Search Ames

Go

Mission Archives

Text Size

Atacama Desert (NASA Ames participation)
05.09.07
 
Overview:

A group of scientists, including researchers from NASA Ames Research, Moffett Field, Calif., in 2005 announced that they had identified habitats and microbial life using a mobile robot, or 'rover,' in Chile's Atacama Desert. Later expeditions to the Atacama included teachers who learned about conducting science 'on-the-scene.'

Media contact:

Michael Mewhinney
NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.
Phone: 650-604-3937
Email: mmewhinney@mail.arc.nasa.gov

Key Mission People
Nathalie Cabrol of the SETI Institute, Mountain View, Calif., and the NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif. Cabrol served as the science leader for the Astronaut-Rover Interaction for Planetary Surface Exploration (ASRO) experiment, the four-day primary science mission was conducted Feb. 22-25, 1999, in the Mojave Desert, east of Los Angeles.
http://web99.arc.nasa.gov/~ncabrol/

Chris McKay, scientist, NASA Ames Research Center.
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/ames/research/2006/mckay.html



Related links:

2006 Spaceward Bound
Atacama Field Expedition --
http://quest.nasa.gov/projects/spacewardbound/atacama2006/info.html

March 16, 2005
Robotic Astrobiology Expedition Yields Significant Science Findings --
Scientists announced March 16, 2005, that they identified habitats and microbial life using a rover in Chile's arid Atacama desert that may bode well for future missions to Mars.
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/ames/news/releases/2005/05_16AR.html

2005
Carnegie Mellon University website:
Robotic Astrobiology in the Atacama Desert –
Astrobiology is the study of life in the universe. Robotic astrobiologists will one day search for life on other planets, but first we prepare robots to study life in extreme environments here on Earth. . . .
http://www.frc.ri.cmu.edu/atacama

Sept. 24, 2004
RELEASE: 04-91AR
ATACAMA ROVER HELPS NASA LEARN TO SEARCH FOR LIFE ON MARS--
A dedicated team of scientists spent four weeks in 2004 in northern Chile's Atacama Desert. They studied the scarce life that exists there and, in the process, helped NASA learn more about how primitive life forms could exist on Mars. . .
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/ames/news/releases/2004/04_91AR.html

Nov. 7, 2003
RELEASE: 03-87AR
MARS-LIKE ATACAMA DESERT COULD EXPLAIN VIKING 'NO LIFE' RESULTS --
A team of scientists from NASA, the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Louisiana State University and several other research organizations has discovered clues from one of Earth's driest deserts about the limits of life on Earth, and why past missions to Mars may have failed to detect life.

The results were published this week (November 2003) in Science magazine in an article entitled "Mars-like Soils in the Atacama Desert, Chile, and the Dry Limit of Microbial Life."
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/ames/news/releases/2003/03_87AR.html

For images of the field experiments, please go to: http://www.sciencemag.org

April 1, 2003
NASA, CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY TO TEST ROBOT IN CHILE --
A team of NASA and Carnegie Mellon University scientists will travel to the Atacama Desert in northern Chile April 1 , 2003, to conduct research that will help them develop and deploy a robot and instruments that may someday enable other robots to find life on Mars.
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/ames/news/releases/2003/03_19AR.html

Link to publication size images of robot on NASA Ames web site: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/ames/news/releases/2003/03images/hyper/hyper.html

Related images:

http://quest.nasa.gov/projects/spacewardbound/atacama2006/journals.html

http://www.frc.ri.cmu.edu/atacama

http://www.nasa.gov/centers/ames/news/releases/2004/atacama/atacama.html