Astrogeology: July 2006

Automated Drilling Field Demonstrations Exceed Goals, Go "Naked" in Haughton Crater 2006 DAME Tests

To look for ice or especially organics on Mars, we will need to drill below the oxidized and irradiated surface, probably at least 1-2m. Hardened subsurface ice layers aren't going to be addressed with lightweight scoops on manipulator arms, drills will be needed. But drilling is an art form on Earth, even "automated" offshore oil drilling platforms have control rooms full of people watching and adjusting the drilling.

Cassini Radar Finds Hydrocarbon Lakes on Titan

"The Cassini spacecraft, using its radar system, has discovered very strong evidence for hydrocarbon lakes on Titan. Dark patches, which resemble terrestrial lakes, seem to be sprinkled all over the high latitudes surrounding Titan's north pole. Scientists have speculated that liquid methane or ethane might form lakes on Titan, particularly near the somewhat colder polar regions."

Join NAI for the Polycom and WebEx broadcast of the second annual Summer Student Seminar Series. The talks will be given on Friday, July 28th and Friday August 11th at 12:00pm PDT (9:00am HT/1:00pm MDT/2:00pm CDT/3:00pm EDT.)

Undersea Vehicles to Study Formation of Gold and Other Precious Metals On the Pacific Ocean Floor, WHOI

"The joint expedition includes a 32-day WHOI research program funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation to the Pacmanus vent sites in the Eastern Manus Basin. The remotely operated vehicle Jason will be used to survey and map the vent areas around an Ocean Drilling Program hole drilled in 2000."