2000 Annual Science Report

University of Colorado, Boulder Reporting  |  JUL 1999 – JUN 2000

Executive Summary

There is no executive summary for this team at this time.

Field Sites
7 Institutions
8 Project Reports
0 Publications
0 Field Sites

Project Reports

  • Societal and Philosophical Aspects of Astrobiology

    We are working to understand the societal issues of astrobiology (such as why the country is so interested in the search for life despite the lack of practical relevance) and to help the astrobiology community appreciate the value of addressing these questions. Our approach is to first describe the broader nature of astrobiology and planetary exploration in our society today and how the public interacts with these fields, and then to explore what the philosophical drivers are behind the interactions. Our goal is to better understand the role of science in society and, especially, the role that scientists can play in those interactions.

    ROADMAP OBJECTIVES: None Selected
  • The RNA World and the Origin of Life
    ROADMAP OBJECTIVES: 2.0 3.0
  • UCB Origin and Early Evolution of Terrestrial Photosynthetic Life
    ROADMAP OBJECTIVES: 6.0 10.0
  • Geochemical Weathering and the Energetics to Support Life on Mars.

    The primary objective of this research is to constrain the amount of chemical energy potentially available from reactions between ground or surface water and regolith or crustal rock to support life on Mars. To accomplish this goal, we will integrate broad aspects of terrestrial and martian geochemistry, geochemical computer modeling, metabolic strategies of terrestrial analog organisms, as well as an understanding of geologic processes occurring on Mars. Our approach is to use the standard geochemical software tools EQ3/6 and SUPCRT92. We require particular knowledge of a number of environmental parameters as inputs into the models, including the chemical composition of crustal rocks and groundwater, the volume of material chemically altered, and the composition of the atmosphere in contact with groundwater. The sites to be modeled are still under consideration, will include the “hematite” deposit in Sinus Meridiani, which will be modeled both as an area of low-temperature water/rock interaction as well as an area of hydrothermal alteration.

    ROADMAP OBJECTIVES: 8.0
  • The Formation of Planets Around Young Stars
    ROADMAP OBJECTIVES: 11.0
  • Molecular Analysis of Microbial Ecosystems in Extreme Environments
    ROADMAP OBJECTIVES: 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 7.0 8.0 9.0 10.0 14.0 16.0 17.0
  • Philosophical Significance
    ROADMAP OBJECTIVES: None Selected
  • Habitability of Planets

    The goal of our research is to understand the factors that influence the long- term habitability of planets.

    ROADMAP OBJECTIVES: 5.0 12.0 14.0