Kick-off NASA’s Solar System and Beyond campaign (Looking for Life) 04/05/2015

IMG_4131Met with NASA’s leading experts discussing the most recent discoveries of water and organics in our solar system, the role our sun plays in water-loss in neighboring planets, and our search for habitable worlds among the stars.

From John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate, .Mars once had 50% of water. Mars was more earth like for a longer period then what we thought. In the Asteroid Belt we are finding frozen water. Most recent observations from Hubble of Europa showing water plumes. Europa will be part of NASA’s mission. Also on Ganymede, the most largest moon in our solar system shows evidence of water. Our perspectives have changed for habitable zones. Europa can have twice as much water under its crust than the Earth. “We are finding that our solar system is more soggy then we thought.” Also noted Goldilock planets can be moons orbiting planet giants. “We will find life in our solar system, before we find it in Xoplanets.”

Jeffrey Newmark, interim director of Heliophysics, Solar wind affects how water is distributed in the solar system.

Paul Hertz, director of Astrophysics. 20 years ago we found our first xoplanets. From help with the Kepler satellite, we now know every star has at least one or more planets orbiting them. We have discovered over 5,000 XoPlanets.

In 2017 NASA will launch TEST a new satellite for discovering new habitable planets. In 2018 NASA will launch the Jame Web Telescope that can discover more Earth 2.0 planets.

Ellen Stofan, NASA’s chief scientist, 6 billion years ago Earth develop its water. Water helps moving elements around and gives life more chance to become more complex. When we talk about life on MARS or Europa, we start at the microbial state, looking for the building blocks of life. Astro-Field Gemologist are required to be on Mars to discover these elements. In 2020 NASA is launching a new rover to Mars. Our current astronaut Kelly is spending a year on the space station. This will help us with the endurance required to have a astronaut spend a year on Mars.”We will find life in the next 10 to 20 years. We need more earth scientist,” Life’s building blocks live all over our solar system.

John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate, we have experimented with electromagnetism and created a electromagnetic bubble around our Shuttle to protect it and see how it would do for potential deep space travel.

Group Question:
Are we going to answer the question sooner than we think?
• John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate, “We are finding surprisingly many habitable environments. Where is everybody/”. This July 2015 we will visit the first time Pluto. “In our own solar system, we will find existence of life”
• Ellen Stofan, NASA’s chief scientist, “I am going out on a limb..we are going to have strong evidence of life in a decade, and proof within 20 years.”
• James Green, director of Planetary Science, “Where are they, perhaps a complex life like ours doesn’t last long.” we could of existed. “Maybe the  life that was on Mars was us” maybe we have lived on other planets.
• Jeffrey Newmark, interim director of Heliophysics, “It is a when, not a if when we will discover life,” we are getting a better understanding of what life is.
• Paul Hertz, director of Astrophysics, ” we are thinking in thousand ways of interrogating and understanding what is on other planets…there is a growth industry for understanding xoplanets.”

Participants included:

• John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate
• Ellen Stofan, NASA’s chief scientist
• James Green, director of Planetary Science
• Jeffrey Newmark, interim director of Heliophysics
• Paul Hertz, director of Astrophysics

This kick-off ended with playing the theme to STAR-TREK