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March 6, 2001

Catherine E. Watson
Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX
(Phone: 281/483-5111)

Release: J01-26

32nd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference Story Opportunities

More than 1100 papers will be presented at the 32nd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, March 12-16, 2001, at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston. Oral presentations will begin at 8:30 a.m. Monday, March 12 and continue through Friday morning, March 16, at JSC’s Gilruth Center. News media can register for the conference at the Gilruth Center March 12-16.

Astrobiology The possibility of ancient bacteria in Martian meteorites and the logistics involved in bringing home a sample of Martian soil are just two of the highlights of these sessions that will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday in Room A and 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday in Room A.

Asteroids: A Year Near Eros The Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous mission capped off its 5-year, 2-billion-mile mission this year with a spectacular landing on Eros. Scientists have only begun to dig through the plethora of data its instruments collected. This special session begins at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday in Room C.

Europa, Jupiter: A Special Session An ocean may lie beneath the surface of the Jovian moon, Europa. This fascinating possibility will be discussed in detail, as well as what a mission to Europa would require in order to prove whether or not an ocean exists there. Oral presentations will begin at 1:30 p.m. Thursday in Room A.

Extraterrestrial Life: A Panel Discussion A panel of scientists will have an open discussion on Societal Connections of Planetary Exploration and the Search for Life Elsewhere at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in Room A.

Ganymede and Io, Jupiter: Are there oceans beneath the surface of Ganymede, a moon of Jupiter? What sort of geologic processes control its surface? Researchers discuss these and other details of Ganymede and the other moons of Jupiter from 2:45 to 5:30 p.m. Monday in Room D. Researchers will focus on Io from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesday in room B.

Martian Glaciers: Using data from the Mars Global Surveyor and Global Orbiter spacecraft, scientists are working to determine the age of Martian glaciers and how they formed. With this data, scientists hope to better understand the ancient climate of Mars and perhaps determine whether Mars still has sources of liquid water. Oral presentations will take place from 2:45 to 5:30 p.m. Monday in Room C.

Martian Volcanoes: Researchers will discuss the history of Martian volcanic eruptions and the possibility that these eruptions occurred more often and with greater ferocity than previously thought. This explosively hot topic will be discussed from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday in Room C.

Martian Water: Using data from the Mars Global Surveyor and Global Orbiter spacecraft, scientists are tackling the vital questions of whether ancient Mars had oceans and flowing water, as well as whether present-day Mars harbors water beneath its barren surface. The latest results of this research will be presented all day Wednesday in Room C, beginning at 8:30 a.m. and from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday in Room C.

Mercury: An Earth in Moon's Clothing? (Harold Masursky Lecture) Dr. Sean Solomon of the Carnegie Institute of Washington, DC will discuss the two missions to Mercury that are scheduled for this decade, and why he thinks Mercury has languished as an exploration site. This lecture will begin at 1:30 p.m. Monday in Room C.

Tagish Lake Meteorite: The Tagish Lake meteorite, which fell to Earth in northern British Columbia in January 2000, may contain the most primitive solar system materials yet found. Several hundred meteorite samples have been recovered from the original 200,000-kilogram (441,000-pound) meteoroid. The analyses of these unique samples will be discussed in detail from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday in Room A.

Venus: Volcanoes and meteorite impacts have heavily scarred the surface of Venus. Researchers will discuss how these processes have affected the surface of Venus, and how our understanding of the effects of both volcanoes and meteorite impacts relates to Earth. Presentations will take place from 2:45 to 5:30 p.m. Monday in Room B.

News media with additional questions, or those who wish to schedule interviews with conference participants, should contact Pam Thompson at the Lunar and Planetary Institute. Thompson can be reached by phone at 281/486-2175 or by e-mail at thompson@lpi.usra.edu. Additional information about conference events, including the texts of abstracts, can be found at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference website: http://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2001/

 

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