Life in the Solar System & Mars Phoenix

link to requirements:

For 1b, 1c, and 2d, 2 marks will be given for each individual reason and explanation. If a reason is stated with no explanation, at mostly only a mark will be awarded. No individual part of a question may exceed a half-page, with the exception of 1c, which many not exceed a full page. All references must be given for any facts used, and references do not count to the maximum length of the answer. Finally, when asked for research, a minimum of two sources are required.

Question 1: Life in the Solar System
(a) [4 marks] Extreme steps are taken to sterilize spacecraft from Earth that visit other planets in our Solar system. Describe these steps. How effective do you think they are?
(b) [6 marks] Some people (not your professor) think that the meteorite ALH84001 might contain fossilized bacteria from Mars. It is possible that rocks from Earth are contaminating Mars in the same way that ALH84001 contaminated us. With this in mind, do you think it is sensible to take the steps described in part (a)? Discuss.
(c) [10 marks] Research the case for life on Jupiter’s moon Europa, and describe the possibility that life might exist there. Do you think it more or less likely that life exists on Europa vs. on Mars?
Question 2: Mars Phoenix
(a) [4 marks]Mars Phoenix is a space probe that recently landed on Mars. When was it launched? When did work first begin on the mission?
(b) [6 marks] Pick three instruments on Mars Phoenix. Briefly describe the instruments and list a science goal for each instrument, and note if the instrument achieved its goal.
(c) [4 marks] How much did the Mars Phoenix cost? Who were the three largest contributors? How much, per U.S. citizen, did the U.S. component cost?
(d) [6 marks] Would you have been willing to voluntarily contribute this much of your tax money to the probe? Should Canada contribute similar amounts of money per capital to its space exploration/science program? Explain. You will be given points for your explanation, not your answer. Please be concise, 3 sentences should be suffice.


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