JASON VI: Island Earth

A voyage to the volcanoes, observatories and unique environments of Hawaii
February 27 - March 11, 1995

Jason Project Voyage VI embarks on an expedition to Hawaii, the world's most isolated spot of land where fantastic adaptation of pioneering species has created a unique biological laboratory. Scientists will study the effects of new species, including humans, on this fragile environment, and at the same time look backwards in time to the origins of life - and outward to the planets. Scientists are studying the world's most active volcano, Kilauea, to learn how the earth was formed billions of years ago, how vast primordial volcanic eruptions created the atmosphere, oceans, and perhaps even the microenvironments that made life possible. Scientists are searching for the unknown source of the volcanic energy - the so-called "hot-spot" deep below the surface that powers the seismic forces so evident here - and comparing the Earth's volcanoes to those on Mars , Venus, and Io, a moon of Jupiter to learn more about those environments and our own. Jason VI will establish a new benchmark in remote science, giving students a chance to operate robot mechanisms to take samples from active flowing lava, drive a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) eventually bound for Mars, investigate the adaptation of life-forms to unique island environments, and observe via computer the actual infra-red imagery from the NASA facility on Mauna Kea, part of the world's greatest astronomical observatory complex.

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Gene Carl Feldman (gene@seawifs.gsfc.nasa.gov) (301) 286-9428
Todd Carlo Viola, JASON Foundation for Education (todd@jason.org)