Inside “Mission Control”


Here I am in what I imagine it would be like in the Mission Control Room for the Mars Rover, except it is very dark and a bit on the chilly side. I will never forget this.

In the control center my job was to burn DVD’s of the camera pictures displayed on the screens you see and start a high definition camera when it was needed.

There in front of me on the screens was one of the CORKS (hole sealers and instruments) we lowered to the bottom of the ocean last summer,1 ½ miles below the sea surface when I was aboard the JR. We painted pictures on the CORKS, perhaps you can kind of see some pictures right under the top circle ledge. As far as I know, we are the first to visit this gallery of underwater art! The organisms that live down there could view it too, if they had their own lights.

This expedition’s objectives are to continue the experiments started last year, and many years ago, on the JOIDES Resolution. We are on a different ship because what we need is a remotely operated vehicle to access the instruments that are down on the ocean floor and the Atlantis has one, named the JASON. I even put our school name on the CORK!



When I am not in the JASON control room I talk with the scientists as much as I can. Here are 3 at work on instruments to measure sub-seafloor water qualities and microbes. There really are life forms living way down there in the rocks. Check out the C-DEBI site at Here Beth, Sam and Geoff prepare their instruments for microbe, and water samples.

 Here are the water samplers, called OsmoSamplers that will be taking samples of the water continuously until we comeback next year.



I was also intrigued with the rope splicing one of the scientists was diligently working on. He showed me a piece of the rope, called spectra. I tried to cut it with scissors and all that I came out with were frayed ends. Of course, out here, many times creativity of one kind or another is the name of the game. I think I’ll ask the biology teacher here to classify my creation. Next however, I learned how to splice it to make the strong holds for the equipment, as pictured here.

All this would not be possible without the constant work of the people of the Atlantis. Here are two who willingly posed for me. Thanks Bob and Kevin!

Look what came up on one of the instruments. I wonder what they are? They are cold, slimy, green. leave a green patch on the metal they were attached too. They are quite hard when pushed with my finger but I can cut them in half with a plastic zip tie end. They seem hollow on the inside. I wonder if they are organic, did they explode when they came to the surface because the pressure was so much less? There are so many questions... Why don't you become a scientists and explore too!








green "things"

So, what are those green "things?" My guess would be that they are organic like you said, because usually green matter is. However, if they are a brownish-green could they be just muck? I wonder if they are alive, or move? Very interesting!
Mary Gi

I think those green things

I think those green things might be a type of limpet, but I am still working on it. I don't know why they are green if they live on the bottom of the ocean with no light??? I brought them back. I hope they last until class starts. They are not alive. and yes, interesting! Thanks for writing.

Hi Mrs. Kane, when the

Hi Mrs. Kane, when the instruments used were being prepared, what was the process to prepare them?
-Katie Krasniewski

Hi Katie. It depends what the

Hi Katie. It depends what the instrument was. The OsmoSamplers had to be filled with water and salt. Some, like the flow meter had to be calibrated to make sure the measurements would be correct. On one set of experiments, different little rocks were fastened onto plastic holders so, when left on the bottom for awhile, which surfaces microbes like best could be measured. The scientists worked very hard preparing their experiments. Now they have more work to do analyzing the data.

Hi Mrs. Kane! I noticed you

Hi Mrs. Kane!
I noticed you mentioned that there are life forms down in the rocks. Do you know what types of life forms and were you able to see them?

Sara Beth Co

the types of life forms are

the types of life forms are bacterial, very small and can not be seen without a microscope. Even though they are small, they are very intriguing!! check out this site:
thanks for writing.

Beatrice Th

Hi Mrs. Kane,

How many people in total are on the ship? And what is the ratio of scientists to other people?

On a completely unrelated topic, is there any research going into finding out what the slimy green things are? If so, what are they doing to find out?

Sorry for all my random questions.

Beatrice Th

I think there are 53 people

I think there are 53 people aboard. The science party of 23 includes the teachers but if I break it down there are 8 scientist, 8 students(post docs, graduates, undergraduates), 1 technician, and 6 educators.There are 20 who "run" the ship (captains, mates, engineers, seaman, cooks, etc) and then there are 10 people who "run" JASON, the robot. there's some nice video's at about the JASON.

Ok Beatrice, I wasn't going to look at those slimy green things much more because I'm much more interested in physics and geology, but now you've gotten me curious. Let me get back to you on that. Thanks for writing.

Hi Mrs. Kane! I was wondering

Hi Mrs. Kane! I was wondering if you found those green slimy things on your instruments underwater or above water? Have you found any recent discoveries on this substance since Cassidy asked you?

All the best,

Katie Mc

ok, I'm checking it out

ok, I'm checking it out today. And, I'm going to see if there are any other things that come up today. keep checking back Katie. Thanks for writing

The Rope

Hi Mrs. Kane!
My name is Becca Joseph. My question for you is what do they use the rope that you tried to slice for? All that equipment looks big and heavy, so that skinny piece of rope doesn't seem like it would be strong enough to support anything. By the way I like your creation!

Another question I have relating to your whole experience is because you are on a smaller boat this year than last year, do you experience any sickness? My mom said she was talking to you about the sea bands and we were curious if you ended up buying them, and if they work.

Hi Becca! Glad to hear from

Hi Becca! Glad to hear from you. Believe it or not, that rope is very strong. Google reference says: strength-to-weight ratios for these materials in a range from 10 to 100 times higher than steel. Imagine that! Check out spectra. it is amazing stuff.

-thanks for your admiration of my creation!

There is definitely more motion on this ship. I wore a sea sickness patch for a 3 days AND the wrist bands. Since I was not sea sick I gave the bands to Amalia to use, I immediately felt the loss in my sense of stability. It was really amazing. Luckily I didn't feel bad. I get sea sick on swings though so I must have gotten my sea legs in those thre days. Two days ago the seas were rougher (26 knots) and lots of swells but I still was ok. I actually felt sleepy. I think the ship was trying to rock me to sleep!. Thank your mom, they worked!! Thanks for writing.

Cassidy Cr

Mrs. Kane,
Did you figure out what those green dot like substances are?

no, they are still a

no, they are still a mystery!! Thanks for Asking Cassidy!

Favorite Part

Dear Mrs. Kane,

What's your favorite part of being on board the ship? How about least favorite?


Beatrice Th

Hi Beatrice My favorite part

Hi Beatrice
My favorite part about being on the ship is listening to the scientists talk and seeing them work. I also admire all the people that make the ship work. Everyone has a very important job here. My least favorite job? hm. I guess getting nervous when I have to perform something new. But after I learn it,there is a great feeling of accomplishment.
Thanks for writing!

Keyanna Jo.

Mrs. Kane do you like being out at see? I know its a basic question but i just wonder how this experience has impacted your life so far?

Hi Keyanna. I like being at

Hi Keyanna. I like being at out at sea but mostly because it is a science ship. I think this experience has influenced my idea of what science is and also on how to live life. There are really very few things one "needs" and living with less makes one enjoy the important things much more. Thanks for writing!

nice blog Jackie!

good job!

Thanks Jim, I enjoy

Thanks Jim, I enjoy discovering these things!