landscapes and altered our views about the survivability of terrestrial organisms in extreme environments. They have also expanded notions about the prospect for finding evidence of extraterrestrial life. Recently a number of different groups, including the COSPAR Planetary Protection Workshop in Montreal (January 2008), have questioned whether it is advisable to re-examine current biological planetary protection policy in light of the ethical implications and responsibilities to preserve planetary environments and possible indigenous life. This paper discusses the issues and concerns that have led to recent recommendations for convening an international workshop specifically to discuss planetary protection policy and practices within a broader ethical and practical framework, and to consider whether revisions to policy and practices should be made. In addition to including various international scientific and legal organizations and experts in such a workshop, it will be important to find ways to involve the public in these discussions about ethical aspects of planetary exploration.

  9. Exploring exploration orientation and its determinants : Some empirical evidence

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Commandeur, H.R.; Volberda, H.W.; Sidhu, J.S.

    2004-01-01

    Adopting an information-process perspective, this article conceptualizes exploration orientation in terms of scope of information acquisition. In line with this conceptualization, a multidimensional operational measure of exploration orientation is developed and its internal consistency established.

  10. The design explorer project

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pejtersen, Annelise Mark; Sonnenwald, Diane H.; Buur, Jacob

    1997-01-01

    the 'Design Explorer' research project whose goal is to specify requirements for an information system that will effectively help design team members from different domains and organizational cultures to locate and utilize diverse information sources and interact more effectively throughout the design process....... The project introduces a new approach to support of design; instead of design guidelines, support is given by creating a transparent information environment in which designers can navigate freely according to their individual preferences. The project is based on a framework that structures the dimensions......, or categories, of domain information which need to be available for a system or product designer/design team in order to determine the characteristics of the artefact, or object of design. These dimensions include information about the different work domains in which the product plays a role during its lifetime...

  11. Exploring the Sharing Economy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Netter, Sarah

    Despite the growing interest on the part of proponents and opponents - ranging from business, civil society, media, to policy-makers alike - there is still limited knowledge about the working mechanisms of the sharing economy. The thesis is dedicated to explore this understudied phenomenon...... and to provide a more nuanced understanding of the micro- and macro-level tensions that characterize the sharing economy. This thesis consists of four research papers, each using different literature, methodology, and data sets. The first paper investigates how the sharing economy is diffused and is ‘talked......-level tensions experience by sharing platforms by looking at the case of mobile fashion reselling and swapping markets. The final paper combines the perspectives of different sharing economy stakeholders and outlines some of the micro and macro tensions arising in and influencing the organization of these multi...

  12. Nutrition for Space Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Scott M.

    2005-01-01

    Nutrition has proven to be critical throughout the history of human exploration, on both land and water. The importance of nutrition during long-duration space exploration is no different. Maintaining optimal nutritional status is critical for all bodily systems, especially in light of the fact that that many are also affected by space flight itself. Major systems of concern are bone, muscle, the cardiovascular system, the immune system, protection against radiation damage, and others. The task ahead includes defining the nutritional requirements for space travelers, ensuring adequacy of the food system, and assessing crew nutritional status before, during, and after flight. Accomplishing these tasks will provide significant contributions to ensuring crew health on long-duration missions. In addition, development and testing of nutritional countermeasures to effects of space flight is required, and assessment of the impact of other countermeasures (such as exercise and pharmaceuticals) on nutrition is also critical for maintaining overall crew health. Vitamin D stores of crew members are routinely low after long-duration space flight. This occurs even when crew members take vitamin D supplements, suggesting that vitamin D metabolism may be altered during space flight. Vitamin D is essential for efficient absorption of calcium, and has numerous other benefits for other tissues with vitamin D receptors. Protein is a macronutrient that requires additional study to define the optimal intake for space travelers. Administration of protein to bed rest subjects can effectively mitigate muscle loss associated with disuse, but too much or too little protein can also have negative effects on bone. In another bed rest study, we found that the ratio of protein to potassium was correlated with the level of bone resorption: the higher the ratio, the more bone resorption. These relationships warrant further study to optimize the beneficial effect of protein on both bone and muscle

  13. Mineral nuclear exploration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Filippov, E.M.

    1978-01-01

    The information on quantitative determination in rocks of water (humidity), rock-forming chemical elements, and various usefull components are presented. When considering separate chemical elements given are brief information on their content in natural objects, nuclear properties (the main reactions, their cross sections, isotope characteristics etc.). Possibilities of different nuclear methods in determination of chemical element concentrations in ores and rocks are analyzed. The greatest attention is paid to analysis of methods, based on gamma quantum and neutron irradiation. The results of application of laboratory nuclear-physical methods of rapid analysis are briefly considered, whereas the results of different field methods of nuclear exploration are considered in detail: field survey, well logging, inspection of mine roadway walls. In the appendix general information on chemical elements and sensitivity thresholds of certain activation methods are presented

  14. Exploring Entrepreneurial Network Relationships

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Norus, Jesper

    2003-01-01

    explores four different strategies for dealing with network relations; the research oriented strategy, the incubator strategy, the industrial partnering strategy, and the policy-oriented strategy. The research-oriented strategy is narrowly focusing on how a biotechnology firm transforms their scientific...... treated as a contingent factor. However only little attention have been giving to a specific focus on the strategies that new business ventures have obtained to establish the fit between small firms, university research, and public policies such as regulatory policies and R&D policies. The emergence...... results into promising technologies, services or products. The incubator strategy is concerned with localization and how to come about specific types of managerial problem in the initial stage of forming a business venture. The industrial partnering strategy concerns how to overcome the problem...

  15. Exploring bacterial lignin degradation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Margaret E; Chang, Michelle C Y

    2014-04-01

    Plant biomass represents a renewable carbon feedstock that could potentially be used to replace a significant level of petroleum-derived chemicals. One major challenge in its utilization is that the majority of this carbon is trapped in the recalcitrant structural polymers of the plant cell wall. Deconstruction of lignin is a key step in the processing of biomass to useful monomers but remains challenging. Microbial systems can provide molecular information on lignin depolymerization as they have evolved to break lignin down using metalloenzyme-dependent radical pathways. Both fungi and bacteria have been observed to metabolize lignin; however, their differential reactivity with this substrate indicates that they may utilize different chemical strategies for its breakdown. This review will discuss recent advances in studying bacterial lignin degradation as an approach to exploring greater diversity in the environment. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Exploring the Moon

    CERN Document Server

    Harland, David M

    2008-01-01

    David Harland opens with a review of the robotic probes, namely the Rangers which returned television before crashing into the Moon, the Surveyors which ''soft landed'' in order to investigate the nature of the surface, and the Lunar Orbiters which mapped prospective Apollo landing sites. He then outlines the historic landing by Apollo 11 in terms of what was discovered, and how over the next several missions the program was progressively geared up to enable the final three missions each to spend three days on comprehensive geological investigations. He concludes with a review of the robotic spacecraft that made remote-sensing observations of the Moon. Although aimed at the enthusiast, and can be read as an adventure in exploration, the book develops the scientific theme of lunar geology, and therefore will be of use as background reading for undergraduate students of planetary sciences. In addition, with the prospect of a resumption of human missions, it will help journalists understand what Apollo achieved ...

  17. Solar system exploration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Briggs, G.A.; Quaide, W.L.

    1986-01-01

    Two fundamental goals lie at the heart of U.S. solar system exploration efforts: first, to characterize the evolution of the solar system; second, to understand the processes which produced life. Progress in planetary science is traced from Newton's definition of the principles of gravitation through a variety of NASA planetary probes in orbit, on other planets and traveling beyond the solar system. It is noted that most of the planetary data collected by space probes are always eventually applied to improving the understanding of the earth, moon, Venus and Mars, the planets of greatest interest to humans. Significant data gathered by the Mariner, Viking, Apollo, Pioneer, and Voyager spacecraft are summarized, along with the required mission support capabilities and mission profiles. Proposed and planned future missions to Jupiter, Saturn, Titan, the asteroids and for a comet rendzvous are described

  18. Exploring the brain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bloch, G.; Vernier, P.; Le Bihan, D.; Comtat, C.; Van Wassenhove, V.; Texier, I.; Planat-Chretien, A.; Poher, V.; Dinten, J.M.; Pannetier-lecoeur, M.; Trebossen, R.; Lethimonnier, F.; Eger, E.; Thirion, B.; Dehaene-Lambertz, G.; Piazza, M.; Mangin, J.F.; Dehaene, S.; Pallier, C.; Marti, S.; Klein, E.; Martinot, J.L.; Paillere, M.L.; Artiges, E.; Lemaitre, H.; Karila, L.; Houenou, J.; Sarrazin, S.; Hantraye, P.; Aron Badin, R.; Mergui, S.; Palfi, S.; Bemelmans, A.; Berger, F.; Frouin, V.; Pinel, J.F.; Crivello, F.; Mazoyer, B.; Flury-Herard, A.

    2014-01-01

    CEA (French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission) has been involved in brain research for over 50 years and this 62. issue of 'Clefs CEA' is the best occasion to come back on the latest advances in this wide field. The purpose is to show how neuroimaging combined with neuro sciences and computational sciences has shed light on various aspects of the brain life and experience such as for instance learning (with highlights on dyslexia and dyscalculia), vision, the feeling of time, consciousness, addictions, ageing, and neuro-degenerative diseases. This document is divided into 6 parts: 1) non-invasive exploration of the brain, 2) development, learning and plasticity of the brain, 3) cognitive architecture and the brain, 4) mental health and vulnerability, 5) neuro-degenerative diseases, and 6) identifying bio-markers for cerebral disorders. (A.C.)

  19. Exploring Seafloor Volcanoes in Cyberspace: NOAA's "Ocean Explorer" Inspires Inquiry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hjelm, Elizabeth

    2011-01-01

    Seafloor exploration being done by scientists is an ideal way to introduce students to technology as a tool for inquiry. The same technology that allows scientists to share data in near real time can also provide students the tools to become researchers. NOAA's Ocean Explorer Explorations website is a rich research data bank that can be used by…

  20. Mineral exploration in developing countries

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johnson, C.J.; Clark, A.L.

    1988-01-01

    The chapter provides an overview and comparisons of mineral exploration in Botswana and Papua New Guinea, including selection comparisons with Australia and Canada. It describes the history of exploration in Botswana and PNG. The concluding section summarizes the findings

  1. Language and Identity Explored

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Rozanov

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The relationship between language and identity is widely discussed in applied linguistics, sociology, communications and other related scholarly fields. Furthermore, many researchers have focused on the post-Soviet region, which given its unique historical context allows for testing of this relationship. The widespread bilingualism as a result of historical russification and the linguistic transformations that occurred after the collapse of the Soviet Union make the region a ‘sociolinguistic playground’. Recent events in Ukraine have given grounds to further explore this relationship, now in attempt to link language and identity as potential forces for geopolitical change in the region. This paper presents an overview of existing research, theories, and opposing perspectives related to the relationship between language and identity, and considers complications such as historical russification, religious influence, socioeconomic factors, and education with regards to the Ukrainian and post-Soviet context.  I aim to illustrate the significance of language and its effects on socio-political change in the case of Ukraine, by presenting arguments and complications in support of the relationship between language and identity.

  2. Exploring the dusty Universe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Borghese, F

    2005-11-01

    Full Text Available Dust is an ubiquitous inhabitant of the interstellar medium, and leaves an unmistakable signature in its optical properties, and physico-chemical evolution. Although there is little direct knowledge of the true nature of interstellar dust grains, strong evidences point toward the possibility that such grains are composites of many small monomers (mainly made of silicates and carbonaceous materials. We consider two different models of fluffy dust aggregates, occurring as result of ballistic particle-cluster and cluster-cluster aggregation, and a cluster with a Gaussian-like sphere size distribution. We study the optical properties of such composite structures through the multipole fields and the Transition Matrix approach. Our results show the severe limits of applicability of the effective medium theories. By comparing radiation and gravitational forces, we also infer some relevant insights into the dynamical evolution of composite grains in the Solar System. We finally explore the possible role of composite fluffy dust grains in igniting an extraterrestrial prebiotic chemistry.

  3. Exploring digital professionalism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellaway, Rachel H; Coral, Janet; Topps, David; Topps, Maureen

    2015-01-01

    The widespread use of digital media (both computing devices and the services they access) has blurred the boundaries between our personal and professional lives. Contemporary students are the last to remember a time before the widespread use of the Internet and they will be the first to practice in a largely e-health environment. This article explores concepts of digital professionalism and their place in contemporary medical education, and proposes a series of principles of digital professionalism to guide teaching, learning and practice in the healthcare professions. Despite the many risks and fears surrounding their use, digital media are not an intrinsic threat to medical professionalism. Professionals should maintain the capacity for deliberate, ethical, and accountable practice when using digital media. The authors describe a digital professionalism framework structured around concepts of proficiency, reputation, and responsibility. Digital professionalism can be integrated into medical education using strategies based on awareness, alignment, assessment, and accountability. These principles of digital professionalism provide a way for medical students and medical practitioners to embrace the positive aspects of digital media use while being mindful and deliberate in its use to avoid or minimize any negative consequences.

  4. MESSENGER: Exploring Mercury's Magnetosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slavin, James A.

    2008-01-01

    The MESSENGER mission to Mercury offers our first opportunity to explore this planet's miniature magnetosphere since Mariner 10's brief fly-bys in 1974-5. Mercury's magnetosphere is unique in many respects. The magnetosphere of Mercury is the smallest in the solar system with its magnetic field typically standing off the solar wind only - 1000 to 2000 km above the surface. For this reason there are no closed dri-fi paths for energetic particles and, hence, no radiation belts; the characteristic time scales for wave propagation and convective transport are short possibly coupling kinetic and fluid modes; magnetic reconnection at the dayside magnetopause may erode the subsolar magnetosphere allowing solar wind ions to directly impact the dayside regolith; inductive currents in Mercury's interior should act to modify the solar In addition, Mercury's magnetosphere is the only one with its defining magnetic flux tubes rooted in a planetary regolith as opposed to an atmosphere with a conductive ionosphere. This lack of an ionosphere is thought to be the underlying reason for the brevity of the very intense, but short lived, approx. 1-2 min, substorm-like energetic particle events observed by Mariner 10 in Mercury's magnetic tail. In this seminar, we review what we think we know about Mercury's magnetosphere and describe the MESSENGER science team's strategy for obtaining answers to the outstanding science questions surrounding the interaction of the solar wind with Mercury and its small, but dynamic magnetosphere.

  5. Uranium exploration in Bangladesh

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Faruquee, A.R.

    1988-01-01

    The sedimentary succession of Bangladesh has continental sandstones with lignite and organic matter which are favourable host rocks for sedimentary uranium. The shield areas around Bangladesh are considered good source areas for uranium. Encouraged by this idea, the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC) started an exploration programme in 1976 with the assistance of the IAEA and the United Nations Development Programme. Preliminary reconnaissance radiometric surveys carried out in 1976-1977 in the Chittagong, Chittagong hill tract and Sylhet districts identified some anomalies with 3 to 5 times the background (XBG). This was followed by regional reconnaissance radiometric surveys which were carried out between 1977 and 1985 in some of the anticlines of the Chittagong and Sylhet districts, including an airborne (helicopter) survey over the Jaldi area. These surveys resulted in the discovery of more than 300 radiometric anomalies of 3 to 60 XBG. They occur in the medium to fine grained ferruginous sandstones of the Dupitila and Tipam Formations of Mio-Pliocene age. These anomalous beds show variation in slime and heavy mineral contents. Some samples collected from the anomalous beds contain uranium and thorium ranging from 20 to 100 ppm and 100 to 1000 ppm, respectively. Exploratory drilling to a depth of about 400 ft was carried out on a very limited scale in the northeastern part of the Sylhet district. Gamma logging of these holes indicated many subsurface anomalies (3 to 21 XBG) in the Dupitila Formation. These anomalies are linked to thin layers with restricted lateral extensions. Geochemical orientation studies and radon surveys were done in some selected areas of Sylhet to test their suitability for further surveys. 9 refs, 13 figs, 4 tabs

  6. Comet radar explorer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farnham, Tony; Asphaug, Erik; Barucci, Antonella; Belton, Mike; Bockelee-Morvan, Dominique; Brownlee, Donald; Capria, Maria Teresa; Carter, Lynn; Chesley, Steve; Farnham, Tony; Gaskell, Robert; Gim, Young; Heggy, Essam; Herique, Alain; Klaasen, Ken; Kofman, Wlodek; Kreslavsky, Misha; Lisse, Casey; Orosei, Roberto; Plaut, Jeff; Scheeres, Dan

    The Comet Radar Explorer (CORE) is designed to perform a comprehensive and detailed exploration of the interior, surface, and inner coma structures of a scientifically impor-tant Jupiter family comet. These structures will be used to investigate the origins of cometary nuclei, their physical and geological evolution, and the mechanisms driving their spectacular activity. CORE is a high heritage spacecraft, injected by solar electric propulsion into orbit around a comet. It is capable of coherent deep radar imaging at decameter wavelengths, high resolution stereo color imaging, and near-IR imaging spectroscopy. Its primary objective is to obtain a high-resolution map of the interior structure of a comet nucleus at a resolution of ¿100 elements across the diameter. This structure shall be related to the surface geology and morphology, and to the structural details of the coma proximal to the nucleus. This is an ideal complement to the science from recent comet missions, providing insight into how comets work. Knowing the structure of the interior of a comet-what's inside-and how cometary activity works, is required before we can understand the requirements for a cryogenic sample return mission. But more than that, CORE is fundamental to understanding the origin of comets and their evolution in time. The mission is made feasible at low cost by the use of now-standard MARSIS-SHARAD reflec-tion radar imaging hardware and data processing, together with proven flight heritage of solar electric propulsion. Radar flight heritage has been demonstrated by the MARSIS radar on Mars Express (Picardi et al., Science 2005; Plaut et al., Science 2007), the SHARAD radar onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (Seu et al., JGR 2007), and the LRS radar onboard Kaguya (Ono et al, EPS 2007). These instruments have discovered detailed subsurface structure to depths of several kilometers in a variety of terrains on Mars and the Moon. A reflection radar deployed in orbit about a comet

  7. Might Astrobiological Findings Evoke a Religious Crisis?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, T.; Froehlig, J. L.

    2009-12-01

    What might be the likely impact of confirmed discovery of extraterrestrial life—microbial or intelligent life—on terrestrial religion? Many have speculated that the anthropo-centrism and earth-centrism which allegedly have characterized our religious traditions would be confronted with a crisis. Would new knowledge that we are not alone in the universe lead to a collapse of traditional religious belief? This presentation will summarize the results of the Peters Religious Crisis Survey of 1325 respondents. This survey shows that the majority of adherents to Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Buddhism demonstrate little or no anxiety regarding the prospect of contact with extraterrestrial life, even if they express some doubts regarding their respective religious tradition and the traditions of others. This presentation will also show that theological speculation regarding other worlds has sparked lively debate beginning as far back as the middle ages and continuing into our present era. Ted Peters is a research and teaching scholar with the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. He is co-editor of the journal, Theology and Science, and author of the books, The Evolution of Terrestrial and Extraterrestrial Life (Pandora 2008) and Playing God? Genetic Determinism and Human Freedom (Routledge, rev. ed., 2003).

  8. Astrobiology for the 21st Century

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliveira, C.

    2008-02-01

    We live in a scientific world. Science is all around us. We take scientific principles for granted every time we use a piece of technological apparatus, such as a car, a computer, or a cellphone. In today's world, citizens frequently have to make decisions that require them to have some basic scientific knowledge. To be a contributing citizen in a modern democracy, a person needs to understand the general principles of science.

  9. The Astrobiological Case for Our Cosmic Ancestry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wickramasinghe, Chandra

    With steadily mounting evidence that points to a cosmic origin of terrestrial life, a cultural barrier prevails against admitting that such a connection exists. Astronomy continues to reveal the presence of organic molecules and organic dust on a huge cosmic scale, amounting to a third of interstellar carbon tied up in this form. Just as the overwhelming bulk of organics on Earth stored over geological timescales are derived from the degradation of living cells, so it seems most likely that interstellar organics in large measure also derive from biology. As we enter a new decade -- the year 2010 -- a clear pronouncement of our likely alien ancestry and of the existence of extraterrestrial life on a cosmic scale would seem to be overdue.

  10. On the timescale forcing in astrobiology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vukotić B.

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available We investigate the effects of correlated global regulation mechanisms, especially Galactic gamma-ray bursts (GRBs, on the temporal distribution of hypothetical inhabited planets, using simple Monte Carlo numerical experiments. Starting with recently obtained models of planetary ages in the Galactic Habitable Zone (GHZ, we obtain that the times required for biological evolution on habitable planets of the Milky Way are highly correlated. These results run contrary to the famous anti-SETI anthropic argument of Carter, and give tentative support to the ongoing and future SETI observation projects.

  11. From "Frontiers of Astronomy" to Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwok, Sun

    2011-10-01

    In his book Frontiers of Astronomy, Fred Hoyle outlined a number of ideas on the stellar synthesis of solid-state materials and their ejection into the interstellar medium. He also considered the possibility of interstellar organics being integrated into the early Earth during the accretion phase of planetary formation. These organics may have played a role in the origin of life and the creation of fossil fuels. In this paper, we assess these ideas with modern observational evidence, in particular on the evidence of stellar synthesis of complex organics and their delivery to the early Solar System.

  12. Astrobiology with Robotic Telescopes at CAB

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis Cuesta

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The key objectives of RTRCAB are the identification of new exoplanets and especially the characterization of the known exoplanets by observing photometric and systematic monitoring of their transits. These telescopes, equipped with advanced technology, optimized control programs, and optical and technical characteristics adequate for this purpose, are ideal to make the observations that are required to carry out these programs. The achievement of these goals is ensured by the existence of three separated geographical stations. In this sense, there are several planned missions that have the same objectives among their scientific goals, like Kepler, CoRoT, GAIA, and PLATO.

  13. From Astrochemistry to Astrobiology ...... and Back Again

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allamandola, L. J.

    2006-01-01

    Tremendous strides have been made in our understanding of interstellar material over the past twenty five years thanks to significant developments in observational infrared astronomy and laboratory astrophysics. Twenty five years ago the composition of interstellar dust was largely guessed at, the concept of ices in dense molecular clouds generally ignored, and the notion of large, abundant, gas phase, carbon-rich molecules widespread throughout the interstellar medium (ISM) considered impossible. Today the composition of interstellar dust is reasonably well understood. In molecular clouds, the birthplace of stars and planets, these cold dust particles are coated with mixed molecular ices whose composition is reasonably well constrained. Lastly, the signature of carbon-rich polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), shockingly large molecules by early interstellar chemistry standards, is widespread throughout the Universe. The first part of this talk will describe how infrared spectroscopic studies of interstellar space, combined with laboratory simulations and theoretical studies of PAHs and interstellar ices, have revealed the widespread presence of interstellar PAHs and the composition of interstellar precometary ices. The remainder of the presentation will focus on the photochemical evolution of these icy materials. Within a molecular cloud, and especially the presolar nebula, materials frozen into the ices are photoprocessed by ultraviolet light and more complex molecules are produced. As these materials are the building blocks of comets and related to carbonaceous micrometeorites, they are likely to be important sources of complex materials delivered to habitable planets and their composition may be related to the origin of life.

  14. Proceeding of International Astrobiology Workshop 2013

    OpenAIRE

    2013-01-01

    会議情報: 国際アストロバイオロジーワークショップ2013(第6回日本アストロバイオロジーネットワーク年次研究会)(2013年11月28日-30日. 宇宙航空研究開発機構宇宙科学研究所(JAXA)(ISAS)), 相模原市, 神奈川県

  15. Exploring Disks Around Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2017-07-01

    Giant planets are thought to form in circumstellar disks surrounding young stars, but material may also accrete into a smaller disk around the planet. Weve never detected one of these circumplanetary disks before but thanks to new simulations, we now have a better idea of what to look for.Image from previous work simulating a Jupiter-mass planet forming inside a circumstellar disk. The planet has its own circumplanetary disk of accreted material. [Frdric Masset]Elusive DisksIn the formation of giant planets, we think the final phase consists of accretion onto the planet from a disk that surrounds it. This circumplanetary disk is important to understand, since it both regulates the late gas accretion and forms the birthplace of future satellites of the planet.Weve yet to detect a circumplanetary disk thus far, because the resolution needed to spot one has been out of reach. Now, however, were entering an era where the disk and its kinematics may be observable with high-powered telescopes (like the Atacama Large Millimeter Array).To prepare for such observations, we need models that predict the basic characteristics of these disks like the mass, temperature, and kinematic properties. Now a researcher at the ETH Zrich Institute for Astronomy in Switzerland, Judit Szulgyi, has worked toward this goal.Simulating CoolingSzulgyi performs a series of 3D global radiative hydrodynamic simulations of 1, 3, 5, and 10 Jupiter-mass (MJ) giant planets and their surrounding circumplanetary disks, embedded within the larger circumstellar disk around the central star.Density (left column), temperature (center), and normalized angular momentum (right) for a 1 MJ planet over temperatures cooling from 10,000 K (top) to 1,000 K (bottom). At high temperatures, a spherical circumplanetary envelope surrounds the planet, but as the planet cools, the envelope transitions around 64,000 K to a flattened disk. [Szulgyi 2017]This work explores the effects of different planet temperatures and

  16. Uranium exploration techniques in Bolivia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Virreira, V.

    1981-01-01

    The exploration techniques used by the Bolivian Nuclear Energy Commission/Comision Boliviana de Energia Nuclear (COBOEN) in certain areas of Bolivia that are considered promising from the standpoint of uranium deposits are presented in summary form. The methods and results obtained are described, including the techniques used by the Italian company AGIP-URANIUM during four years of exploration under contract with COBOEN. Statistical data are also given explaining the present level of uranium exploration in Bolivia. (author)

  17. Sustaining Exploration in Mature Basins

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bayo, A.

    2002-01-01

    Exploration is a business like any other business driven by opportunity, resources and expectation of profit. Therefore, exploration will thrive anywhere the opportunities are significant, the resources are available and the outlook for profit (or value creation) is good. To sustain exploration activities anywhere, irrespective of the environment, there must be good understanding of the drivers of these key investment criteria. This paper will examine these investment criteria as they relate to exploration business and address the peculiarity of exploration in mature basin. Mature basins are unique environment that lends themselves a mix of fears, paradigms and realities, particularly with respect to the perception of value. To sustain exploration activities in a mature basin, we need to understand these perceptions relative to the true drivers of profitability. Exploration in the mature basins can be as profitable as exploration in emerging basins if the dynamics of value definition-strategic and fiscal values are understood by operators, regulators and co ventures alike. Some suggestions are made in this presentation on what needs to be done in addressing these dynamic investment parameters and sustaining exploration activities in mature basins

  18. Overseas uranium exploration by PNC

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nagashima, Reiji; Iida, Yoshimasa; Shigeta, Naotaka; Takahashi, Osamu; Yamagishi, Akiko; Miyada, Hatsuho; Kobayashi, Takao

    1998-01-01

    Japan entirely depends on overseas countries for uranium resources for its nuclear electric power generation due to the lack of domestic resources. In order to secure a steady supply of natural uranium, Japanese government has implemented a long-term procurement policy through purchase contracts by private sectors, subsidizing private sectors' exploration and initial stage exploration outside the reach of private sectors' activity by PNC (Power Reactor and Nuclear Fuel Development Corporation). The subsequent long slump in the price of uranium, however, led most of Japanese private sectors to discontinue their exploration activity. Upon this situation, PNC has pursued a little more advanced stage exploration in addition to basic research and initial stage exploration and has improved its exploration techniques to enable the discovery of deep-seated uranium ore deposits. As the result, PNC has acquired significant uranium exploration tenements and interests similar to those owned by major uranium companies such as Cameco and Cogema. PNC has also contributed to discovery of new uranium deposits. In this report, the history of PNC's activities and its role in the long-term uranium procurement policy are reviewed and it is also described about the outcome thorough its activities and future exploration trend and the tasks. (author)

  19. Dog Mathematics: Exploring Base-4

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurz, Terri L.; Yanik, H. Bahadir; Lee, Mi Yeon

    2016-01-01

    Using a dog's paw as a basis for numerical representation, sixth grade students explored how to count and regroup using the dog's four digital pads. Teachers can connect these base-4 explorations to the conceptual meaning of place value and regrouping using base-10.

  20. Colombia extends its exploration horizon

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carta Petrolera

    1997-01-01

    The Return 1 Contract, currently being awarded under the tender system, faithfully reflects Colombia's new approach to hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation. This policy aims to increase reserves and has Ecopetrol assume a more aggressive role in its direct activities by sharing the exploration risks with private partners

  1. New Age for Lunar Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, G. J.; Martel, L. M. V.

    2018-04-01

    Lunar-focused research and plans to return to the lunar surface for science and exploration have reemerged since the Space Policy Directive-1 of December 11, 2017 amended the National Space Policy to include the following, "Lead an innovative and sustainable program of exploration with commercial and international partners to enable human expansion across the solar system and to bring back to Earth new knowledge and opportunities. Beginning with missions beyond low-Earth orbit, the United States will lead the return of humans to the Moon for long-term exploration and utilization, followed by human missions to Mars and other destinations." In response to this revision, NASA proposes a Lunar Exploration and Discovery Program in the U.S. fiscal year 2019 Budget Request. It supports NASA's interests in commercial and international partnerships in Low-Earth Orbit (LEO), long-term exploration in Cislunar space beyond LEO, and research and exploration conducted on the Moon to inform future crewed missions, even to destinations beyond the Moon. (Cislunar refers to the volume of space between LEO and the Moon's orbital distance.) The lunar campaign strengthens the integration of human and robotic activities on the lunar surface with NASA's science, technology, and exploration goals.

  2. Trends in exploration and exploration equipment for uranium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Raitz, C.H.

    1976-01-01

    Uranium exploration once again is in a ''boom'' cycle. The energy needs of the OPEC and non-OPEC countries alike have created a demand for uranium which appears certain to increase in future years. In turn, this demand has stimulated a dramatic rise in both the price of uranium and the exploration activity necessary to discover new reserves. One immediate reaction to the sudden increase in uranium exploration activity has been the evaluation of old exploration methods and equipment. This paper briefly reviews some of the traditional equipment and techniques which currently are being refined and updated. Undoubtedly this equipment, complemented with good exploration planning and judgment, will continue to be relied upon for many years and will lead to the discovery of many new deposits. The paper also covers in greater detail some of the newer, less conventional techniques and equipment now being introduced for uranium exploration. These new methods may be expected to keep this country in the forefront among the uranium producers of the world

  3. Powering the Space Exploration Initiative

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bennett, G.L.

    1991-01-01

    The Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) establishes the long-term goal of returning to the Moon and then exploring Mars. One of the prerequisites of SEI is the Exploration Technology Program which includes program elements on space nuclear power and surface solar power. These program elements in turn build upon the ongoing NASA research and technology base program in space energy conversion. There is a wide range of missions in NASA's strategic planning and most would benefit from power sources with improved efficiency, lighter weight and reduced cost

  4. Yields of historical exploration programs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Huslende, T.

    1995-01-01

    The paper relates to an method of evaluation developed for analysing the yield of historical exploration programs by computerized simulation. The most important elements show in coarse features how the results can be used in the different analyses. The evaluation is to be executed annually for the comparison and sorting of data from different offshore sites. Topics are exploration evaluation study, evaluation process, handling of exploration costs, discovered reserves, development projects, cash flow analysis, analysis of results, finding cost, international comparison. 1 ref., 11 figs

  5. Borehole logging for uranium exploration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1982-01-01

    The present text has been prepared taking into account the requirements of both developing countries, which might be at an incipient stage of uranium exploration, and industrialized countries, where more advanced exploration and resource evaluation techniques are commonly in use. While it was felt necessary to include some discussion of exploration concepts and fundamental physical principles underlying various logging methods, it was not the intention of the consultants to provide a thorough, detailed explanation of the various techniques, or even to give a comprehensive listing thereof. However, a list of references has been included, and it is strongly recommended that the serious student of mineral logging consult this list for further guidance

  6. Ethnomathematics: Exploration in Javanese culture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Risdiyanti, Irma; Charitas Indra Prahmana, Rully

    2017-12-01

    This research is the exploration study to indicate the correlation between mathematics and Javanese culture. These studies have a purpose of exploring Javanese culture in Yogyakarta that contains mathematics concept namely Batik. The activity of society in making Batik in all regency at Yogyakarta is the focus of this study. The research use ethnography method. The technic to collection data uses principles in ethnography such as observation, interview, documentation, and field note making with the original ethnography description. The result is exploration ethnomathematics in the several motifs of Yogyakarta batik that contains philosophy, deep cultural value, and mathematics concept, especially geometry transform subject.

  7. The business of petroleum exploration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Steinmetz, R.

    1992-01-01

    This book contains the proceedings of the Business of Petroleum Exploration. The following topics are included: Petroleum business; Economic aspects of the business; Managing business; and Legal, Political, Ethical and environment aspects of the business

  8. Starting to Explore Wind Power

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hare, Jonathan

    2008-01-01

    Described is a simple, cheap and versatile homemade windmill and electrical generator suitable for a school class to use to explore many aspects and practicalities of using wind to generate electrical power. (Contains 8 figures.)

  9. China's roadmap for planetary exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Yong; Yao, Zhonghua; Wan, Weixing

    2018-05-01

    China has approved or planned a string of several space exploration missions to be launched over the next decade. A new generation of planetary scientists in China is playing an important role in determining the scientific goals of future missions.

  10. Isotope analysis in petroleum exploration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rodrigues, R.

    1982-01-01

    The study about isotopic analysis in petroleum exploration performed at Petrobras Research Center is showed. The results of the petroleum recuperation in same Brazilian basin and shelves are comented. (L.H.L.L.) [pt

  11. Recent developments in uranium exploration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barretto, P.M.

    1981-01-01

    Even in the most experienced and competent hands, mineral exploration is an expensive, risky, and time-consuming business. Uranium exploration is no different from the above, its sole advantage being that the uranium can be detected from afar because it emits gamma radiation. Therefore, radiometric techniques are the most useful exploration methods. In developing countries that are interested in starting or that have started uranium exploration programmes there are other problems as well as those outlined above: Lack of, or difficulty in obtaining, the requisite number of qualified personnel for field and laboratory activities (lack of manpower); Lack of administrative and technological infrastructure needed to support an exploration effort (lack of technology); and Relatively small budget for a multi-year programme (lack of money). In view of the above it is very important that the time and resources available to an exploration programme are utilized wisely. This means selecting optimum methods of obtaining the information needed and avoiding unnecessary duplication of effort by government organizations. Such duplication of effort in exploration is common in developing countries. In some cases three government organizations have been discovered doing geological mapping of the same area. As the amount, quality and availability of geological information vary from place to place, and since the exploration programmes can have different sizes and objectives, following a standard procedure is difficult. The procedures or sequences outlined are suggested for areas that are being prospected for the first time. If carried out systematically, it will be possible to obtain both an inventory of the geology, and an assessment of the mineral potential of a given area with minimum investment and maximum efficiency

  12. INTEGRATED EXPLORATION OF GEOTHERMAL RESOURCES

    OpenAIRE

    A. B. Alkhasov; D. A. Аlkhasova; R. M. Aliyev; A. Sh. Ramazanov

    2016-01-01

    The aim. The aim is to develop the energy efficient technologies to explore hydro geothermal resources of different energy potential.Methods. Evaluation of the effectiveness of the proposed technologies has been carried out with the use of physical and mathematical, thermodynamic and optimization methods of calculation and the physical and chemical experimental research.Results. We propose the technology of integrated exploration of low-grade geothermal resources with the application of heat ...

  13. Uranium exploration/development policy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1983-01-01

    The Honeymoon joint venturers have been advised that their request for compensation has been refused. This follows the South Australian Government's decision not to grant a mining lease. An application for a retention lease to the joint venturers at Beverley was also refused. The Government has formulated clear guidelines for both retention leases and exploration licences which will be applied to all companies engaged specifically in exploration for uranium

  14. New NASA Technologies for Space Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calle, Carlos I.

    2015-01-01

    NASA is developing new technologies to enable planetary exploration. NASA's Space Launch System is an advance vehicle for exploration beyond LEO. Robotic explorers like the Mars Science Laboratory are exploring Mars, making discoveries that will make possible the future human exploration of the planet. In this presentation, we report on technologies being developed at NASA KSC for planetary exploration.

  15. Exploration Medical Capability - Technology Watch

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krihak, Michael; Watkins, Sharmila; Barr, Yael; Barsten, Kristina; Fung, Paul; Baumann, David

    2011-01-01

    The objectives of the Technology Watch process are to identify emerging, high-impact technologies that augment current ExMC development efforts, and to work with academia, industry, and other government agencies to accelerate the development of medical care and research capabilities for the mitigation of potential health issues that could occur during space exploration missions. The establishment of collaborations with these entities is beneficial to technology development, assessment and/or insertion. Such collaborations also further NASA s goal to provide a safe and healthy environment for human exploration. The Tech Watch project addresses requirements and capabilities identified by knowledge and technology gaps that are derived from a discrete set of medical conditions that are most likely to occur on exploration missions. These gaps are addressed through technology readiness level assessments, market surveys, collaborations and distributed innovation opportunities. Ultimately, these gaps need to be closed with respect to exploration missions, and may be achieved through technology development projects. Information management is a key aspect to this process where Tech Watch related meetings, research articles, collaborations and partnerships are tracked by the HRP s Exploration Medical Capabilities (ExMC) Element. In 2011, ExMC will be introducing the Tech Watch external website and evidence wiki that will provide access to ExMC technology and knowledge gaps, technology needs and requirements documents.

  16. Lunar Exploration Missions Since 2006

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawrence, S. J. (Editor); Gaddis, L. R.; Joy, K. H.; Petro, N. E.

    2017-01-01

    The announcement of the Vision for Space Exploration in 2004 sparked a resurgence in lunar missions worldwide. Since the publication of the first "New Views of the Moon" volume, as of 2017 there have been 11 science-focused missions to the Moon. Each of these missions explored different aspects of the Moon's geology, environment, and resource potential. The results from this flotilla of missions have revolutionized lunar science, and resulted in a profoundly new emerging understanding of the Moon. The New Views of the Moon II initiative itself, which is designed to engage the large and vibrant lunar science community to integrate the results of these missions into new consensus viewpoints, is a direct outcome of this impressive array of missions. The "Lunar Exploration Missions Since 2006" chapter will "set the stage" for the rest of the volume, introducing the planetary community at large to the diverse array of missions that have explored the Moon in the last decade. Content: This chapter will encompass the following missions: Kaguya; ARTEMIS (Acceleration, Reconnection, Turbulence, and Electrodynamics of the Moon’s Interaction with the Sun); Chang’e-1; Chandrayaan-1; Moon Impact Probe; Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO); Lunar Crater Observation Sensing Satellite (LCROSS); Chang’e-2; Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL); Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE); Chang’e-3.

  17. NOAA Office of Exploration and Research > Exploration > Systematic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vessel (E/V) Nautilus in real-time on Internet 2 and the Internet. A legacy of high quality imagery, high . Contact Information for OER Okeanos Explorer Program: Craig Russell NOAA/OAR/OER 7600 Sand Point Way NE | Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | FOIA | Web Accessibility Statement | Information Quality Copyright NOAA 2013

  18. Historic Cosmology Identity and Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nebergall, K.

    The role of the soul and spirit in the composition of human endeavour generally takes the form of motivational poster catch phrases or third-hand quotes. If the spirit equals the life of a creature, and one of the signs of life is locomotion, are humans not obliged by something even deeper than our humanity to explore the universe? This paper examines the roots and perspectives of our worldviews on identity, exploration, and the limitations and capacities of humanity. It will equip the reader to discuss the nature of exploration with audiences across a wide range of worldviews. Current cultures, regardless of religion or politics, are looped into a series of nihilistic patterns that must be broken by rediscovering our nature as living beings, and our obligations as human beings.

  19. Artistic explorations of the brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eberhard E Fetz

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available The symbiotic relationships between art and the brain begin with the obvious fact that brain mechanisms underlie the creation and appreciation of art. Conversely, many spectacular images of neural structures have remarkable aesthetic appeal. But beyond its fascinating forms, the many functions performed by brain mechanisms provide a profound subject for aesthetic exploration. Complex interactions in the tangled neural networks in our brain miraculously generate coherent behavior and cognition. Neuroscientists tackle these phenomena with specialized methodologies that limit the scope of exposition and are comprehensible to an initiated minority. Artists can perform an end run around this impasse by representing the brain’s many functions in a manner that can communicate to a wide and receptive audience. This paper explores the ways that brain mechanisms can provide a largely untapped subject for artistic exploration.

  20. Exploration through Business Model Innovation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Knab, Sebastian; Rohrbeck, René

    2015-01-01

    With this research we aim to enhance our understanding about how incumbents can explore emerging opportunities through business model innovation. Using a multiple-case, longitudinal research design spanning 2008 to 2014 we investigate exploration activities of the four largest German energy...... utilities in the emerging virtual power plant market. Based on the behavioral theory of the firm, we study how the cognitive and physical elements of an incumbent’s strategy can be changed and how these changes affect its business model innovation activities in the exploration process. Our preliminary...... findings suggest that the use of synergies and probing can lead to changing physical elements and primarily increase business model maturity. CEO change and structural separation can lead to changing cognitive elements and primarily increase business model sophistication....

  1. Artistic explorations of the brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fetz, Eberhard E.

    2012-01-01

    The symbiotic relationships between art and the brain begin with the obvious fact that brain mechanisms underlie the creation and appreciation of art. Conversely, many spectacular images of neural structures have remarkable aesthetic appeal. But beyond its fascinating forms, the many functions performed by brain mechanisms provide a profound subject for aesthetic exploration. Complex interactions in the tangled neural networks in our brain miraculously generate coherent behavior and cognition. Neuroscientists tackle these phenomena with specialized methodologies that limit the scope of exposition and are comprehensible to an initiated minority. Artists can perform an end run around these limitations by representing the brain's remarkable functions in a manner that can communicate to a wide and receptive audience. This paper explores the ways that brain mechanisms can provide a largely untapped subject for artistic exploration. PMID:22347178

  2. Exploration Laboratory Analysis FY13

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krihak, Michael; Perusek, Gail P.; Fung, Paul P.; Shaw, Tianna, L.

    2013-01-01

    The Exploration Laboratory Analysis (ELA) project supports the Exploration Medical Capability (ExMC) risk, which is stated as the Risk of Inability to Adequately Treat an Ill or Injured Crew Member, and ExMC Gap 4.05: Lack of minimally invasive in-flight laboratory capabilities with limited consumables required for diagnosing identified Exploration Medical Conditions. To mitigate this risk, the availability of inflight laboratory analysis instrumentation has been identified as an essential capability in future exploration missions. Mission architecture poses constraints on equipment and procedures that will be available to treat evidence-based medical conditions according to the Space Medicine Exploration Medical Conditions List (SMEMCL), and to perform human research studies on the International Space Station (ISS) that are supported by the Human Health and Countermeasures (HHC) element. Since there are significant similarities in the research and medical operational requirements, ELA hardware development has emerged as a joint effort between ExMC and HHC. In 2012, four significant accomplishments were achieved towards the development of exploration laboratory analysis for medical diagnostics. These achievements included (i) the development of high priority analytes for research and medical operations, (ii) the development of Level 1 functional requirements and concept of operations documentation, (iii) the selection and head-to-head competition of in-flight laboratory analysis instrumentation, and (iv) the phase one completion of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) projects under the topic Smart Phone Driven Blood-Based Diagnostics. To utilize resources efficiently, the associated documentation and advanced technologies were integrated into a single ELA plan that encompasses ExMC and HHC development efforts. The requirements and high priority analytes was used in the selection of the four in-flight laboratory analysis performers. Based upon the

  3. Uranium exploration planning and strategy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smith, A.Y.; Tauchid, M.

    1991-01-01

    A country may decide to begin uranium exploration for any of the following three reasons: 1. To meet the needs of a domestic nuclear power programme; 2. To supply uranium as a commodity to the world market in order to earn foreign exchange; 3. To acquire national information on the country's mineral resource planning. In any of these cases, a country must make some basic decisions regarding the means and modes whereby the uranium exploration will be carried out - by national organizations exclusively; by state organizations in joint venture with outside interests by foreign interests under the control of national regulations. Most uranium exploration is carried out following an exploration strategy in which the programme is divided into a series of steps or stages. Each of the phases is designed to eliminate areas of low potential to contain uranium deposits, while focusing attention on areas of higher potential that will be explored in greater detail at higher cost in the subsequent phase. The methods used in each phase are selected to provide the maximum information at the minimum cost so that at the end of each phase a decision can be made whether to continue to the next phase of stop. Because uranium exploration is a high cost high risk activity, governments must make decisions at the outset whether they wish to carry our the work alone and whether they can support the costs involved, or whether they wish to attract foreign investors to help absorb the costs and therefore the risks. In either case, major policy decisions are required to be made to establish the legal and fiscal environment in which the programm will be carried out. (author). 4 refs, 4 figs

  4. Geospace exploration project: Arase (ERG)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyoshi, Y.; Kasaba, Y.; Shinohara, I.; Takashima, T.; Asamura, K.; Matsumoto, H.; Higashio, N.; Mitani, T.; Kasahara, S.; Yokota, S.; Wang, S.; Kazama, Y.; Kasahara, Y.; Yagitani, S.; Matsuoka, A.; Kojima, H.; Katoh, Y.; Shiokawa, K.; Seki, K.; Fujimoto, M.; Ono, T.; ERG project Group

    2017-06-01

    The ERG (Exploration of energization and Radiation in Geospace) is Japanese geospace exploration project. The project focuses on relativistic electron acceleration mechanism of the outer belt and dynamics of space storms in the context of the cross-energy coupling via wave-particle interactions. The project consists of the satellite observation team, the ground-based network observation team, and integrated-data analysis/simulation team. The satellite was launched on December 20 2016 and has been nicknamed, “Arase”. This paper describes overview of the project and future plan for observations.

  5. MEMS applications in space exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, William C.

    1997-09-01

    Space exploration in the coming century will emphasize cost effectiveness and highly focused mission objectives, which will result in frequent multiple missions that broaden the scope of space science and to validate new technologies on a timely basis. MEMS is one of the key enabling technology to create cost-effective, ultra-miniaturized, robust, and functionally focused spacecraft for both robotic and human exploration programs. Examples of MEMS devices at various stages of development include microgyroscope, microseismometer, microhygrometer, quadrupole mass spectrometer, and micropropulsion engine. These devices, when proven successful, will serve as models for developing components and systems for new-millennium spacecraft.

  6. Simulation Exploration Experience 2018 Overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paglialonga, Stephen; Elfrey, Priscilla; Crues, Edwin Z.

    2018-01-01

    The Simulation Exploration Experience (SEE) joins students, industry, professional associations, and faculty together for an annual modeling and simulation (M&S) challenge. SEE champions collaborative collegiate-level modeling and simulation by providing a venue for students to work in highly dispersed inter-university teams to design, develop, test, and execute simulated missions associated with space exploration. Participating teams gain valuable knowledge, skills, and increased employability by working closely with industry professionals, NASA, and faculty advisors. This presentation gives and overview of the SEE and the upcoming 2018 SEE event.

  7. Interactive Network Exploration with Orange

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miha Štajdohar

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Network analysis is one of the most widely used techniques in many areas of modern science. Most existing tools for that purpose are limited to drawing networks and computing their basic general characteristics. The user is not able to interactively and graphically manipulate the networks, select and explore subgraphs using other statistical and data mining techniques, add and plot various other data within the graph, and so on. In this paper we present a tool that addresses these challenges, an add-on for exploration of networks within the general component-based environment Orange.

  8. Virtual reality and planetary exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGreevy, Michael W.

    Exploring planetary environments is central to NASA's missions and goals. A new computing technology called Virtual Reality has much to offer in support of planetary exploration. This technology augments and extends human presence within computer-generated and remote spatial environments. Historically, NASA has been a leader in many of the fundamental concepts and technologies that comprise Virtual Reality. Indeed, Ames Research Center has a central role in the development of this rapidly emerging approach to using computers. This ground breaking work has inspired researchers in academia, industry, and the military. Further, NASA's leadership in this technology has spun off new businesses, has caught the attention of the international business community, and has generated several years of positive international media coverage. In the future, Virtual Reality technology will enable greatly improved human-machine interactions for more productive planetary surface exploration. Perhaps more importantly, Virtual Reality technology will democratize the experience of planetary exploration and thereby broaden understanding of, and support for, this historic enterprise.

  9. Exploring Water Pollution. Part II

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rillo, Thomas J.

    1975-01-01

    This is part two of a three part article related to the science activity of exploring environmental problems. Part one dealt with background information for the classroom teacher. Presented here is a suggested lesson plan on water pollution. Objectives, important concepts and instructional procedures are suggested. (EB)

  10. Exploring EFL fluency in Asia

    CERN Document Server

    Muller, T; Brown, P; Herder, S

    2014-01-01

    In EFL contexts, an absence of chances to develop fluency in the language classroom can lead to marked limitations in English proficiency. This volume explores fluency development from a number of different perspectives, investigating measurements and classroom strategies for promoting its development.

  11. From space exploration to commercialisation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tkatchova, S.A.

    2006-01-01

    Space exploration has captured the imagination and dreams of many scientists, engineers and visionaries.The ISS is being built by five ISS partners; NASA, RSA, ESA, CSA and JAXA. ISS commercialisation is the process by which ISS products and services are sold to private companies, without

  12. Risk behavior in petroleum exploration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rose, P.R.

    1992-01-01

    In this paper, the author uses the term risk aversion, which weighs the magnitude of investment against four factors: size of available budget, potential gain, potential loss, and probabilities of each outcome. Modern petroleum exploration consists of a series of investment decisions on whether to acquire additional technical data (geological, geophysical, engineering, drilling, or economic) and/or additional mineral interests. Each decision should allow a progressively clearer perception of project risk versus reward and should support timely management action concerning the inferred accumulation. Companies searching for oil and natural gas make hundreds of such exploration decisions each year. So the problem in serial exploration decision making is twofold: to be consistent in the way we deal with risk and uncertainty and to perceive risk and uncertainty accurately and reduce them where possible. Risk aversion is not just a hypothetical nuisance. It causes explorationists to make inconsistent investment decisions, and it costs exploration companies millions of dollars annually in lost opportunities, bad choices, and wasted investment dollars

  13. Stretching Probability Explorations with Geoboards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wheeler, Ann; Champion, Joe

    2016-01-01

    Students are faced with many transitions in their middle school mathematics classes. To build knowledge, skills, and confidence in the key areas of algebra and geometry, students often need to practice using numbers and polygons in a variety of contexts. Teachers also want students to explore ideas from probability and statistics. Teachers know…

  14. Lead isotope in mineral exploration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gulson, B.L.

    1986-01-01

    This book provides an up-to-date state-of-the-art review of lead isotopes in mineral exploration. Beginning with an historical review on suggested uses of lead isotopes in mineral exploration, the author then outlines the theoretical aspects of lead isotopes and illustrates that the method is based on well-known principles of radioactive decay, from which isotopic signatures for different styles of mineralization are derived. The varying isotopic signatures are then introduced. The major part of the book details over 40 case histories for base and precious metals, uranium and tin using sampling media such as sulfides, gossans, soils, weathered bedrock, vegetation and groundwaters. Advantages and disadvantages of each are discussed. Examples are given of the use of lead isotopes in testing conceptual models for exploration. The success rate and cost-effectiveness of the method are illustrated by actual exploration examples. Analytical advances which should lower the cost of the method and future uses are outlined. Many of the case histories use recently published or unpublished data, 27 tables of which are given in an appendix. Details of sampling, the methods for obtaining the isotope ratios, and a commercially-available integrated lead isotope service are also provided. (Auth.)

  15. Composites for Exploration Upper Stage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fikes, J. C.; Jackson, J. R.; Richardson, S. W.; Thomas, A. D.; Mann, T. O.; Miller, S. G.

    2016-01-01

    The Composites for Exploration Upper Stage (CEUS) was a 3-year, level III project within the Technology Demonstration Missions program of the NASA Space Technology Mission Directorate. Studies have shown that composites provide important programmatic enhancements, including reduced weight to increase capability and accelerated expansion of exploration and science mission objectives. The CEUS project was focused on technologies that best advanced innovation, infusion, and broad applications for the inclusion of composites on future large human-rated launch vehicles and spacecraft. The benefits included near- and far-term opportunities for infusion (NASA, industry/commercial, Department of Defense), demonstrated critical technologies and technically implementable evolvable innovations, and sustained Agency experience. The initial scope of the project was to advance technologies for large composite structures applicable to the Space Launch System (SLS) Exploration Upper Stage (EUS) by focusing on the affordability and technical performance of the EUS forward and aft skirts. The project was tasked to develop and demonstrate critical composite technologies with a focus on full-scale materials, design, manufacturing, and test using NASA in-house capabilities. This would have demonstrated a major advancement in confidence and matured the large-scale composite technology to a Technology Readiness Level 6. This project would, therefore, have bridged the gap for providing composite application to SLS upgrades, enabling future exploration missions.

  16. Exploring the Atmosphere Using Smartphones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monteiro, Martin; Vogt, Patrik; Stari, Cecilia; Cabeza, Cecilia; Marti, Arturo C.

    2016-01-01

    The characteristics of the inner layer of the atmosphere, the troposphere, are determinant for Earth's life. In this experience we explore the first hundreds of meters using a smartphone mounted on a quadcopter. Both the altitude and the pressure are obtained using the smartphone's sensors. We complement these measures with data collected from the…

  17. Life sciences and Mars exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sulzman, Frank M.; Rummel, John D.; Leveton, Lauren B.; Teeter, Ron

    1990-01-01

    The major life science considerations for Mars exploration missions are discussed. Radiation protection and countermeasures for zero gravity are discussed. Considerations of crew psychological health considerations and life support systems are addressed. Scientific opportunities presented by manned Mars missions are examined.

  18. Virtual reality and planetary exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mcgreevy, Michael W.

    1992-01-01

    Exploring planetary environments is central to NASA's missions and goals. A new computing technology called Virtual Reality has much to offer in support of planetary exploration. This technology augments and extends human presence within computer-generated and remote spatial environments. Historically, NASA has been a leader in many of the fundamental concepts and technologies that comprise Virtual Reality. Indeed, Ames Research Center has a central role in the development of this rapidly emerging approach to using computers. This ground breaking work has inspired researchers in academia, industry, and the military. Further, NASA's leadership in this technology has spun off new businesses, has caught the attention of the international business community, and has generated several years of positive international media coverage. In the future, Virtual Reality technology will enable greatly improved human-machine interactions for more productive planetary surface exploration. Perhaps more importantly, Virtual Reality technology will democratize the experience of planetary exploration and thereby broaden understanding of, and support for, this historic enterprise.

  19. Exploring Leader Identity and Development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Priest, Kerry L; Middleton, Eric

    2016-01-01

    Taking on a leader identity can be a motivating force for pursuing leader development. This chapter explores the reciprocal and recursive nature of identity development and leader development, emphasizing how shifting views of self influence one's motivation to develop as a leader. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc., A Wiley Company.

  20. Bibliotherapy: "Literature as Exploration" Reconsidered

    Science.gov (United States)

    Justman, Stewart

    2010-01-01

    In this article, the author examines Louise Rosenblatt's "Literature as Exploration," a popular textbook used since 1938 (in five successive editions) in high school English classrooms across America. He discusses how the one-time college roommate of Margaret Mead managed to transform teaching literature into a form of student therapy that…

  1. Philosophical explorations on energy transition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geerts, Robert-Jan

    2017-01-01

    This dissertation explores energy transition from a philosophical perspective. It puts forward the thesis that energy production and consumption are so intimately intertwined with society that the transition towards a sustainable alternative will involve more than simply implementing novel

  2. Exploring Power with Object Theatre

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ryöppy, Merja; Ylirisku, Salu; Knutz, Eva

    2017-01-01

    This paper explores Object Theatre as an approach to address power in design. We understand power as a relational activity that emerges and is upheld through particular ways of relating (Elias, 1991; Stacey, 2007). The spontaneity in participant actions through Object Theatre exercises renders pr...

  3. Mars exploration study workshop 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duke, Michael B.; Budden, Nancy Ann

    1993-11-01

    A year-long NASA-wide study effort has led to the development of an innovative strategy for the human exploration of Mars. The latest Mars Exploration Study Workshop 2 advanced a design reference mission (DRM) that significantly reduces the perceived high costs, complex infrastructure, and long schedules associated with previous Mars scenarios. This surface-oriented philosophy emphasizes the development of high-leveraging surface technologies in lieu of concentrating exclusively on space transportation technologies and development strategies. As a result of the DRM's balanced approach to mission and crew risk, element commonality, and technology development, human missions to Mars can be accomplished without the need for complex assembly operations in low-Earth orbit. This report, which summarizes the Mars Exploration Study Workshop held at the Ames Research Center on May 24-25, 1993, provides an overview of the status of the Mars Exploration Study, material presented at the workshop, and discussions of open items being addressed by the study team. The workshop assembled three teams of experts to discuss cost, dual-use technology, and international involvement, and to generate a working group white paper addressing these issues. The three position papers which were generated are included in section three of this publication.

  4. EXPLORING FACTORS THAT AFFECTING THE ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The aim of this study was to adopt and test the validity of the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) and explore the determinants of entrepreneurial intentions among graduate students using structural equation modeling. Since most literature agreed that using Theory of Planned Behavior could determine entrepreneurial ...

  5. Teaching, learning, and planetary exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Robert A.

    1992-01-01

    The progress accomplished in the first five months of the three-year grant period of Teaching, Learning, and Planetary Exploration is presented. The objectives of this project are to discover new education products and services based on space science, particularly planetary exploration. An Exploration in Education is the umbrella name for the education projects as they are seen by teachers and the interested public. As described in the proposal, our approach consists of: (1) increasing practical understanding of the potential role and capabilities of the research community to contribute to basic education using new discoveries; (2) developing an intellectual framework for these contributions by supplying criteria and templates for the teacher's stories; (3) attracting astronomers, engineers, and technical staff to the project and helping them form productive education partnerships for the future, (4) exploring relevant technologies and networks for authoring and communicating the teacher's stories; (5) enlisting the participation of potential user's of the teacher's stories in defining the products; (6) actually producing and delivering many educationally useful teacher's stories; and (7) reporting the pilot study results with critical evaluation. Technical progress was made by assembling our electronic publishing stations, designing electronic publications based on space science, and developing distribution approaches for electronic products. Progress was made addressing critical issues by developing policies and procedures for securing intellectual property rights and assembling a focus group of teachers to test our ideas and assure the quality of our products. The following useful materials are being produced: the TOPS report; three electronic 'PictureBooks'; one 'ElectronicArticle'; three 'ElectronicReports'; ten 'PrinterPosters'; and the 'FaxForum' with an initial complement of printed materials. We have coordinated with planetary scientists and astronomers

  6. MOMA and other next-generation ion trap mass spectrometers for planetary exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arevalo, R. D., Jr.; Brinckerhoff, W. B.; Getty, S.; Mahaffy, P. R.; van Amerom, F. H. W.; Danell, R.; Pinnick, V. T.; Li, X.; Grubisic, A.; Southard, A. E.; Hovmand, L.; Cottin, H.; Makarov, A.

    2016-12-01

    Since the 1970's, quadrupole mass spectrometer (QMS) systems have served as low-risk, cost-efficient means to explore the inner and outer reaches of the solar system. These legacy instruments have interrogated the compositions of the lunar exosphere (LADEE), surface materials on Mars (MSL), and the atmospheres of Venus (Pioneer Venus), Mars (MAVEN) and outer planets (Galileo and Cassini-Huygens). However, the in situ detection of organic compounds on Mars and Titan, coupled with ground-based measurements of amino acids in meteorites and a variety of organics in comets, has underlined the importance of molecular disambiguation in the characterization of high-priority planetary environments. The Mars Organic Molecule Analyzer (MOMA) flight instrument, centered on a linear ion trap, enables the in situ detection of volatile and non-volatile organics, but also the characterization of molecular structures through SWIFT ion isolation/excitation and tandem mass spectrometry (MSn). Like the SAM instrument on MSL, the MOMA investigation also includes a gas chromatograph (GC), thereby enabling the chemical separation of potential isobaric interferences based on retention times. The Linear Ion Trap Mass Spectrometer (LITMS; PI: William Brinckerhoff), developed to TRL 6 via the ROSES MatISSE Program, augments the core MOMA design and adds: expanded mass range (from 20 - 2000 Da); high-temperature evolved gas analysis (up to 1300°C); and, dual polarity detector assemblies (supporting the measurement of negative ions). The LITMS instrument will be tested in the field in 2017 through the Atacama Rover Astrobiology Drilling Studies (ARADS; PI: Brian Glass) ROSES PSTAR award. Following on these advancements, the Advanced Resolution Organic Molecule Analyzer (AROMA; PI: Ricardo Arevalo Jr.), supported through the ROSES PICASSO Program, combines a highly capable MOMA/LITMS-like linear ion trap and the ultrahigh resolution CosmOrbitrap mass analyzer developed by a consortium of five

  7. Demonstrating the Value of Education Through Exploration as a Theory of Digital Design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anbar, A. D.; Mead, C.; Bratton, D., III; Horodyskyj, L.; Hayes, J.; Schonstein, D.; Watt, S.; Watt, K.; Ben-Naim, D.; Leon, A.

    2017-12-01

    We present results from two online college courses - HabWorlds and BioBeyond - that teach introductory science using astrobiology as motivation, according to a new theory of digital learning design that we call "education through exploration" (ETX). ETX design, building on the research-based practices of active learning and guided inquiry, aims to engage and encourage curiosity and to promote higher order thinking skills, in addition to content mastery. Students solve problems and actively discover relationships, supported by an intelligent tutoring system which provides immediate feedback and scaffolds scientific thinking and methods. Here we report the first comparative evidence of the effectiveness of ETX designs. A historical comparative study of HabWorlds was conducted at a community college where two instructors used it to replace an existing introductory astronomy course. Data from five Habitable Worlds and three BAU sections (300 students) show that course grades shifted significantly towards A and B (p = .009). A similar study at a second community college found comparable results for BioBeyond. Here, a single instructor taught introductory biology with and without BioBeyond, totalling five and two sections, respectively (>200 students). Grades on exams using a consistent question pool showed a significant increase in A's and B's when BioBeyond was used (p business as usual (BAU) equivalents. We compared student grades in introductory biology courses using BioBeyond, either as a complete course replacement or as a course supplement in a hybrid or flipped-classroom model, and BAU courses at each institution. A regression analysis controlled for potentially confounding variables, such as cumulative GPA, part-time/full-time status, gender, or race/ethnicity. BioBeyond was associated with a statistically significant positive predictive effect on grades at three of the four schools. The effect at these three schools ranged from +0.26 to +0.46 grade units (0

  8. Protecting the Planets from Biological Contamination: The Strange Case of Mars Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rummel, J. D.; Conley, C. A.

    2015-12-01

    Beyond the Earth's Moon, Mars is the most studied and to some the most compelling target in the solar system. Mars has the potential to have its own native life, and it has environments that appear quite capable of supporting Earth life. As such, Mars is subject to policies intended to keep Earth organisms from growing on Mars, and missions to Mars are controlled to ensure that we know that no Mars life gets to Earth onboard a returning spacecraft. It seems odd, then, that Mars is also the planet on which we have crashed the most (the Moon still owns the overall title), and is still the only body that has had positive results from a life-detection experiment soft-landed on its surface. Mars has very little water, yet it snows on Mars and we have seen regular night-time frosts and near-surface ice on more than half of the planet. Despite strong UV insolation, Mars also has regular dust storms and winds that can cover spacecraft surfaces with dust that itself may be poisonous, but also can protect microbial life from death by UV light. In spite of surface features and minerals that provide ample evidence of surface water in the past, on today's Mars only relatively short, thin lines that lengthen and retract with the seasons provide a hint that there may be water near the surface of Mars today, but the subsurface is almost totally unexplored by instruments needed to detect water, itself. In the face of these contradictions, the implementation of planetary protection requirements to prevent cross contamination has to proceed with the best available knowledge, and in spite of sometimes substantial costs to spacecraft development and operations. In this paper we will review the status of Mars as a potential (hopefully not inadvertent) abode for life, and describe the measures taken in the past and the present to safeguard the astrobiological study of Mars, and project the requirements for Mars planetary protection in a possible future that involves both sample return

  9. Features of Ground Penetrating Radars for the exploration of planetary subsurface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burghignoli, P.; Cereti, A.; Fiore, E.; Galli, A.; Pajewski, L.; Pettinelli, E.; Pisani, A.; Schettini, G.; Ticconi, F.

    2003-04-01

    been performed concerning the radargram data measured by GPR to detect the subsurface structure. In addition to conventional models used for pulse radars, we have characterized the propagation problem also for step-frequency radars. The relevant results are discussed, which illustrate the pros and cons of the different solutions. References [1] G. Vannaroni et al.: "Multisensor soil electromagnetic sounding (Muses) for Mars exploration," Proc. 2nd European Workshop on Exo/Astrobiology, ESA SP-518, pp. 32--330, Nov. 2002.

  10. Lab-on-a-Chip Instrument Development for Titan Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willis, P. A.; Greer, F.; Fisher, A.; Hodyss, R. P.; Grunthaner, F.; Jiao, H.; Mair, D.; Harrison, J.

    2009-12-01

    This contribution will describe the initial stages of a new ASTID-funded research program initiated in Fall 2009 aimed at lab-on-a-chip system development for astrobiological investigations on Titan. This technology development builds off related work at JPL and Berkeley [1-3] on the ultrasensitive compositional and chiral analysis of amino acids on Mars in order to search for signatures of past or present life. The Mars-focused instrument system utilizes a microcapillary electrophoresis (μCE) system integrated with on-chip perfluoropolyether (PFPE) membrane valves and pumps for automated liquid sample handling, on-chip derivitization of samples with fluorescent tags, dilution, and mixing with standards for data calibration. It utilizes a four-layer wafer stack design with CE channels patterned in glass, along with a PFPE membrane, a pneumatic manifold layer, and a fluidic bus layer. Three pneumatically driven on-chip diaphragm valves placed in series are used to peristaltically pump reagents, buffers, and samples to and from capillary electrophoresis electrode well positions. Electrophoretic separation occurs in the all-glass channels near the base of the structure. The Titan specific lab-on-a-chip system under development here focuses its attention on the unique organic chemistry of Titan. In order to chromatographically separate mixtures of neutral organics such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), the Titan-specific microfluidic platform utilizes the related technique of microcapillary electrochromatography (μCEC). This technique differs from conventional μCE in that microchannels are filled with a porous stationary phase that presents surfaces upon which analyte species can adsorb/desorb. It is this additional surface interaction that enables separations of species critical to the understanding of the astrobiological potential of Titan that are not readily separated by the μCE technique. We have developed two different approaches for the integration

  11. Robots and humans: synergy in planetary exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2004-01-01

    How will humans and robots cooperate in future planetary exploration? Are humans and robots fundamentally separate modes of exploration, or can humans and robots work together to synergistically explore the solar system? It is proposed that humans and robots can work together in exploring the planets by use of telerobotic operation to expand the function and usefulness of human explorers, and to extend the range of human exploration to hostile environments. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  12. Nuclear Energy for Space Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houts, Michael G.

    2010-01-01

    Nuclear power and propulsion systems can enable exciting space exploration missions. These include bases on the moon and Mars; and the exploration, development, and utilization of the solar system. In the near-term, fission surface power systems could provide abundant, constant, cost-effective power anywhere on the surface of the Moon or Mars, independent of available sunlight. Affordable access to Mars, the asteroid belt, or other destinations could be provided by nuclear thermal rockets. In the further term, high performance fission power supplies could enable both extremely high power levels on planetary surfaces and fission electric propulsion vehicles for rapid, efficient cargo and crew transfer. Advanced fission propulsion systems could eventually allow routine access to the entire solar system. Fission systems could also enable the utilization of resources within the solar system. Fusion and antimatter systems may also be viable in the future

  13. Nuclear instrumentation for uranium exploration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sarma, Ch. V.N.; Sarma, C.V.R.; Sreehari, R.

    1999-01-01

    Instrumentation required for uranium exploration may be broadly classified based on surface and sub-surface measurement of gamma-ray intensity. Surface measurement of gross and spectral gamma intensity are carried out by employing portable Geiger Mueller/scintillation counters and four-channel spectrometers. Measurement of thoron ( 220 Rn) and radon ( 222 Rn) in the soil gas is being carried out by closed circuit technique using radon measuring system. Radiometric mapping of trenches, pits and mine-faces are carried out using shielded probe with 2π source geometry, whereas logging sonde with instruments through the steel armoured cable are employed for point to 4π geometry. Spectral borehole logging system with built-in multi-channel analyser (MCA) has been developed for the uranium exploration programme for AMD. Note-book PC based high sensitivity air-borne gamma-ray spectrometric survey system has been designed, developed and test flown. (author)

  14. Exploring Paradigms of Crime Reduction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Soothill, Keith; Christoffersen, Mogens N.; Hussain, Azhar

    2010-01-01

    Using Danish registers for a 1980 birth cohort of 29,944 males with parental information and following up these cases for 25 years, the study considers four paradigms of crime reduction (parental child rearing, structural factors around adolescence, locality and individual resources). Focusing on...... have more widespread benefits, but the assumed causal links need to be further explored. The use of population registers, under controlled conditions, provides an important window on criminal careers....

  15. Exploring Danish Innovative Manufacturing Performance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Perunovic, Zoran; Christiansen, Thomas Bøhm

    2005-01-01

    The paper explores several dimensions of Danish industry’s innovative performance with respect to the paradigm of the fifth generation innovation model that was suggested by Rothwell [Int. Market. Rev. 11 (1994) 7]. These dimensions include a general status of innovativeness in Danish companies...... manufacturing companies demonstrate an innovative performance close to the fourth generation of innovation, which is slightly different than it is perceived publicly....

  16. Exploring Emerging India - Eight Essays

    OpenAIRE

    Müller-Brandeck-Bocquet, Gisela; Gieg, Philipp; Lowinger, Timo; Gsänger, Matthias; Becker, Michael; Kundu, Amitabh; Valerian, Rodrigues; S, Shaji; Schömbucher-Kusterer, Elisabeth; Biswas, Aparajita

    2015-01-01

    India's economic rise since the 1990s has been followed by a more prominent global role for the country. Despite economic setbacks in recent years and huge domestic challenges like poverty, caste issues, and gender inequality, India today is almost universally characterised as an “emerging power”. At the same time, the country continues to show an enormous diversity. Thus, exploring emerging India can surely not be confined to economic analysis only. Instead, it is vital to take current devel...

  17. The challenge of uranium exploration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fountain, D.K.

    1982-06-01

    The first uranium discoveries at Beaverlodge were made using simple radiometric methods: hand-held geiger counters. Since then techniques of uranium exploration have evolved through airborne radiometric surveys, tracking glacial boulder trains to their origins, and electromagnetic surveys to detect graphite associated with buried uranium deposits. Simple radiometric surveys can cost around $1 000. per day, while testing for deposits at depths of over 400 meters will cost more than $60 000. per drill hole

  18. Medical Simulations for Exploration Medicine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reyes, David; Suresh, Rahul; Pavela, James; Urbina, Michelle; Mindock, Jennifer; Antonsen, Erik

    2018-01-01

    Medical simulation is a useful tool that can be used to train personnel, develop medical processes, and assist cross-disciplinary communication. Medical simulations have been used in the past at NASA for these purposes, however they are usually created ad hoc. A stepwise approach to scenario development has not previously been used. The NASA Exploration Medical Capability (ExMC) created a medical scenario development tool to test medical procedures, technologies, concepts of operation and for use in systems engineering (SE) processes.

  19. INTEGRATED EXPLORATION OF GEOTHERMAL RESOURCES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. B. Alkhasov

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim. The aim is to develop the energy efficient technologies to explore hydro geothermal resources of different energy potential.Methods. Evaluation of the effectiveness of the proposed technologies has been carried out with the use of physical and mathematical, thermodynamic and optimization methods of calculation and the physical and chemical experimental research.Results. We propose the technology of integrated exploration of low-grade geothermal resources with the application of heat and water resource potential on various purposes. We also argue for the possibility of effective exploration of geothermal resources by building a binary geothermal power plant using idle oil and gas wells. We prove the prospect of geothermal steam and gas technologies enabling highly efficient use of thermal water of low energy potential (80 - 100 ° C degrees to generate electricity; the prospects of complex processing of high-temperature geothermal brine of Tarumovsky field. Thermal energy is utilized in a binary geothermal power plant in the supercritical Rankine cycle operating with a low-boiling agent. The low temperature spent brine from the geothermal power plant with is supplied to the chemical plant, where the main chemical components are extracted - lithium carbonate, magnesium burning, calcium carbonate and sodium chloride. Next, the waste water is used for various water management objectives. Electricity generated in the binary geothermal power plant is used for the extraction of chemical components.Conclusions. Implementation of the proposed technologies will facilitate the most efficient development of hydro geothermal resources of the North Caucasus region. Integrated exploration of the Tarumovsky field resources will fully meet Russian demand for lithium carbonate and sodium chloride.

  20. The Gravitational Wave Detector EXPLORER

    CERN Multimedia

    2002-01-01

    %RE5 EXPLORER is a cryogenic resonant-mass gravitational wave (GW) detector. It is in operation at CERN since 1984 and it has been the first cryogenic GW antenna to perform continuous observations (since 1990).\\\\ \\\\EXPLORER is actually part of the international network of resonant-mass detectors which includes ALLEGRO at the Louisiana State University, AURIGA at the INFN Legnaro Laboratories, NAUTILUS at the INFN Frascati Laboratories and NIOBE at the University of Western Australia. The EXPLORER sensitivity, at present of the same order of the other antennas, is 10$^{-20}$ Hz$^{-1/2}$ over a bandwidth of 20 Hz and 6 10$^{-22}$ Hz$^{-1/2}$ with a bandwidth of about 0.5 Hz, corresponding to a sensitivity to short GW bursts of \\textit{h} = 6 10$^{-19}$.\\\\ \\\\This sensitivity should allow the detection of the burst sources in our Galaxy and in the Local Group. No evidence of GW signals has been reported up to now.\\\\ \\\\The principle of operation is based on the assumption that any vibrational mode of a resonant bo...

  1. The Explorer program for astronomy and astrophysics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Savage, B.D.; Becklin, E.E.; Cassinelli, J.P.; Dupree, A.K.; Elliot, J.L.; Hoffmann, W.F.; Hudson, H.S.; Jura, M.; Kurfess, J.; Murray, S.S.

    1986-01-01

    This report was prepared to provide NASA with a strategy for proceeding with Explorer-class programs for research in space astronomy and astrophysics. The role of Explorers in astronomy and astrophysics and their past accomplishments are discussed, as are current and future astronomy and astrophysics Explorers. Specific cost needs for an effective Explorer program are considered

  2. Revolutionizing Remote Exploration with ANTS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, P. E.; Rilee, M. L.; Curtis, S.; Truszkowski, W.

    2002-05-01

    We are developing the Autonomous Nano-Technology Swarm (ANTS) architecture based on an insect colony analogue for the cost-effective, efficient, systematic survey of remote or inaccessible areas with multiple object targets, including planetary surface, marine, airborne, and space environments. The mission context is the exploration in the 2020s of the most compelling remaining targets in the solar system: main belt asteroids. Main belt asteroids harbor important clues to Solar System origins and evolution which are central to NASA's goals in Space Science. Asteroids are smaller than planets, but their number is far greater, and their combined surface area likely dwarfs the Earth's. An asteroid survey will dramatically increase our understanding of the local resources available for the Human Exploration and Development of Space. During the mission composition, shape, gravity, and orbit parameters could be returned to Earth for perhaps several thousand asteroids. A survey of this area will rival the great explorations that encircled this globe, opened up the New World, and laid the groundwork for the progress and challenges of the last centuries. The ANTS architecture for a main belt survey consists of a swarm of as many as a thousand or more highly specialized pico-spacecraft that form teams to survey as many as one hundred asteroids a month. Multi-level autonomy is critical for ANTS and the objective of the proposed study is to work through the implications and constraints this entails. ANTS couples biologically inspired autonomic control for basic functions to higher level artificial intelligence that together enable individual spacecraft to operate as specialized, cooperative, social agents. This revolutionary approach postulates highly advanced, but familiar, components integrated and operated in a way that uniquely transcends any evolutionary extrapolation of existing trends and enables thousand-spacecraft missions.

  3. Human Factors in Space Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Patricia M.; Fiedler, Edna

    2010-01-01

    The exploration of space is one of the most fascinating domains to study from a human factors perspective. Like other complex work domains such as aviation (Pritchett and Kim, 2008), air traffic management (Durso and Manning, 2008), health care (Morrow, North, and Wickens, 2006), homeland security (Cooke and Winner, 2008), and vehicle control (Lee, 2006), space exploration is a large-scale sociotechnical work domain characterized by complexity, dynamism, uncertainty, and risk in real-time operational contexts (Perrow, 1999; Woods et ai, 1994). Nearly the entire gamut of human factors issues - for example, human-automation interaction (Sheridan and Parasuraman, 2006), telerobotics, display and control design (Smith, Bennett, and Stone, 2006), usability, anthropometry (Chaffin, 2008), biomechanics (Marras and Radwin, 2006), safety engineering, emergency operations, maintenance human factors, situation awareness (Tenney and Pew, 2006), crew resource management (Salas et aI., 2006), methods for cognitive work analysis (Bisantz and Roth, 2008) and the like -- are applicable to astronauts, mission control, operational medicine, Space Shuttle manufacturing and assembly operations, and space suit designers as they are in other work domains (e.g., Bloomberg, 2003; Bos et al, 2006; Brooks and Ince, 1992; Casler and Cook, 1999; Jones, 1994; McCurdy et ai, 2006; Neerincx et aI., 2006; Olofinboba and Dorneich, 2005; Patterson, Watts-Perotti and Woods, 1999; Patterson and Woods, 2001; Seagull et ai, 2007; Sierhuis, Clancey and Sims, 2002). The human exploration of space also has unique challenges of particular interest to human factors research and practice. This chapter provides an overview of those issues and reports on sorne of the latest research results as well as the latest challenges still facing the field.

  4. Report on geologic exploration activities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Breslin, J.; Laughon, R.B.; Hall, R.J.; Voss, J.W.

    1980-01-01

    This report provides an overview of the geological exploration activities being carried out as part of the National Waste Terminal Storage (NWTS) Program, which has been established by the US Department of Energy (DOE) to develop the technology and provide the facilities for the safe, environmentally acceptable isolation of civilian high-level and transuranic nuclear wastes, including spent fuel elements, for which the Federal government is responsible. The principal programmatic emphasis is on disposal in mined geologic repositories. Explorations are being conducted or planned in various parts of the country to identify potential sites for such repositories. The work is being undertaken by three separate but coordinated NWTS project elements. Under the Basalt Waste Isolation Project (BWIP), basalt formations underlying DOE's Hanford Reservation are being investigated. Granite, tuff, and shale formations at the DOE Nevada Test Site (NTS) are being similarly studied in the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations (NNWSI). The Office of Nuclear Waste Isolation (ONWI) is investigating domed salt formations in several Gulf Coast states and bedded salt formations in Utah and Texas. The ONWI siting studies are being expanded to include areas overlying crystalline rocks, shales, and other geohydrologic systems. The current status of these NWTS efforts, including the projected budgets for FY 1981, is summarized, and the criteria and methodology being employed in the explorations are described. The consistency of the overall effort with the recommendations presented in the Report to the President by the Interagency Review Group on Nuclear Waste Management (IRG), as well as with documents representing the national technical consensus, is discussed

  5. Report on geologic exploration activities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1980-01-01

    This report provides an overview of the geological exploration activities being carried out as part of the National Waste Terminal Storage (NWTS) Program, which has been established by the US Department of Energy (DOE) to develop the technology and provide the facilities for the safe, environmentally acceptable isolation of civilian high-level and transuranic nuclear wastes, including spent fuel elements, for which the Federal government is reponsible. The principal programmatic emphasis is on disposal in mined geologic repositories. Explorations are being conducted or planned in various parts of the country to identify potential sites for such repositories. The work is being undertaken by three separate but coordinated NWTS project elements. Under the Basalt Waste Isolation Project (BWIP), basalt formations underlying DOE's Hanford Reservation are being investigated. Granite, tuff, and shale formations at the DOE Nevada Test Site (NTS) are being similarly studied in the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations (NNWSI). The Office of Nuclear Waste Isolation (ONWI) is investigating domed salt formations in several Gulf Coast states and bedded salt formations in Utah and Texas. Th ONWI siting studies are being expanded to include areas overlying crystalline rocks, shales, and other geohydrologic systems. The current status of these NWTS efforts, including the projected budgets for FY 1981, is summarized, and the criteria and methodology being employed in the explorations are described. The consistency of the overall effort with the recommendations presented in the Report to the President by the Interagency Review Group on Nuclear Waste Management (IRG), as well as with documents representing the national technical consensus, is discussed

  6. Exploring Mercury: The Iron Planet

    OpenAIRE

    Stevenson, David J.

    2004-01-01

    Planet Mercury is both difficult to observe and difficult to reach by spacecraft. Just one spacecraft, Mariner 10, flew by the planet 30 years ago. An upcoming NASA mission, MESSENGER, will be launched this year and will go into orbit around Mercury at the end of this decade. A European mission is planned for the following decade. It's worth going there because Mercury is a strange body and the history of planetary exploration has taught us that strangeness gives us insight into planetary ori...

  7. Uranium exploration in developing countries

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Premoli, C.

    1982-01-01

    The advantages to the developing countries of exploiting their uranium deposits in the next two decades to aid their own economic growth are considered. It is pointed out that in spite of the little known geology of these countries less sophisticated surveying methods have turned up large uranium deposits even in developed countries. Carborne surveys with simple crystal-detectors coupled to scintillators can be effective. Intelligent exploration in developing countries can be cheap due to low labour costs and less stringent environmental restraints and the uranium found could be sold to developed countries for their nuclear power programme. (U.K.)

  8. Nuclear Energy in Space Exploration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Seaborg, Glenn T.

    1968-01-01

    Nuclear space programs under development by the Atomic Energy Commission are reviewed including the Rover Program, systems for nuclear rocket propulsion and, the SNAP Program, systems for generating electric power in space. The letters S-N-A-P stands for Systems for Nuclear Auxiliary Power. Some of the projected uses of nuclear systems in space are briefly discussed including lunar orbit, lunar transportation from lunar orbit to lunar surface and base stations; planetary exploration, and longer space missions. The limitations of other sources of energy such as solar, fuel cells, and electric batteries are discussed. The excitement and visionary possibilities of the Age of Space are discussed.

  9. Interactive Exploration for Image Retrieval

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jérôme Fournier

    2005-08-01

    Full Text Available We present a new version of our content-based image retrieval system RETIN. It is based on adaptive quantization of the color space, together with new features aiming at representing the spatial relationship between colors. Color analysis is also extended to texture. Using these powerful indexes, an original interactive retrieval strategy is introduced. The process is based on two steps for handling the retrieval of very large image categories. First, a controlled exploration method of the database is presented. Second, a relevance feedback method based on statistical learning is proposed. All the steps are evaluated by experiments on a generalist database.

  10. Exploring the unconscious using faces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Axelrod, Vadim; Bar, Moshe; Rees, Geraint

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the mechanisms of unconscious processing is one of the most substantial endeavors of cognitive science. While there are many different empirical ways to address this question, the use of faces in such research has proven exceptionally fruitful. We review here what has been learned about unconscious processing through the use of faces and face-selective neural correlates. A large number of cognitive systems can be explored with faces, including emotions, social cueing and evaluation, attention, multisensory integration, and various aspects of face processing. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Stochastic resonance for exploration geophysics

    OpenAIRE

    Omerbashich, Mensur

    2008-01-01

    Stochastic resonance (SR) is a phenomenon in which signal to noise (SN) ratio gets improved by noise addition rather than removal as envisaged classically. SR was first claimed in climatology a few decades ago and then in other disciplines as well. The same as it is observed in natural systems, SR is used also for allowable SN enhancements at will. Here I report a proof of principle that SR can be useful in exploration geophysics. For this I perform high frequency GaussVanicek variance spectr...

  12. Smallsats, Cubesats and Scientific Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stofan, E. R.

    2015-12-01

    Smallsats (including Cubesats) have taken off in the aerospace research community - moving beyond simple tools for undergraduate and graduate students and into the mainstream of science research. Cubesats started the "smallsat" trend back in the late 1990's early 2000's, with the first Cubesats launching in 2003. NASA anticipates a number of future benefits from small satellite missions, including lower costs, more rapid development, higher risk tolerance, and lower barriers to entry for universities and small businesses. The Agency's Space Technology Mission Directorate is currently addressing technology gaps in small satellite platforms, while the Science Mission Directorate pursues miniaturization of science instruments. Launch opportunities are managed through the Cubesat Launch Initiative, and the Agency manages these projects as sub-orbital payloads with little program overhead. In this session we bring together scientists and technologists to discuss the current state of the smallsat field. We explore ideas for new investments, new instruments, or new applications that NASA should be investing in to expand the utility of smallsats. We discuss the status of a NASA-directed NRC study on the utility of small satellites. Looking to the future, what does NASA need to invest in now, to enable high impact ("decadal survey" level) science with smallsats? How do we push the envelope? We anticipate smallsats will contribute significantly to a more robust exploration and science program for NASA and the country.

  13. EXONEST: The Bayesian Exoplanetary Explorer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin H. Knuth

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The fields of astronomy and astrophysics are currently engaged in an unprecedented era of discovery as recent missions have revealed thousands of exoplanets orbiting other stars. While the Kepler Space Telescope mission has enabled most of these exoplanets to be detected by identifying transiting events, exoplanets often exhibit additional photometric effects that can be used to improve the characterization of exoplanets. The EXONEST Exoplanetary Explorer is a Bayesian exoplanet inference engine based on nested sampling and originally designed to analyze archived Kepler Space Telescope and CoRoT (Convection Rotation et Transits planétaires exoplanet mission data. We discuss the EXONEST software package and describe how it accommodates plug-and-play models of exoplanet-associated photometric effects for the purpose of exoplanet detection, characterization and scientific hypothesis testing. The current suite of models allows for both circular and eccentric orbits in conjunction with photometric effects, such as the primary transit and secondary eclipse, reflected light, thermal emissions, ellipsoidal variations, Doppler beaming and superrotation. We discuss our new efforts to expand the capabilities of the software to include more subtle photometric effects involving reflected and refracted light. We discuss the EXONEST inference engine design and introduce our plans to port the current MATLAB-based EXONEST software package over to the next generation Exoplanetary Explorer, which will be a Python-based open source project with the capability to employ third-party plug-and-play models of exoplanet-related photometric effects.

  14. Seagull to acquire arkla exploration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1992-01-01

    Seagull Energy Corp., Houston, has agreed to acquire Arkla Exploration Inc. from Arkla Inc., Shreveport, La., for about $402 million. The transaction-expected to net Seagull reserves totaling about 578 bcf of gas and 7.3 million bbl of oil and condensate-would more than double Seagull's proved reserves and nearly double its total assets. According to Seagull's 1991 annual report, the company's reserves at yearend 1991 were estimated at 401.2 bcf of gas equivalent (bcfe), including 335.1 bcf of gas and 11 million bbl of oil. Independent engineers at yearend 1991 estimated Arkla's proved reserves at 635 bcf of gas and 9 million bbl of liquids. Seagull Chairman Barry J. Galt said the company plans to keep many of Arkla Exploration's employees and to establish a meaningful presence in Shreveport. Arkla's already got good people in Shreveport and an operating base, a Seagull official said. We want to move in, put our name on the door, and continue the good operations Arkla already has. Seagull has lined up financing for the acquisition from a group of major U.S. banks. A new credit facility-consisting of a $475 million line of revolving credit and a $150 million 3 year term loan-will replace an exiting $225 million line of revolving credit. Boards of both companies have approved the deal, which Seagull and Arkla hope to close before yearend, subject to regulatory approvals and purchase price adjustments

  15. The Primordial Inflation Explorer (PIXIE)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kogut, Alan; Chluba, Jens; Fixsen, Dale J.; Meyer, Stephan; Spergel, David

    2016-01-01

    The Primordial Inflation Explorer is an Explorer-class mission to open new windows on the early universe through measurements of the polarization and absolute frequency spectrum of the cosmic microwave background. PIXIE will measure the gravitational-wave signature of primordial inflation through its distinctive imprint in linear polarization, and characterize the thermal history of the universe through precision measurements of distortions in the blackbody spectrum. PIXIE uses an innovative optical design to achieve background-limited sensitivity in 400 spectral channels spanning over 7 octaves in frequency from 30 GHz to 6 THz (1 cm to 50 micron wavelength). Multi-moded non-imaging optics feed a polarizing Fourier Transform Spectrometer to produce a set of interference fringes, proportional to the difference spectrum between orthogonal linear polarizations from the two input beams. Multiple levels of symmetry and signal modulation combine to reduce systematic errors to negligible levels. PIXIE will map the full sky in Stokes I, Q, and U parameters with angular resolution 2.6 degrees and sensitivity 70 nK per 1degree square pixel. The principal science goal is the detection and characterization of linear polarization from an inflationary epoch in the early universe, with tensor-to-scalar ratio r inflation to the nature of the first stars and the physical conditions within the interstellar medium of the Galaxy. We describe the PIXIE instrument and mission architecture required to measure the CMB to the limits imposed by astrophysical foregrounds.

  16. Exploring language variation across Europe

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hovy, Dirk; Johannsen, Anders Trærup

    2016-01-01

    Language varies not only between countries, but also along regional and sociodemographic lines. This variation is one of the driving factors behind language change. However, investigating language variation is a complex undertaking: the more factors we want to consider, the more data we need. Tra...... use of large amounts of data and provides statistical analyses, maps, and interactive features that enable scholars to explore language variation in a data-driven way.......Language varies not only between countries, but also along regional and sociodemographic lines. This variation is one of the driving factors behind language change. However, investigating language variation is a complex undertaking: the more factors we want to consider, the more data we need...... training in both variational linguistics and computational methods, a combination that is still not common. We take a first step here to alleviate the problem by providing an interface to explore large-scale language variation along several socio-demographic factors without programming knowledge. It makes...

  17. Diamonds: Exploration, mines and marketing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Read, George H.; Janse, A. J. A. (Bram)

    2009-11-01

    The beauty, value and mystique of exceptional quality diamonds such as the 603 carat Lesotho Promise, recovered from the Letseng Mine in 2006, help to drive a multi-billion dollar diamond exploration, mining and marketing industry that operates in some 45 countries across the globe. Five countries, Botswana, Russia, Canada, South Africa and Angola account for 83% by value and 65% by weight of annual diamond production, which is mainly produced by four major companies, De Beers, Alrosa, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton (BHPB), which together account for 78% by value and 72% by weight of annual diamond production for 2007. During the last twelve years 16 new diamond mines commenced production and 4 re-opened. In addition, 11 projects are in advanced evaluation and may begin operations within the next five years. Exploration for diamondiferous kimberlites was still energetic up to the last quarter of 2008 with most work carried out in Canada, Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Botswana. Many kimberlites were discovered but no new economic deposits were outlined as a result of this work, except for the discovery and possible development of the Bunder project by Rio Tinto in India. Exploration methods have benefitted greatly from improved techniques of high resolution geophysical aerial surveying, new research into the geochemistry of indicator minerals and further insights into the formation of diamonds and the relation to tectonic/structural events in the crust and mantle. Recent trends in diamond marketing indicate that prices for rough diamonds and polished goods were still rising up to the last quarter of 2008 and subsequently abruptly sank in line with the worldwide financial crisis. Most analysts predict that prices will rise again in the long term as the gap between supply and demand will widen because no new economic diamond discoveries have been made recently. The disparity between high rough and polished prices and low share prices of publicly

  18. Virtual Exploration of Earth's Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anbar, A. D.; Bruce, G.; Semken, S. C.; Summons, R. E.; Buxner, S.; Horodyskyj, L.; Kotrc, B.; Swann, J.; Klug Boonstra, S. L.; Oliver, C.

    2014-12-01

    Traditional introductory STEM courses often reinforce misconceptions because the large scale of many classes forces a structured, lecture-centric model of teaching that emphasizes delivery of facts rather than exploration, inquiry, and scientific reasoning. This problem is especially acute in teaching about the co-evolution of Earth and life, where classroom learning and textbook teaching are far removed from the immersive and affective aspects of field-based science, and where the challenges of taking large numbers of students into the field make it difficult to expose them to the complex context of the geologic record. We are exploring the potential of digital technologies and online delivery to address this challenge, using immersive and engaging virtual environments that are more like games than like lectures, grounded in active learning, and deliverable at scale via the internet. The goal is to invert the traditional lecture-centric paradigm by placing lectures at the periphery and inquiry-driven, integrative virtual investigations at the center, and to do so at scale. To this end, we are applying a technology platform we devised, supported by NASA and the NSF, that integrates a variety of digital media in a format that we call an immersive virtual field trip (iVFT). In iVFTs, students engage directly with virtual representations of real field sites, with which they interact non-linearly at a variety of scales via game-like exploration while guided by an adaptive tutoring system. This platform has already been used to develop pilot iVFTs useful in teaching anthropology, archeology, ecology, and geoscience. With support the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, we are now developing and evaluating a coherent suite of ~ 12 iVFTs that span the sweep of life's history on Earth, from the 3.8 Ga metasediments of West Greenland to ancient hominid sites in East Africa. These iVFTs will teach fundamental principles of geology and practices of scientific inquiry, and expose

  19. FULVUE: Far Ultraviolet Universal Explorer

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, David L.; Cross, Eugene W.

    1997-10-01

    This is a concept study for a proposal to NASA/GSFC for a medium class Explorer Mission. It is designed to replace a prior SBIR Phase I design for NASA/MSFC for a Lunar far-UV survey telescope done in 1994 - 1995 for the Pathfinder Program (by the authors for I.S.E., under M. E. Nein, MSFC). A full investigation by project scientist D. L. White as to the most desirable mission science for a Lunar-based UV telescope, resulted in the decision to do a universal survey of the most interesting lines in the Lyman alpha forest, especially the O VI doublet lines around 103.2/103.8 nm. A telescope was designed by the authors incorporating a multiple instrument pod (MEDUSA), and a unique optical train featuring a selectable element secondary mirror module, with a special high resolution mode debuting a new optical design, all by chief optical engineer E. W. Cross. Special thanks go to chief spacecraft engineer T. L. Kessler for all packaging and integration of the telescope, its attendant systems, and the entire mission, including the launch interface and all presentations. In this incarnation, the basic concept has been converted by D. L. White into a free flyer designed for at least a LEO. In reconfiguring the original concept in the order to accomplish the original mission science goals, it has been necessary to take a fresh approach in order to fit the largest feasible Explorer Class Fairing (10L). In addition, the reconsideration of the mission science and the performance level available from the prior mission's optics, the authors decided to push the limits of the possible in the pursuit of excellence and choose two exceptional optical designs, augment them, and integrate them into the same limited envelope, while not sacrificing performance, communications, power, control, or serviceability. This we have kept close to focus throughout our pursuit of the mission science, which we hold foremost. We see a great need to bring the lessons learned at other portions of the

  20. Exploring Trajectories of Distributed Development

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Slepniov, Dmitrij; Wæhrens, Brian Vejrum; Niang, Mohamed

    2014-01-01

    While some firms have successfully turned their global operations into a formidable source of competitive advantage, others have failed to do so. A lot depends on which activities are globally distributed and how they are configured and coordinated. Emerging body of literature and practice suggest...... that not only standardized manufacturing tasks, but also knowledge-intensive and proprietary activities, including research and development (R&D), are increasingly subject to global dispersion. The purpose of this chapter is to explore structural and infrastructural arrangements that take place in industrial...... firms as they globally disperse their development activities. The study employs qualitative methodology and on the basis of two case studies of Danish firms it highlights the challenges of distributed development as well as how these challenges can be dealt with. The chapter outlines a variety...