Rocks examined by NASA’s Mars rover Spirit hold evidence of an ancient wet, non-acidic environment that may have been favorable for life. Confirming this mineral clue took four years of analysis by several scientists.
Spirit inspected many rock outcrops, including one called Comanche by scientists. They discovered magnesium iron carbonate makes up about one-fourth of the measured volume in Comanche samples. That is a tenfold higher concentration than any previously identified for carbonate in a Martian rock.
Massive carbonate deposits on Mars have been sought for years without much success. Numerous channels apparently carved by flows of liquid water on ancient Mars suggest the planet was formerly warmer, thanks to greenhouse warming from a thicker atmosphere than exists now. The dense, ancient Martian atmosphere was probably rich in carbon dioxide, because that gas makes up nearly all the very thin, modern atmosphere.
Finding a tick usually involves a squeamish self-examination — carefully rubbing fingertips through your scalp, meticulously scanning your body, and groaning “eyeww” if a little bloodsucker is discovered. But now there is a new way to discover these pesky, disease-laden critters — via satellite!
Two University of Alabama at Birmingham graduate students are pioneering the new technique as part of a NASA program called DEVELOP. They’ve been using satellite images of Alabama’s Talladega National Forest to reveal likely areas of the forest where ticks may flourish. The students used what they learned from their NASA advisor, Dr. Jeff Luvall of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, to classify levels of vegetation and moisture in 12 locations in the forest. They then created detailed digital maps and images showing likely tick habitats — areas where dense vegetation overlapped those with high soil moisture.
Did you know that 53 different women including cosmonauts, astronauts, payload specialists and foreign nationals have flown in space? That six different female cosmonauts have flown with the Soviet/Russian program and 47 different women have flown with NASA?
In 1963, Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space when she piloted the Vostok 6 spacecraft. Later, she married Andrian Nikolayev, another cosmonaut. Their child Yelena was the first child born to space-faring parents.
Sally Ride was the first American woman in space but the third woman in space overall after Tereshkova and Svetlana Savitskaya. Savitskaya flew on Soyuz T-7 on Aug. 19, 1982.
Peggy Whitson was the first woman to complete a six-month tour of duty aboard the International Space Station as the station commander for Expedition 16 in April 2008.
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Welcome to the NASA Explorer Schools Teachers Corner! This forum supports the NES project by disseminating NES project information as well as providing NASA mission updates that may be of interest to students and teachers. It is also a place for educators to share comments and ideas on how NASA’s educational materials and mission of research and discovery connect with what is taught in classroom.
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Stay tuned! Throughout the summer the Teachers Corner will be updated with NES project information and educational opportunities and provide information about current NASA missions and projects.