findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are
those of the developer, PASSPORT TO KNOWLEDGE, and do not necessarily
reflect those of the National Science Foundation.
To MARS with MER - RESEARCH/ers
The SETI Institute and
NASA Ames Research Center
This past year, Nathalie Cabrol has been doubly lucky (although in space exploration, it's almost always the case that you have to "work" to make your "luck"): as a result of her desire to explore Mars, she'd been able to travel to some of the most interesting and exotic places on Earth - such as Lake Licancabur, the highest body of water on this planet - searching for strange life forms adapted to this extreme environment. Then, in Spring 2003, she heard that one of the Mars Exploration Rovers would most likely be targeted at Gusev Crater on Mars - her favorite site, which she believes is an ancient lake on the Red Planet, which might once have been home to Martian organisms! P2K spoke with Nathalie right after the Site Selection meeting in which Gusev was first placed on the list of the "Final Four."
"It's always a great privilege to see a site you have been working on for a long time being selected, although it's not the final selection. This is still has to come. At least it's the acknowledgement of the beauty of Gusev Crater and all of its diversity and all the other sites. The problem is that we have to downsize this list to two sites in the end. But when you are looking at even all of the sites that were represented today there is no bad site. These are all wonderful sites. We are just kind of constrained by the engineering of the Mars Exploration Rovers mission and we have to deal with the spacecraft and with safety issues, but all of the sites and the four sites that have been selected today represent a good diversity of the history of water on Mars. This is a wonderful selection."