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  • -= Mercurious Chat =- (gruener Chat Log)Hosted by John Gruener of NASA Johnson Space Center

    Brian Dannemiller - Moderator at Space Ed from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    Welcome to the Space Explorers, Inc., chat with John Gruener, Planetary Scientist at NASA's Johnson Space Center.

    Walt Hoffman - Teacher at East Elementary School from Greenville, Pennsylvania asks:
    The moon has the ability to provide a variety of resources, do you think it is possible to bring these back to earth for use here?

    Yes, some resources such as Helium 3 could be brought back to Earth. However, most resources from the Moon will probably be used on the Moon first, then possibly in space.

    Brian Dannemiller - Moderator at Space Ed from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    Room opened by Moderator on 02/05/04 at 12:55.

    chris link - Chat Guest at UCB from berkeley, CA asks:
    What are your thoughts on the commercial development of the moon. Is it first come, first serve. Is there an international commission that decides who has a right to use the moon's resources, and should there be? Should there be environmental restrictions on commercial development of the moon? Sorry, that's like 50 questions in one..

    Commercial development will come about. How and when are the big questions. There are United Nations treaties that say countries and nations cannot 'own' or lay claim to the moon, but nothing is said about individual rights. I think if a private company can get there and provide a product, there will be buyers.

    Barbara Aanderud - Teacher at Beulah Middle School from Beulah, North Dakota asks:
    From Courtney McKinzie: What do you think are the downsides of putting a space station on the moon?

    The only downside will be the time it takes. Many people want to go to Mars directly and see the Moon as a detour. However, evrything we learn on the Moon will make our trips to Mars safer and with a better chance of success. I'm definitely a Moon-First person.

    Barbara Aanderud - Teacher at Beulah Middle School from Beulah, North Dakota asks:
    From Remington Kemmit: How long after the space station is completed, will the station be in space?

    According to the President's new vision for NASA, the International Space Station will be finished in 2010. NASA charts show the U. S. using the space station until about 2016, though that could be extended. Also, don't forget their are international partners who may decide to keep using the space station even if the U. S. stops using it.

    Malinda Burke - Teacher at Pelahatchie Attendance Center from Pelahatchie, Mississippi asks:
    Since you can't breathe the air on Mars, can you grow plants there?

    Yes, but plants will be grown indoors, in green houses, as part of a regenerative life support system. Plants will provide food, oxygen, and water, and help get rid of carbon dioxide in the life support atmosphere. Most plant essential nutrients required for plant growth have already been confirmed, most recently by Spirit and Opportunity.

    Malinda Burke - Teacher at Pelahatchie Attendance Center from Pelahatchie, Mississippi asks:
    Will we build another space shuttle, or will we make a different spacecraft for humans to travel in?

    According to the President's new vision for NASA, a new vehicle called the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) will be built to take people into space and on to the Moon, Mars, and beyond. The space shuttle will be retired in 2010.

    Malinda Burke - Teacher at Pelahatchie Attendance Center from Pelahatchie, Mississippi asks:
    Is it true that the American flag that was placed on the moon in 1969 has not changed-it still looks the same as it did way back then?

    That's a good question. I'm not sure what space weathering would have done to the fabric. That will be neat to see someday.

    Patti Martin - Teacher at Berry Middle School from Birmingham, Alabama asks:
    My class at Berry Middle School in Hoover, Alabama has been studying about the possibilities of colonizing the moon. One major question the students wanted to find and answer to was......If the moon is colonized, will we be able to grow our own food? If we do, will it be a form of hydroponics or another method? Thanks!

    Food will be grown as part of a self-sustaining life support system. How we provide nutrients to the plants is still being debated. Hydroponics would work, thanks to the Moon's gravity. However, hydroponics requires resupply of stock nutrients and has a pretty complicated plumbing system. We have worked on a slow-release fertilzer, termed zeoponics, that we could mix into the lunar soil and provide all of the nutrients for at least a year without resupply. Composting could then kick in.

    Barbara Aanderud - Teacher at Beulah Middle School from Beulah, North Dakota asks:
    From Mrs. Aanderud: Do you think we should explore space with robots or humans?

    Both, humans and robots should be complimentary, not competitors.

    Kathy Lineberger - Chat Guest at Marvin Ward Elementary from Winston-Salem, NC asks:
    If Mars did indeed have water at one time, what does that mean? Is there a parallel between the geography of Mars and that of Earth?

    There are surface features on Mars that suggest flowing water. These surface features are very similar to surface features here on Earth that we know were formed by water. The big questions: If water, then life? Where did the water go and why? Is there still liquid water underground?

    Claudia Greene - Teacher at Whittier School from Chicago, Illinois asks:
    Is pluto a satelite or a planet

    We go 'round and 'round about that. Planet or Kuiper Belt Object? I guess it's all in your own personal definition of a planet. I think of it as a Kuiper Belt Object that orbits the Sun.

    Barbara Aanderud - Teacher at Beulah Middle School from Beulah, North Dakota asks:
    From Carissa Suter: What is the most exciting thing you have ever done that pertains to space?

    The most exciting things have been geologic field trips to places that are similar to the surfaces of the Moon and Mars. Probably the coolest trips were to lava tubes (caves) in New Mexico. Lava tubes may exist on the Moon and Mars and could provide shelter for a base.

    Barbara Aanderud - Teacher at Beulah Middle School from Beulah, North Dakota asks:
    From Kelsey Theil: What was your job when you worked on the space shuttle and the space station?

    Space Shuttle-I did mission planning and trajectory design for on-orbit operations that involved releasing things from the shuttle payload bay. Space Station- briefly worked on how you would start putting the pieces together so that you would have a stable spacecraft after each assembly mission.

    Bethany - Student at West Woods Elementary School from Arvada, Colorado asks:
    Was working with NASA always your dream?

    Sort of. I was in elementary school when NASA was flying the Apollo missions. Watching the stuff on TV was pretty motivating! I wanted to be a pilot, though, and fly jets. Then maybe be an astronaut.

    Claudia Greene - Teacher at Whittier School from Chicago, Illinois asks:
    Is there much interest from private funders for a moon station?

    Not yet. People who fund things want to see a return on their money. Right now technologies are pretty immature and expensive, and there are not that many products that could be provided to make a profit. However, once the government develops the required technology (and pays for it with taxpayers dollasr), private businesses can use those technologies as they want. It will take time.

    wade lunning - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    would u like to live on mars

    Yes, someday I would. But, I would like to go to the Moon first. A moon mission could keep you away from home for months. A Mars mission could keep you away from home for years. One problem, I haven't convinced my wife to come with me! And I would like to wait a few years, so my kids can grow up. I like pplaying with them and coaching their sports teams.

    Jaime Bubak - Chat Guest at west woods elementary from arvada, colorado asks:
    How long have you worked for N.A.S.A., and what do you like doing when you,re not working?

    I've been working in the space program since 1986, just about 18 years now. When I'm not working, I like playing miniature wargames, and spending time outdoors hunting, fishing, camping,exploring, etc.

    Walt Hoffman - Teacher at East Elementary School from Greenville, Pennsylvania asks:
    From fourth grader Derek: Will we need to transport lot's of water to the moon for a base there? If so, how will we get it there?

    Initially we will take our water with us. But we are working on recycling tecnologies so we can use that same water over and over again. Eventually, we will use resources from the Moon for water. Either find it as water ice in permanently-shadowed craters at the lunar poles, or make it form oxygen and hydrogen acquired from the lunar surface materials.

    david amato - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    To be an astronaut is one of my third or fourth dreams. What do i need to do in high school and college that will help me become an astronaut?

    Make good grades!! Academics are a big portion of the astronaut application and scoring process. Also, probably study science, engineering, or computer technology.

    beverly clark - Chat Guest at Drewry Mason from Ridgeway, virginia asks:
    how is the spacestaion held up in space

    The space station is constantly falling around the earth. We have to keep it high enough and traveling fast enough so it falls past the curved edge of the earth. The earth's gravity is constantly trying to pull the space station down. That's why we have to boost it into higher orbits every so often.

    Walt Hoffman - Teacher at East Elementary School from Greenville, Pennsylvania asks:
    On which location, Mars or the Moon, do you think we should concentrate our efforts for exploration and why?

    The moon first. We need to train a whole new generation of space workers on how to conduct planetary exploration missions. All most all of the Apollo folks have retired. Also, we have to design and test a bunch of new equipment. I would like to try it out close to home first, before we head out too far. If something breaks on the Moon, we can ome home anytime. If something breaks on Mars, we either have to fix it quick or suffer the consequences. Start small, slow, and close. The head out.

    Taylor Rafteseth - Chat Guest at West Woods Elementary from Arvada, Colorado asks:
    What are your hobbies?

    family, outdoors stuff, wargaming, genealogy

    Lynn Mcdaniel - Teacher at Stewart Middle Magnet School from Tampa, Florida asks:
    Students Matt, Juan, and Ricky ask: What explains the the high and low temperatures on the moon?

    There is no atmosphere to moderate or hold onto energy. The surface is either heated directly by the sun (up to 250 degrees F), or cold soaked from space in shadows or when the Sun is down (-250 degrees F). Our atmosphere is a wonderful thing.

    Brooke Horton - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    This might be silly, but what is your favorite color?

    Green. Then brown and orange.

    Lauren - Student at West Woods Elementary School from Arvada, Colorado asks:
    what does water feel like agenst your skin in space? Is it oozy?

    I don't know, but I'd like to find out. I'm guessing just like it does here, slippery.

    Walt Hoffman - Teacher at East Elementary School from Greenville, Pennsylvania asks:
    From Lindsay: What is your "vision" of a moon base? What would it be like to live there?

    Start small and slow. A few people for a few days. Explore many places before deciding on a base location. Build up confidence in ourselves and our equipment and systems. Gradually extend the duration of surface stays and the size and complexity of the base

    Lynn Mcdaniel - Teacher at Stewart Middle Magnet School from Tampa, Florida asks:
    Students Morgan and Nathan ask: Why doesn't our moon have a name like the others in the solar system, and what would you name it?

    Good question, but I don't know the answer. I like Luna or Selene.

    Brian Dannemiller - Moderator at Space Ed from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    The chat room will be closing in a few minutes. Thank you for joining us. And we would especially like to thank John Gruener for being our guest today. Please join us again for our next Live Online Chat which will be with Astronaut Daniel Brandenstein on March 16, 2004.

    Sarah Francetich - Teacher at Rickard Elementary from Williston, North Dakota asks:
    From Randi Gustafson: When they send people to Mars, how long will they stay there?

    Either a couple of months or a year-and-a-half. That's what mother nature and the orbit of the planets dictate. There's no in between.

    Barbara Aanderud - Teacher at Beulah Middle School from Beulah, North Dakota asks:
    From Aaron Dschaak: What benefits will come from putting a space station on the moon?

    Reinvigorate our nations manufacturing capability. This will create jobs. Also, I hope it will motivate people, and especially students, to work hard and invent new technologies that we could use in space, and maybe here on Earth to improve everybody's daily life. Inspiration for the country that we can still do the hard things.

    Chase Enterline - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    who was your role-model?

    I didn't really have one. I liked to read biographies about military commanders. My uncle worked at NASA when I was young. I'm sure that influenced me. But basically, I just made myself what I wanted to be.

    Malinda Burke - Teacher at Pelahatchie Attendance Center from Pelahatchie, Mississippi asks:
    Do rings on planets spin with the planets, or do they have a different speed?

    I don't know. I'm not an astronomer. But I would guess they spin in the same direction as the planet.

    Brian Dannemiller - SEI Staff at Space Education Initiatives from De Pere, Wisconsin asks:
    Thank you so much for joining us.

    My pleasure. I had fun.

    louise burnardow - Chat Guest at st thomases from england, england asks:
    which planet rotates on its side

    Uranus I think, but I'm not an astronomer.

    Brian Dannemiller - Moderator at Space Ed from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    2/5/2004 2:03:24 PM - Room closed by Moderator. Thank you for your participation.

     
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