Question: Are you able to fit in time to do any type of physical activities?
Name:
Matthew
School: Menard Jr. High, Menard TX
Response: Most of the people who regularly exercise continue it here. We have a gym with weights, stationary bicycles, rowing machine, Stairmaster, treadmill, a ProMaxima machine for weight and resistance exercise, a punching bag, and a ping pong table. In addition, twenty-five laps around the helipad is a mile and some prefer to do that. We also have lots of stairs to climb regularly to get from one deck of the ship to another. I walk and do some weights. I was on the treadmill several times after first arriving and hurt my knee. I should have known better because I have done this previously on a ship. The motion of the ship and the treadmill sometimes counteract each other causing extra stress on the legs and knees. So, until my knee becomes much better, I am taking it easy. Right now, I just do walking on deck or stretching.

Question: How cold is the water at the place that you are drilling?
Name:
Cody
School: Menard Jr. High, Menard TX
Response: The water temperature here on the surface was 26º Celsius (C). It gets much colder on the bottom, from around 3º to 4º C. One of the engineers told me that in hydrothermal areas (take a look at this hydrothermal vents webpage), the bottom temperature could run 300 to 400 ºC. Try converting these temperatures to Fahrenheit. Use the formula F = (1.8 x C)+ 32. Now let me ask you a question: What's the temperature range from the top to the bottom of the ocean in degrees Fahrenheit?


Question: What is the diameter of the drill?
Name:
John Mark and Mark
School: Charlotte Middle School, Charlotte TX
Response: The diameters of the drills bits are as follows:
Advanced Piston Corer (APC): Outer Diameter: 11 15/16" Inner Diameter: 2.44"
Rotary Core Barrel (RCB): Outer Diameter: 9 7/8" Inner Diameter: 2.312"
Extended Core Barrel (XCB): Same as APC


Question: What is farthest you ever drilled?
Name:
Tony
School: Charlotte Middle School, Charlotte TX
Response: The deepest hole ODP has drilled was 2111.0 meters deep. This hole, named 504B, is in the eastern Pacific, about halfway between Panama and the Galapagos Islands, and is in a water depth of 3462.8 meters. It was drilled through 274.5 meters of sediment, and 1836.5 meters of oceanic crust composed of basalt and diabase (a rock similar to basalt but with larger mineral grain size). It took 7 different legs (each leg was 4-8 weeks long) of the Deep Sea Drilling Project and Ocean Drilling Program, between 1979 and 1993, to get to the final depth of over 2 kilometers. We could do this because we placed a re-entry cone (go to this Hole Re-entry website to see one) in the top of the hole so that the drill string could re-enter the hole to deepen it. There are three other holes that have reached more than 1600 meters below the seafloor. They were drilled mainly through sediment, and took about 3 weeks to drill, so each was completed on just one leg. ODP has drilled many holes over 1 km deep. As an exercise, you may want to convert these metric measurements to feet and miles, and calculate the total length of the drill string at the bottom of Hole 504B (total length = water depth + depth of hole).


Question: How do you get all the fuel inside the ship each time you need some? What exactly are you all doing on the ship all day? Up to how many days did it take you to get to Australia? How long did Alexandra go to school? Up to how many days are you going to be on the ship?
Name:
Shayla
School: Johns Hopkins Middle School,
Response: The ship was refueled by very large hoses from a fuel dock in Townsville, Australia, before we left. Typically, refueling takes 12-18 hours, depending on the volume of fuel. Maximum fuel capacity is 3000 metric tons of fuel.

Night time, 6:00pm to 6:00am, is my shift. There are over 100 people on board, and many work different shifts. During the 12 hour work shift, everyone has different assignments, working in the labs, the drill rig floor, or any of the other many activities that keep the JOIDES Resolution working hard 24 hours a day. Other work shifts run from noon to midnight, midnight to noon, 9:00 to 9:00, 3:00 to 3:00, etc. During my shift, I work on my research for my scripts by reading and asking questions. Then, I work on the preparation of them and determining what I am going to tell you. Next, I have to rehearse and time the broadcast both by myself and with my guest to make sure that we cover everything important in the time that we have. In addition, I answer your e-mail questions and some of those take lots of research! In order to find some of those answers, I have to look up the answers in the shipboard library, ask the scientists, engineers, or technicians on board, or get help from the Texas A&M program team. I sometimes help with the work going on in the labs. I learn alot there, as the scientists explain to me what they are doing. During the day I sleep, read, walk the deck, or go to the gym. I often check out what is going on in the lab. A scientist might spend her work shift running experiments and collecting data on the cores in one of the labs. An engineer might monitor the computers that control "station-keeping," which is maintaining the ship in one spot over the drill site.

Everyone on board flew to Australia. I left Houston on January 2 and arrived in Townsville on January 4. The total flying time was around 18 hours. We are on the ship for approximately two months. We boarded on January 6 and will arrive in Guam around March 4.

Dr. Alexandra Isern went to college for 10 years. After graduating from high school, she attended two years at the University of Missouri majoring in Geography, then finished at the University of Florida with a Bachelor's degree in Geology. She earned her Masters degree in Oceanography from the University of Rhode Island and her Ph.D. (or doctor's degree) in Oceanography from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland.


Question: What would happen to all the animals in the ocean if the oil storage broke and spread out into the ocean?
Name:
Leslie
School: Johns Hopkins Middle School
Response: The JOIDES Resolution uses deisel fuel, and if that were to spill into the ocean, it would definitely have a negative impact on any of the animals and plants living in the surface waters. To avoid the possibility of polluting the water and creating a disaster in the delicate reef areas around Australia (or where ever the ship is working), there are regular reviews of safety procedures and checks to make sure that the equipment that we use is running properly and not contaminating the environment.


Question: How long are you on the ship until relieved by other scientists?
Name:
Preston
School: A&M Consolidated Middle School, College Station, TX
Response: Each leg (or cruise) of the ship is a separate project. We are on Leg 194, which means that there have been 193 projects preceding this one. The next scientists will board the ship in Guam and they will be working on an entirely different project. All the legs are approximately two months. Preliminary reports about the science done on the ship are completed by the scientists before they leave the ship. Once home, the scientists continue their work and conduct more in-depth or long term experiments. The crews also are on the ship for two months at a time; they will be relieved by another crew in Guam and then return for another tour of duty two months later. This is true also of most of the technicians. Many of them live in College Station, where they work at Texas A&M University for the two months they are back home. Then they return to sea for two months on the JOIDES Resolution. For the scientists, this is a one-project experience. Some of them, though, have been here on other projects and probably return for future projects.


Question: Do you, Mrs. Linsley, ever go into the water?
Name:
Shaye
School: A&M Consolidated Middle School, College Station TX
Response: Shaye, even though the water is a beautiful blue and fairly warm, we do not swim off the ship. Around a big ship like this, and particularly with the thrusters going, there is too much danger of being pulled under the ship or even into a thruster. You just do not swim or even go near a large ship in another boat. Ships, like airplanes, have to have alot of space between them to pass. Also, the water is quite deep for swimming, and there are currents and waves that would make swimming dangerous. I must say, though, the water is beautiful and looks inviting!


Question: Do y'all have any scuba divers to check out the reefs? I am a certified diver and want to be a marine biologist.
Name:
Sam
School: A&M Consolidated Middle School, College Station TX
Response: Sam, there are several SCUBA divers on board, but they are not checking out these reefs. These are reefs buried by sediments, and are 419 meters deep. This is far below the 100 feet that most divers can reach. One of the Paleontologists, Dr. Pamela Muller, did go diving at the Great Barrier Reef before the trip started. Others are going to various places to dive before returning home. I have done some diving, (those are my pictures on the slides) but I did not dive on the Great Barrier Reef because of the limited time I was there. It is great you are a certified diver and you have a science goal already set. You probably would enjoy the work in geology also and it would go along well with the marine biology. Perhaps some day you can be out here on some type of project. Are you familiar with the National Marine Sanctuaries or the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute? They are a great source of information for people interested in marine biology. You can also try the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for great information on some of the projects of other marine scientists.


Question: How were you picked to be on the ship?
Name:
Jason
School: A&M Consolidated Middle School, College Station TX
Response: Jason, it was my good luck to be selected to be on the ship. I was chosen for this project based on my background, my communication skills, and my enthusiam for this project. My background has included several years of middle school teaching with experience both in and out of the classroom setting. My excitement about the science going on here has given me a great opportunity to share it with you.


Question: Is it fun on a ship for weeks?
Name:
Bobby
School: A&M Consolidated Middle School, College Station TX
Response: Bobby, I am enjoying myself very much. It is work, but it is different from anything I do at home. On this ship, your responsibility is to do your job, whatever it is. What you normally do for yourself at home (preparing meals, doing the laundry, or even just making your own bed) is done for you here by the ship's crew so you can concentrate on your job. I think someone who becomes quite homesick or just does not like the sea might have a hard time. This work, however, could not be done elsewhere. I think it is a great experience! Strangely enough, I seem to require more sleep here than I ever did at home. I think it has something to do with the sea air and the gentle rocking of the ship.


Question: How do the thrusters work in keeping the ship in the same spot?
Name: Natasha
School: A&M Consolidated Middle School, College Station TX
Response: Drilling a deep hole from a ship in the ocean requires a drilling platform which is capable of maintaining its position over a specific location on the seafloor. Without this capability, the platform would be moved by the currents off location resulting in either pulling the drill pipe out of the hole or breaking of the drill pipe. The Ocean Drilling Program uses the JOIDES Resolution as its coring platform. This ship has a computer-controlled system which regulates 12 powerful thrusters in addition to the main propulsion system. These thrusters are located around the vessel to allow moving in all compass directions. Using an acoustic beacon set near the drill site on the seafloor, this system keeps the ship positioned over the drill hole by firing the thrusters when the ship moves too far from the drill site. A heave compensator in the derrick acts as a giant shock absorber, so that the up and down movements of the ship are not transferred to the drill pipe.


Question: How many statute miles can you drill below sea level?
Name:
Rocky
School: Charlotte Middle School, Charlotte TX
Response: The deepest water depth that ODP has drilled a hole in is 5980.0 meters (= 3.72 statute miles). This was for Hole 802A in the western Pacific, where very old crust (> 130 million years old) that has cooled a lot since it formed at a mid-ocean ridge, has sunk very deep. The deepest water depth of any hole drilled by the Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP), which preceded the Ocean Drilling Program, was in 7034 meters of water (= 4.37 statute miles) for Hole 461A, which is located down in the Mariana Trench, the deepest ocean trench in the world. The ODP drill ship JOIDES Resolution has the potential of drilling a hole in water as deep as 8000 meters, but that depth only occurs in trenches, and no recent science proposals have requested the ship to drill in deep trenches. If you combine deep-water depths with deep holes drilled into the seafloor, the ship's drill string gets even longer. The longest drill string lengths so far are as follows:
DSDP Hole 461A: 7034 m water + 15.5 m of hole = 7049.5 meters of drill pipe. (= 4.38 statute miles)
ODP Hole 765D: 5724 m water + 1194.9 m of hole = 6918.9 meters of drill pipe (= 4.30 statute miles). Hole 765D is in old, deep ocean crust off of northwest Australia.

Question: How do you get the salt out of the water?
Name:
Jenna
School: A&M Consolidated Middle School, College Station TX
Response: Jenna, another good question! In the desalinization plant are boilers which boil the sea water. The vapor from the boiling water has no salt in it; that vapor is captured in a big enclosed tank, and condensed into water. If you boil water in a teakettle or pan over a period of time without cleaning it thoroughly, you will note deposits in the bottom of that kettle or pot. In the desalinization plants, the deposits left over would be salt. The water vapor has no salt in it. It is distilled water.


Question: Have you ever done anything like this before?
Name:
Lindsay
School: A&M Consolidated Middle School, College Station TX
Response: No, Lindsay, I have never done anything quite like this. There really is nothing else just like this ship and its laboratories. I have been on many big ships and sailboats, but I have never been involved with anything quite like this. That is why it is such a wonderful adventure for all of us. Just a little while ago I went out on the deck and saw the International Space Station pass overhead! It was really exciting! To find out when you might see the space station pass overhead, go to NASA's website.


Question: How long does it take for a drill to go down, drill and bring up a sample?
Name:
Thomas
School: A&M Consolidated Middle School, College Station TX
Response: Thomas, it depends upon the type of material that is being drilled as to the length of time it takes for the drill to go down and bring up a sample. If it is soft, it could be as little as 20 to 30 minutes; if it is deeper and harder it could be several hours. If something breaks down, it could be even longer. However, on the average it is around 30 minutes.


Question: How long did it take to build the JOIDES Resolution?
Name:
Derek
School: John Hopkins Middle School
Response: The JOIDES Resolution was built as an oil-drilling vessel in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1978. It usually takes from a year and a half to three years to build a ship.


Question:
Name:

School:

Response: