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Tardigrades are amazing creatures that can withstand the most extreme conditions on Earth, as well as the vacuum of space! This unique and charismatic animal has the ability to survive in a variety of situations. In today's program, Exploratorium scientist Karen Kalumuck will continue our programming about life in extreme environments as it relates to the search for 'habitability' on Mars. Why is water, or evidence of water, so important to the Mars missions?
Join Exploratorium scientists Ron Hipschman and Karen Kalumuck as they examine water as one of the building blocks for life and what previous Mars missions have discovered about water on the red planet. Take a look at the construction at Piers 15 and 17 from a different vantage point. This past August we recorded video of the Exploratorium's new home from a boat about 100 yards off the back of the piers. The Exploratorium crew got the opportunity to enjoy a bird's eye view of the Black Rock desert. Join us as we investigate the challenges of navigating density altitude in this extreme climate. We went and talked with the folks who ran the Microzoo camp at Burning Man 2010, and learned about critters in extreme environments. Would you drink from a water fountain fashioned from an actual (but unused!) toilet? Watch museum visitors experience the tension between reason and emotion while playing with this unusual Mind area exhibit, aptly named "Sip of Conflict." Join exhibit developer Charles Sowers as he demonstrates Watch Water Freeze, an exhibit designed to encourage noticing. Patience with this piece is rewarded with breathtaking patterns of ice crystals. Viewed through a polarizing filter, the beautiful colors and crystalline structures of Watch Water Freeze have inspired countless museum visitors to reach for their cameras. Is water ice present or absent in a crater near the moon's south pole? NASA’s Lunar CRater Observing and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) mission is seeking a definitive answer. Join Exploratorium staff for a special Webcast featuring live coverage of LCROSS crashing into the moon! Our team will be broadcasting live from the 36" Refractor Telescope at Lick Observatory on Mt. Hamilton, where we’ll watch the impact and investigate how this intentional crash could reveal the existence of water ice. An introduction to the Ice Balloons activity, in which learners explore globes of frozen water and learn how to ask and then answer 'investigable' questions. A detailed demonstration of how to do the Ice Balloons activity, including a discussion of materials needed and strategies for getting learners to ask and then investigate questions about what they are seeing.