|Sailing to a New World
from the Rio Tinto
by Michelle Mock
In much the same way, scientists on Earth wonder what they might find on their expeditions to Mars. Among the many things they wonder about Mars, they are curious to find out if there is life there, and if so, what kind of life. So, they have gone back to the Río Tinto. Why go there?
The Río Tinto is what scientists call an analog for Mars. There are many things about this river that are like Mars and the places the scientists are looking at are not the kind of place that you would want to go to do water sports on your summer vacation! The river has a red wine color because of all the dissolved minerals it carries. It was thought to be a dead place where no life could possibly exist. But guess what?! Just like the people who thought the Earth was flat, they were wrong! Life does exist and flourish there. It isn't exactly the kind of life that people were used to, but it exists.
If you are a little bit curious about this river and why scientists are studying it with so much excitement, take a peak at the webcasts from the Rio Tinto. The live webcasts, produced by NASA's Robotics Education Project started Monday, September 29th and will continue through October 17th. These webcasts, along with English and Spanish transcriptions, will be archived each day.
Read more about today's versions of the Niña, the Pinta and the Santa María -- the Odyssey, the Spirit and the Opportunity -- at: http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/
Send your questions about the Rio Tinto, Mars exploration and Christopher Columbus to: Imagiverse - Ask The Expert
- 29 September 2003
7 October 2003
© 2003 - imagiverse Educational Consortium