The "MARS BOTTLE" Ð
The First Interactive Student Research Laboratory for
Martian Environmental Simulations
The Sir Arthur C. Clarke Near Earth Object Observatory is establishing an Exobiology Research Laboratory to study and conduct basic research concerning the origin, evolution, and distribution of life in the universe. The purpose of the Exobiology Research Laboratory is two-fold. The first purpose is to perform basic research in exobiology. The second purpose is to engage elementary, middle, and high school students directly in these exobiology real-time investigations via interactive Internet based video observations, submitting proposals for experiments - including procedures and environmental conditions, and manipulate simulated extraterrestrial environments.
The initial interactive Exobiology Research Laboratory student component is the "MARS BOTTLE". The idea of the MARS BOTTLE is to create a simulated environment as close as we can currently get to putting our "experimental hands" on the surface of the planet Mars. The MARS BOTTLE will enclose a small environment simulating the conditions found on surface of the planet Mars. The proposed MARS BOTTLE will create a miniature Martian atmosphere with pressure, temperature, and component gases in their proper proportions for any surface location of given the latitude and longitude, elevation, season, and local time. The MARS BOTTLE will include a simulated "Sun" having the same luminosity and radiation characteristics of the real Sun seen from Mars. The simulated "Sun" will rise in the east and set in the west. Additionally, there will be an ambient background radiation field inside the MARS BOTTLE that will simulate the soil background radiation, the solar wind, and cosmic radiation levels found on the surface of the planet Mars.
A few kilograms of Mars Simulant, soil chemically and physically similar to soil found on Mars by the two Viking Landers, will act as a substrate upon which to test various chemical, biological, and terraforming (aeroformation) ideas and research.