News and Updates

05/13/2013

The EarthScope/Transportable Array program was highlighted on the Weather Channel in an April 26th report by correspondent Dave Malkoff, titled "A CT Scan for the Earth." The segment included the actual installation of an EarthScope/TA vault in Virginia, and featured appearances by several EarthScope/TA team members, a discussion on the need for computerized tomography of the earth's interior, and an animation of the effects of Hurricane Sandy as seen by the Transportable Array. You can watch this this informative 2-minute video here: http://www.passcal.nmt.edu/content/earthscopeta-featured-weather-channel

Arizona State University is the host university for the EarthScope National Office.

05/03/2013

Greenish rock found in Morocco may be first from planet Mercury

Arizona State University’s Center for Meteorite Studies recently received pieces of one of the rarest meteorites ever found. Aside from its peculiar green color, what makes this space rock so special is where it could come from: It may be the first known visitor from planet Mercury.

Last year, a group of 35 of these unusual space rocks was found in Morocco. Analysis suggests that the meteorite, called NWA 7325, came from Mercury, and not an asteroid or Mars. With its uncharacteristically chartreuse-green fusion crust and curious chemical composition, it does not resemble any other space rock documented by scientists.

Meteorite enthusiast Fredric Stephan donated two pieces of the green rock, totaling 10 grams. CMS now holds 10 grams of the 345 grams found.

“This unusual and precious donation is really an exciting sample and a wonderful addition to the center’s meteorite collection. Scientists have numerous meteorites for study, more than 50,000, but every so often something new comes along that gives us new insights into our solar system. More than anything, this sample will force us to look at what would really be the defining properties of a Hermian meteorite,” said Laurence Garvie, who curates the Center for Meteorite Studies’ collection of more than 1,800 separate meteorites.

Although it has been hailed as the first meteorite from the solar system’s innermost planet, its origin is not certain.

“It is difficult, though modeling shows not impossible, to get a sample ejected from Mercury out to our orbit. Basically, Mercury is so close to the sun, it swallows up most rocks ejected from the surface by impacts,” explains Garvie.

However, based on its composition and low remnant magnetism, it is possible that it originated from the closest planet to the sun. NWA 7325 contains little iron but considerable amounts of magnesium, aluminum and calcium silicates — in line with data sent back from NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft currently in orbit around Mercury.

Although scientists can’t say for sure where the meteorite comes from, they can say it is exceptional and very old, with an estimated age close to ~4.56 billion years. And even if this meteorite turns out not to be from Mercury, it still has properties that scientists have not observed before in a sample, and is, therefore, extremely interesting.

“CMS has a long tradition of working with private meteorite collectors for the benefit of planetary science. We are especially grateful to Fredric for his generosity in making this important contribution along with the many other valuable specimens he has donated to the center,” says Meenakshi Wadhwa, director of CMS and a professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration.

Members of the public are invited to see this unusual sample that is now on exhibit on the second floor of ASU’s Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building IV.

Caption: Melissa Morris (assistant director of ASU’s Center for Meteorite Studies), meteorite collector Fredric Stephan, and Laurence Garvie (collection manager of ASU’s Center for Meteorite Studies) hold samples of the center’s newest acquisition: A meteorite that has been suggested to hail from planet Mercury. Photo by: Andy DeLisle

(Nikki Cassis)

 

05/03/2013

Four engineering students at Arizona State University, three of them undergraduates, are gaining practical experience by helping to build a mineral-scouting instrument that will fly on a NASA mission to an asteroid. They are drafting the detailed plans for each of the instrument's components and helping analyze its structural and thermal behavior.

The instrument is called OTES, short for OSIRIS-REx Thermal Emission Spectrometer. It is being built on ASU's Tempe campus in the Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building 4 (ISTB4) of the School of Earth and Space Exploration. OTES is scheduled for launch in 2016 as part of NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission. ASU's Philip Christensen is the principal investigator and designer for OTES, which is a descendant of a similar instrument that went to Mars on NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers in 2004.

Three students – Ian Kubik, Tyler Lemonds and Justin Pourkaveh – are senior undergraduates in mechanical or aerospace engineering, while the fourth, Austin Pezzella, is working toward his master's degree in mechanical engineering.

They were recruited because OTES project managers and engineers were becoming overloaded with detailing work. What the project needed most was knowledgeable but entry-level help to create accurate drawings so the parts could be manufactured.

"We made a request to professor Jami Shah of the engineering school, and he spread the word among the students," says Dan Pelham, lead optical and mechanical engineer on the project. They were recruited starting in early 2013.

The design tool the OTES project uses is called NX, from Siemens PLM software. It integrates design, analysis, production and manufacturing. Siemens also provided Teamcenter, software that lets several people work on OTES components at the same time.

"We were just starting to put our computer models together, and we recruited Zoltan Farkas as lead mechanical engineer," says Pelham. "He had extensive experience with NX in his former job."

NX has proven highly useful, Pelham notes. "In particular, it includes an analysis component called NX NASTRAN, which we needed. It's an industry standard item for structural analysis."

Getting real

For the students, working on OTES represents an important step beyond the classroom. As Lemonds explains, "Most of my engineering experience has been with class work and lab exercises, and tutoring students – all very theoretical. This is real."

The nature of the job was also appealing.

"I had applied for the job because it sounded like an amazing project – and something I can look back on, and be proud of having worked on a NASA mission that took samples from an asteroid," Pezzella says. He originally expected to work on drafting with the undergraduate students. "However, I have mainly been assisting with the thermal and structural analysis."

For their part, the undergraduates begin with a 3-D computer model of each part in the instrument.

"Most of the digital design and analysis work falls on me, and I double-check it with Dan Pelham," Farkas explains. "We then turn the models over to the students for detailing."

To manufacture the parts requires precision drawings with dimensions, allowable error tolerances, and specifications for things such as materials, surface finishn and paint. The students' job is to use NX to create the manufacturing drawings from the computer models. They also work from drawings from the earlier Mars-going version of OTES.

"The drawing reflects how a part is going to be made," says Kubik. "If you don't have any drafting experience, its difficult to know what needs to be incorporated into the drawing, and you can easily overlook the guy who's going to have to make it."

All the students hope that working on the OTES project will be a boost when they graduate and look for jobs.

"Industry uses drafting a lot, and employers like to see it in your resumé," Pourkaveh says. "You have all these kids graduating and they sit down at a computer – and they don't know how to draw anything. It's good if you can get that kind of experience in college. It gives you a leg up."

As always, real-world experience is critical.

"You can be the best engineer in the world and design the most awesome 3-D model," says Lemonds. "But if you can't communicate with the machinist who'll fabricate it – it's just a digital model."

After the students have finished with the drawings, they go through another round of checks with Farkas and Pelham. Then the drawings are sent out for manufacturing.

"It's unbelieveable how user-friendly this is. It has all the tools you need in a single package," says Kubik.

Into deep space

After OSIRIS-REx launches in 2016, NASA's flight plan calls for the spacecraft to rendezvous with asteroid Bennu (1999 RQ36) in 2018 and spend about a year orbiting and surveying its surface.

After mission scientists decide the best place to go to, OSIRIS-REx will collect the sample from the asteroid's surface and send it back to Earth, with the sample arriving in 2023. OTES plays a key role in choosing the right place to sample.

"OTES is the first complex piece of electro-optical space hardware to be built at ASU," says Christensen. He is a Regents' Professor of geological sciences in the School of Earth and Space Exploration, part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. "This is a great step forward for ASU and for students involved in engineering for science."

For the students, there's another plus to working on the OTES project. Unlike a typical aerospace company, it's not a gigantic organization.

"The team here is really small," says Pourkaveh. "You get to see the whole picture and participate in every part of the process."

Photo: Engineering undergrads Ian Kubik (standing) and Tyler Lemonds confer over CAD drawings for an ASU instrument that will launch in 2016 on a NASA mission to an asteroid. They and two other engineering students are working on the instrument, which is being built at ASU's School of Earth and Space Exploration. Photo by: ASU/Andrew DeLisle

 

05/02/2013

The quest to understand the origins of the solar system and planetary formation is not an endeavor that needs a multibillion dollar price tag or a mission to the far reaches of the galaxy.

It is a quest that can be pursued at the bottom of the Earth.

The Antarctic Search for Meteorites (ANSMET) is a U.S. field project that has sent scientists to Antarctica to collect meteorites since 1976. Over the years, the program has amassed more than 20,000 meteorite samples for study, 10 times the mass of samples brought back from the Apollo missions.

Two professors from ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration returned recently from ANSMET’s 2012-2013 field season. Thomas Sharp and Meenakshi Wadhwa were members of the systematic search team, which contributed more than 300 meteorites to ANSMET’s collection.

Wadhwa was a team member on the 1992-1993 ANSMET trip as a graduate student from Washington University in St. Louis.

“Why do we care about rocks from space? They give us a history of the solar system,” Sharp said. “Geologists study rocks to tell us about the history of the Earth and how the Earth works. Meteorites are the rock record for the solar system.”

A meteorite is a piece of an asteroid, planet or moon that streaks through the Earth’s atmosphere, surviving the intense frictional heat and then hitting Earth’s surface. These rock fragments “are the leftovers from the planet making process” and contain clues to how planets are formed, Sharp said.

The project is carried out in Antarctica because it is an ideal place to collect meteorites.

Meteorites fall everywhere on Earth, but specimens that fall on Antarctica are well-preserved in the ice. The giant ice sheet that covers Antarctica flows like a slow-moving river, creating deposits of meteorites, a phenomenon that is unique to the continent.

As the Antarctic Ice Sheet flows from the center of the continent toward the oceans that surround it, meteorites that fell on the ice hundreds of thousands of years ago are carried with the ice sheet.

The ice is trapped behind the Transantarctic Mountains and anything buried within the ice accumulates behind the mountains. Over time the Katabatic winds, which can reach speeds of up to 200 mph, erode the ice behind the mountains, revealing the meteorites within.

The eight-person team that Wadhwa and Sharp were part of searched ice fields near the Grosvenor Mountains about 500 miles south from McMurdo Station, the U.S. research center on the southern tip of Ross Island.

The team took 25,000 pounds of gear, including tents, snow mobiles, meteorite collection equipment, solar panels, fuel, cooking stoves and food for six weeks of remote field camping.

To search for meteorites, the systematic search team lined up about 20 meters apart (about 65 feet) on snowmobiles or a few meters apart (about 5-10 feet) on foot. The team members combed the ice, stopping to inspect every rock.

On average, the team inspected a football field-sized area each day, Wadhwa said.

“When you find a meteorite you get very excited,” Wadhwa said. “You wave all your teammates over and do the collection as a team. You want to collect them as cleanly as possible to not contaminate them.”

A collection kit was provided by the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Each collected specimen’s position was recorded with GPS coordinates and a temporary flag. It was catalogued through a picture taken of the specimen next to the same kind of counter that was used on the Apollo space missions to the Moon. The specimen was then picked up with sterilized, stainless steel tools and bagged. Specimens were kept frozen until they were transported to the Johnson Space Center at the end of the season.

“Going to Mars to bring back samples would cost many, many billions of dollars,” Sharp said. “But Mars delivers us free samples.”

The Apollo missions to the Moon, which brought back nearly 850 pounds of moon rock, cost more than $150 billion in today’s currency. ANSMET’s field work, which is funded by NASA and the National Science Foundation, has cost between $30 million to $35 million over the program’s entire lifetime of 37 years, according to principal investigator Ralph Harvey, who runs the program out of Case Western Reserve University in Ohio.

“You can think about it as a poor person’s space mission,” Wadhwa said. “It’s a way of getting samples from other places in the solar system without actually sending very expensive space craft out there to look for these things.”

Although Antarctica is extremely accessible compared to the Moon, Mars or any other planetary body, it is still a fierce and foreign environment.

During the 2012-2013 field season the coldest day was about negative 25 degrees Celsius, or negative 13 degrees Fahrenheit, Sharp said. Each season typically takes place during the months of November to January, which are Antarctica’s summer months.

“There’s no life up on the plateau. There are no animals no insects, no germs no viruses and no pollution. It’s absolutely clean and sterile,” Sharp said. “It was very different from normal life.”

Sharp and Wadhwa both agreed the trip was an incredible experience.

“It’s hard to describe the excitement of finding samples from another planet or another place in the solar system,” Wadhwa said.

For more information, visit http://artscilabs.case.edu/ansmet/.

Photo: The team searches for meteorites near Larkman Nunatak, a large mountain poking its head above the thick layer of continental glacier that covers most of Antarctica. The blue ice is not flat, but rather looks like a rough sea, frozen in place with meter-scale waves and huge swells. Photo by: Tom Sharp

(Kristen Hwang)

 

04/25/2013

Arizona State University’s Center for Meteorite Studies (CMS) has acquired a significant new sample for its collection: pieces of the meteor that exploded spectacularly over Russia earlier this year.

Several small pieces of the meteorite that rocked Chelyabinsk, Russia in February were donated to CMS by Chicago-area meteorite collector and philanthropist Terry Boudreaux.

The new acquisition is notable both for its size — close to 200 pieces totaling 531 grams join the Center’s cache, the largest university collection of meteorites in the world — and for how quickly it ended up on display in the meteorite exhibition.

The Center’s team worked quickly to process the specimens and assemble an exhibit that was ready for the public in a matter of hours.

The largest piece, comprised of cosmically shocked material, is plum-sized and has a mass of 47.5 grams. Classified as an LL5 ordinary chondrite, all of ASU’s fragments of this extraordinary meteorite are on display on the second floor of ASU’s Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building IV.

“The Chelyabinsk meteor entered the Earth’s atmosphere at 41,000 mph. The blinding flash and deafening boom signaled the end of the bolide’s life as a body 17 meters (50 ft) in diameter. The catastrophic disruption of this extraterrestrial intruder, 14.5 miles above the unsuspecting residents of Chelyabinsk, created an intense blast that shattered glass in buildings around the city. All that remains are a multitude of blackened small stones scattered upon the snowy Russian landscape,” says Melissa Morris, assistant director of CMS and faculty research associate in ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration.

NASA estimates the meteor had a mass of roughly 10,000 tonnes (equivalent to 1400 elephants), when it struck Earth’s atmosphere and exploded in a fireball brighter than the morning sun.

For more information, visit: http://meteorites.asu.edu/

Photo caption: Nearly 200 pieces of a meteor that exploded over Russia earlier this year are now on display on the second floor of ASU’s Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building IV. Credit: Melissa Morris

 

(Nikki Cassis)

 

04/22/2013

SESE graduate and undergraduate students responded admirably to the call for posters for the Arizona Geological Society's Doug Shakel Memorial Student Research Symposium here in Tempe last Thursday evening — and did extremely well in the judging!

Kudos to Wendy Bohon, Rob Dekoschak, Angel Garcia, Dominique Garello, Matt Jungers, Carolina Londoño, Nicole Marin, and Pye Pye Zaw for presenting posters and giving brief oral presentations on their research.

Four students were selected for recognition and awards by the symposium judges, and three of those four were SESE students! Congratulations to:

Pye Pye Zaw—Honorable Mention

Wendy Bohon—Second Place

Matt Jungers—First Place

Thanks also to the SESE faculty who attended, and to Steve Reynolds for getting the whole process rolling.

 

04/11/2013

Jennifer Patience, associate professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration, will talk about exoplanets as part of ASU’s Astronomy Public Lecture Series.

The lecture titled “Exoplanets -- Exploring the Diversity of Other Worlds,” will be held at 7:30 p.m., April 12, in the Marston Exploration Theatre. It is the last lecture of the semester.

Detecting, characterizing, and modeling extrasolar planets are among the fastest-growing and most exciting fields in current international astrophysics research. Thus far, over 800 exoplanets have been discovered and the study of their surprisingly diverse properties has both challenged and revolutionized the understanding of planet formation and helped place the Solar System in a broader context. The results of planet search programs have revealed planetary systems very different from the Solar System – some with giant Jupiters forever locked with one hemisphere facing the host star, others with multiple Jovian planets in delicately-balanced eccentric orbits, and still others with mere rubble orbiting the compact remnants of exploded stars.

Come learn about some of the intriguing planetary systems orbiting other stars and find out about some future directions in this exciting area of astronomy.

After the lecture, explore the new interactive displays in Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building IV (ISTB 4), which is located at the corner of McAllister and Terrace on the Tempe campus. Students will be around to answer questions about astronomy and the exhibits.

The ASU Astronomy Public Lecture Series, created by the astronomy graduate students, in conjunction with the ASU Astronomy Club occurs once a month.

For more information, visit: http://astopenhouse.com/2012/01/astronomy-public-lecture-series/.

The School of Earth and Space Exploration is an academic unit of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

 

04/04/2013

Three outstanding faculty members will be honored as President’s Professors at the 2013 Faculty Excellence Awards on April 16, at the Memorial Union Ventana Ballroom on the Tempe campus.

The 2013 President’s Professors are: Ricardo Alarcon, professor in the Physics Department in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; Ariel Anbar, professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; and Alexandra Brewis Slade, director and professor in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and ASU-Mayo Clinic Obesity Solutions director of operations in the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost.

President’s Professorships honor faculty members who have made substantial contributions to undergraduate education at ASU. The awardees are chosen based on a variety of criteria: mastery of subject matter, enthusiasm and innovation in the learning and teaching process, ability to engage students both within and outside the classroom, ability to inspire independent and original thinking in students and to stimulate students to do creative work, innovation in course and curriculum design, and scholarly contributions.

Alarcon has made a substantial contribution to excellence in teaching, particularly through general studies and physics with more than 2,500 students benefiting from his instruction and research mentorship. He is a pioneer in the use of digital teaching technologies in lecture classes and he consistently earns favorable student evaluation scores.

Known to share his knowledge, Alarcon improves the overall instructional tools available to others, thereby enhancing educational effectiveness. Of particular note is the innovative and engaging online format that he has developed in introductory physics and in general studies that feature the richness of in-class sections.

His research is a crucial component of several high profile projects where experiments are conducted at national laboratories. Alarcon is a fellow of the American Physics Society, a leader in the field of nuclear physics and recently served on the National Research Council committee on the “Assessment and Outlook for Nuclear Physics.” He is currently the Physics’ Associate Chair of Academics at ASU.

Anbar has made a sustained and substantial contribution to earth science and chemistry general curricula from the introductory to the specialized level. Most recently, Anbar led the development of the innovative Habitable Worlds online course. Engaging to students across the board, they learn about the search for life on other worlds as a context for learning basic concepts in biology, chemistry, geology and physics in an integrative manner. More than 1,000 students have taken the class, learning through inquiry-driven exploration that science is not just a body of facts but is the process by which important questions are explored.

Habitable Worlds utilizes teaching tools such as the “Habitable Hunt” – where students search for an inhabited world in a personalized, randomized field of stars, as well as an intelligent tutoring system and virtual field trips. Anbar was asked to do a TED-Ed video about the class and recently received National Science Foundation funding to enhance the course as a platform for teaching scientific reasoning. In addition to Habitable Worlds, his student evaluations and the opinion of his peers hold Anbar in the highest regard as he seamlessly integrates his research and teaching portfolios. http://habworlds.org

Brewis Slade is a key force in the creation of multiple extremely successful experiential education initiatives in the School of Social Evolution and Social Change. This includes current study abroad programs in seven nations, all of which she has lead herself. More than 500 undergraduate students have been able to participate in hands-on, transformative experiences as they travel internationally with School of Human Evolution and Social Change faculty ASU faculty in the summers. In addition, she facilitated the establishment of undergraduate global internships in India, Costa Rica and many other countries, and a school-wide research apprenticeship program that offers undergraduate students multiple and diverse opportunities to engage in intensive, real-world research.

Brewis Slade spearheaded the creation of the popular interdisciplinary bachelor's degree in global health that integrates perspectives from a wide array of fields in the life and social sciences to address health inequalities and create sustainable health solutions. Known as an effective and dynamic teacher of global health and anthropology students in both online and in-person classes, as well as a world-renowned scholar in the fields of medical and nutritional anthropology, Brewis Slade inspires students from undergraduates to doctoral candidates.

Photo: This year's President’s Professors are (left to right) Ricardo Alarcon, Ariel Anbar and Alexandra Brewis Slade.

(Julie Newberg)

 

There is a formal award ceremony April 16 at 4 p.m. in the Memorial Union.

04/03/2013
A team of Arizona State University researchers and students recently returned from Hermosillo, Mexico where they taught a two-day watershed modeling workshop at the University of Sonora.
 
The workshop, funded by the National Science Foundation, was attended by water stakeholders from Sonora, Mexico. The 75 attendees were invited to learn and experiment with hydrologic models and their utility for addressing the impacts of climate change on water resources. Leaders from government agencies in charge of water, environmental and agricultural management, along with researchers from three academic institutions comprised the majority of the attendees.
 
“Climate Change and the Water Resources of the Rio Sonora Basin”, the title of the workshop (translated to English), was the first of three participatory modeling workshops to be carried out as part of the project. The workshops are part of a joint project between ASU and Michigan Technological University, and builds on prior work at ASU and Michigan Tech in watershed research within Mexico and other developing countries.
 
“We prepared a series of hands-on activities that introduced the attendees to hydrologic models and their use for making water management decisions,” explained Enrique Vivoni, the project’s principal investigator at ASU and an associate professor with a joint appointment in ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.
 
The overall goal of the participatory watershed modeling, according to Vivoni, was to explore with participants alternative water management scenarios for water supply and flood control of the Rio Sonora, in the face of forecasts from climate change. Do they want to manage hazards and availability through new reservoirs? If so, where should these be located? If not, what other management alternatives – reforestation or conservation areas, aquifer storage and recovery, etc. – would they like to explore with the aid of hydrologic modeling tools?
 
Vivoni’s research group prepared 25 laptops with various software programs and had participants use these for different hydrologic analyses and modeling activities. ASU participants led several discussions and activities, and included: Agustin Robles-Morua, a postdoctoral researcher in the School of Earth and Space Exploration; Kelsii Dana, a graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in Geological Sciences; and Mariela Castaneda, an undergraduate student pursuing two bachelor’s degrees in Earth and Environmental Studies and in Sustainability.
 
Dana introduced the participants to HEC-HMS hydrologic modeling software and its potential application in the Rio Sonora. HEC-HMS is distributed by the Army Corps of Engineers and is used to model the physical processes of a watershed, such as precipitation inputs and the resulting runoff outputs. She wrote step-by-step tutorials for the workshops and walked the participants through participatory modeling exercises.
 
“Delivering my portions of the workshop helped me learn how to teach computer-related material effectively in a group setting,” says Dana. “The best part of the experience was interacting and networking with water stakeholders from all over Sonora. Everyone is really invested in the water future of the state and there were a lot of great discussions.”
 
Castaneda, who helped with registration logistics, software tutorials and translation issues, agreed that the best part of the experience was interacting with participants from a variety of backgrounds in an international setting.
 
“As an undergraduate student, I don’t have the science expertise that the other organizers have so I feel very fortunate to be on board with an international research project such as this. But I would say my background in Earth and Environmental Studies and Sustainability helped me understand the concepts around which the workshop was developed,” says Castaneda.
 
“This was a very successful, well-planned and executed workshop that engaged the participants greatly in the topic area and provided hands-on experiences with hydrologic modeling. Two follow-on workshops scheduled for May 6 and June 17 will be conducted with the same participants to discuss additional scenarios, including water demand, climate change and ecosystem conservation alternatives,” says Vivoni.
 
An outcome of the series of participatory modeling workshops will be to assess the effectiveness of modeling tools. The team plans to determine if models of varying levels of sophistication can affect participants’ knowledge about water resources in the Rio Sonora. They also intend to look at the roles modeling tools play in regions with sparse data and resources but major future challenges related to water.
 
For more information, visit the ASU Hydrology page at:http://hydrology.asu.edu
 
Photo: Kelsii Dana instructs the participants on HEC-HMS hydrologic modeling software and its potential application in the Rio Sonora. Dana, a graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in Geological Sciences, wrote step-by-step tutorials for the workshops and walked the participants through participatory modeling exercises. Photo courtesy of Kelsii Dana

(Nikki Cassis)

04/01/2013

Mark Brodie with Phoenix's NPR station KJZZ interviewed Jim Bell, a professor in ASU's School of Earth and Space Exploration, about NASA's Mars Curiosity Rover. Bell discussed why the rover will be on its own for a little while starting this week and what it will do in the interim. Bell plays a leading role in the targeting and interpretation of images recovered from the science cameras – Mast Camera (Mastcam), Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI), and the Mars Descent Imager (MARDI).

You can listen to the interview here:  kjzz.org/content/1303/scientists-temporarily-lose-contact-mars-rover-curiosity