High Lakes Project, Andes Mountains, Bolivia and Chile (Ames participation)
During the most recent High Lakes Project in late 2006, team members climbed three giant volcanoes of the Andes and their summit lakes: Licancabur at 19,813 feet (6004 meters), Poquentica at 19,192 feet (5850 meters), and Aguas Calientes at 19,635 feet (5950 meters), in Bolivia and Chile. The researchers traveled to where the atmosphere is thin, ultraviolet radiation is intense and the temperatures are cold, which make these environmental conditions potential analogs to ancient martian lakes. The High Lakes Project, funded by a grant from the NASA Astrobiology Institute to the SETI Institute, Mountain View, Calif., is a collaborative effort to investigate extreme lakes at the summit of high volcanoes and collect new knowledge about the biosphere of our own planet, the evolution of life and its adaptation to climate changes. The expedition was scheduled to run from Oct. 27 to Dec. 7, 2006.
Ruth Dasso Marlaire
NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.
SETI Institute, Mountain View, Calif.
|Key Mission People
Nathalie A. Cabrol of NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., and the SETI Institute, Mountain View, Calif.
Oct. 27, 2006
NASA and SETI Explorers Search for Planetary Evolution Clues on Earth --
To go where few people have gone before, a team of expert scientists, mountain-climbers, and divers will explore the ecosystems of three high-altitude summit lakes to understand microbial life’s adaptation to these challenging environments.
Exploring new frontiers on Earth, the 15-member team will climb three giant volcanoes of the Andes and their summit lakes. . . .
Oct. 22, 2003
NASA SCIENTISTS TO STUDY LAKE'S PRIMITIVE LIFE TO LEARN ABOUT MARS --
Scientists from NASA, the SETI Institute and other institutions will study microscopic life forms in some of the highest lakes on Earth atop a South American volcano to learn what life may have been like on early Mars.
additional information, audio, video, still pictures:
Oct. 10, 2002
NASA ASTROBIOLOGISTS TO STUDY EXTREME LIFE AT EARTH’S HIGHEST LAKE --
Scientists from NASA, the SETI Institute and other organizations are preparing to ascend nearly 4 miles to the summit of a dormant volcano in the Chilean Andes to find out how the organisms that live there can survive in the volcano's hostile environment.
2003 Licancabur Expedition –
With grant support from NASA, administrative support from the SETI Institute and funding from Project ARISE and the Shasta County Office of Education, the project has established a Web site that will let teachers, students and members of the public take a virtual field trip to Licancabur. Details are available at: