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
0 Field Sites
During the last year:
- 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.
- 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.
PROJECT INVESTIGATORS:Thomas Ahrens
Research StaffAndy Shen
Research StaffMichael Willis
PROJECT MEMBERS:Laurie Leshin
RELATED OBJECTIVES:Objective 1.1
Models of formation and evolution of habitable planets
Effects of extraterrestrial events upon the biosphere
Adaptation and evolution of life beyond Earth