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2003 Annual Science Report

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Reporting  |  JUL 2002 – JUN 2003

Impact Frustration and Subsequent Generation of Biologically Tenable Climates on Earth and Mars

4 Institutions
3 Teams
0 Publications
0 Field Sites
Field Sites

Project Progress

During the last year:

  1. We have initiated study of the mechanical effects of shock deformation on bacteria living in fluids. Initial studies of e. coli at 3 and 15 GPa for 105 ns in vivo with TE buffer are designed to determine mechanical strains required for mortality. Extension of these experiments to lower shock stress, for longer durations, and higher stress, for shorter durations is planned. Studies of magnetotactic bacteria that have higher impedance (Fe3O4) structures within a low density matrix are planned.
  2. Studies (in collaboration w/U. Arizona) of shock effects on the D/H ratio of water-bearing amphiboles, kaesuterite, similar to that found in SNC meteorites, reported at LPSC,2003 are designed to study the water budget of Mars. We obtained a surprising result that the D/H ratio of shocked (20-30 GPa) samples increased by 5%. Further work on samples will be done.

Project Goals for Next Year

  • Continue to conduct detailed studies of the effect of the atmospheres on impact cratering on Mars
  • Continue to conduct further speciation of impact vapor studies for minerals
  • Continue to study the effect of impact on bacteria.

    Thomas Ahrens Thomas Ahrens
    John O'Keefe
    Research Staff
    Andy Shen
    Research Staff
    Michael Willis
    Unspecified Role
    Laurie Leshin
    Unspecified Role

    Michelle Minitti
    Unspecified Role

    Objective 1.1
    Models of formation and evolution of habitable planets

    Objective 2.1
    Mars exploration

    Objective 4.3
    Effects of extraterrestrial events upon the biosphere

    Objective 6.2
    Adaptation and evolution of life beyond Earth