Highlights for 02/27/09

star cluster
star cluster

Jesse Bregman (SSA):

Farid Salama was has affirmed his appointment as a member of an Astro2010 Infrastructure Study Group.

Tom Greene (SSA):

– Tom Greene attended a meeting of the Keck Observatory Science Steering Committee (SSC) in Waimea, HI on February 18 and 19. He and Rachel Akeson, the other NASA Keck SSC representative, are drafting a white paper for the Astro2010 Decadal Survey on “The importance of Keck to NASA.”

– Tom Greene also completed the science requirements document of the Pupil-mapping Exoplanet Coronagraphic Observer (PECO) mission study.

Linda Jahnke (SSX):

A paper characterizing a new extremophilic bacterium, isolated from a saturated salt crust from Searles Lake will be published in the April issue of /Applied and Environmental Microbiology/. The bacterium has been named in honor of the late NASA Ames geomicrobiologist, Dr. Melvin Silverman. /Halarsenatibacter silvermanii /Switzer Blum et al., sp. nov. grows by arsenate respiration at alkaline pH above 9 and at salt
concentrations above 20%, including at saturation. The work was lead by Mel’s former postdoc, Ronald Oremland, now with the USGS at Menlo Park. Lipid analysis was contributed by Exobiology branch member, and former colleague, Linda Jahnke. The work was partially funded by grants from NASA’s Exobiology program.

Citation: Switzer Blum J, Han S, Lanoil B, Satikov C, Witte B, Tabita F R, Langley S, Beveridge T J, Jahnke L, Oremland R S. 2009. Ecophysiology of “Halarsenatibacter silvermanii” Strain SLAS-1T, gen. nov., sp. nov., a facultative chemoautotrophic arsenate respirer from salt-saturated Searles Lake, California.

Jennifer Heldmann (SST) on detail to HQ:

A tiger team at ARC this past summer put together the attached documents regarding the issue of Google X-Prize lunar landings & preservation of historic sites on the Moon.

ARC Team = Alex MacDonald, Matt Daniels, Jennifer Heldmann, John Karcz, Creon Levitt, George Sloup, & Erin Tranfield plus David Murakami (Heldmann’s NASA Academy student), and Clara McCrossin (summer student with Erin Tranfield).

**Note documents not attached to email received to use as highlight/YI.

Jack Lissauer (SST):

Jack Lissauer will be a panelist in the 2009 Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate: From Planets to Plutoids – Our New Solar System on March 10, 2009.