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Explore Mars to Search for Life Below the Martian Surface

Date: Thursday, July 31, 2014

Location: American University 4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC, US, 20016

WASHINGTON – July 28, 2014 – On Thursday, July 31, 2014, Explore Mars, Inc. and American University present a special panel discussion entitled, "Is It Time to Search for Life on Mars?” at American University in Washington, DC. The panel will engage in stimulating debate on whether life has previously been detected on Mars and how to confirm the existence of past or present life on our neighboring planet. This event is particularly timely since it takes place just a few days prior to the 2nd anniversary of the successful landing of the Curiosity Rover on Mars.

Following the panel discussion, Explore Mars will officially launch its innovative ExoLance program, specifically designed to detect life below the Martian surface, the most likely place to find microbial life on Mars. The program will be funded through an Indiegogo crowdsourcing campaign, giving private individuals the opportunity to directly support the search for life on another planet for the very first time. Explore Mars will also announce new partners in the ExoLance project, the project timeline, and initial science payload details.                     
Explore Mars, Inc. and American University
Panel Discussion & ExoLance Project Announcement
Thursday, July 31, 2014, 6:00 p​.m.​


6:00 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.: Welcome, Introductions and Video Presentation

6:15 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.: Panel Discussion, "Is It Time to Search For Life on Mars?"                                 


Rebecca Keiser (American University, Executive-in-Residence at the School of Public Affairs: NASA)           

Dr. Gil Levin (Arizona State University; Principal Investigator, Labeled Release experiment, Mars Viking Lander mission)

Dr. Chris McKay (Planetary Scientist, NASA Ames)

Dr. Pamela Conrad (NASA: Deputy Principal Investigator, SAM Investigation, Mars Science Laboratory; Research Space Scientist)

Dr. Chris Carr (Research Scientist, Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

7:15 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.: ExoLance Presentation:

Joe Cassady, Executive, Space - Washington, Aerojet Rocketdyne

Chris Carberry, Executive Director, Explore Mars, Inc.


Ward 2 Lecture Hall, Ward Circle Building
American University                        
4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Ward Circle Building                
Washington, DC 20016

One of the primary stated goals of exploring Mars is the search for life.  Through the ExoLance Project, Explore Mars plans to pursue an efficient and cost effective method of searching for life below the Martian surface.

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and Webcast:

Chris Carberry, Executive Director of Explore Mars and Joe Cassady of Aerojet Rocketdyne, will be available for interviews following the panel discussion.

To RSVP for this event and to receive press materials, contact: Wade Holler at 978-406-1086 or

About Explore Mars:  Explore Mars was created to advance the goal of sending humans to Mars within the next two decades. To further that goal, Explore Mars conducts programs and technical challenges to stimulate the development and/or improvement of technologies that will make human Mars missions more efficient and feasible. In addition, to embed the idea of Mars as a habitable planet, Explore Mars challenges educators to use Mars in the classroom as a tool to teach standard STEM curricula. Explore Mars, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation organized in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.


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