Press Release

Celebrate the Landing of the Curiosity ROver at Mars at Planetfest 2012

By SpaceRef Editor
July 26, 2012
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Celebrate the Landing of the Curiosity ROver at Mars at Planetfest 2012

3000 People to Join Bill Nye, The Science Guy(R), Star Trek’s Robert Picardo, Scientists, and Celebrities in a 2-day Celebration of this Historic Mars Landing

Pasadena, CA (July 24, 2012) -During the first weekend in August, more than 3,000 space enthusiasts will gather in Pasadena, CA and at other venues around the world to attend PLANETFEST 2012, a celebration of the landing of NASA’s newest rover Curiosity on Mars.

Hosted by The Planetary Society, the two-day event will be the public’s front row seat to this historic event. At the Pasadena Convention Center, giant screens will link directly into NASA JPL Mission Control for minute-by-minute coverage of the rover’s entry, descent and landing, while halls will be filled with spacecraft exhibits, a space-themed art festival, family-oriented science activities, and a live recording of Planetary Radio. Expert commentary from some of the most knowledgeable Mars experts in the world will take place on stage, before, during, and after Curiosity’s landing.

“Unless you’re in the NASA JPL Mission Control Room, PLANETFEST 2012 will be the most exciting spot on our planet from which to celebrate the landing,” said Bill Nye, CEO of the Planetary Society. “I’m looking forward to a two-day blowout inspired by the passion, beauty and joy of planetary science.”

Speakers include top-level Mars experts and NASA and JPL officials who will share their knowledge and stories of how Curiosity was designed and built, how the rover will operate on Mars, and what we can expect from the mission. Speakers include: Jim Green, NASA Planetary Science Division Director; Charles Elachi, Director, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory; Scott Maxwell, Curiosity’s “driver” on Mars; Scott Hubbard, former ‘Mars Czar’ and author of ‘Exploring Mars’; Mark Sirangelo, President of Sierra Nevada Corporation, Star Trek actor Robert Picardo, author and space historian Andrew Chaikin, and many others. A special tribute to Ray Bradbury will feature readings of the writer’s work and an examination of how his passion inspired generations of space enthusiasts.

PLANETFEST 2012’s flagship event will take place at The Pasadena Convention Center at 300 East Green Street, from 9:00 am -5:00 pm on Saturday, August 4, and from 2:00 pm – 11:30+ pm on Sunday, August 5. Curiosity’s landing on Mars is scheduled for Sunday at approximately 10:30 pm (PDT). Tickets can be purchased online at, and on-site at the Pasadena Convention Center during the 2-day event. Prices range from $19 to $37 for one-day entry and $56-$67 for a two-day ticket. Discounts are offered for seniors and members of The Planetary Society, and children under the age of 8 enter free of charge.

Live Webcast and Satellite Events: PLANETFEST 2012 will also be available around the globe, via live webcast at In addition, The Planetary Society is also working with Yuri’s Night, Explore Mars, Astronomers Without Borders, and others to make this historic event a global celebration. A list of venues is available at

About The Planetary Society

The Planetary Society has inspired the passion and imagination of millions of people. Today, its international membership makes this non-governmental, non-profit organization the largest space interest group in the world. Founded in 1980 by Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray and Louis Friedman, The Planetary Society is now led by CEO Bill Nye, with its headquarters in Pasadena, California.

Celebrate Curiosity: A Party on Mars by Black Star: Saturday, August 4, at 5pm; 280 East Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA. Celebrate the raw energy of planetary exploration in action with a Martian party. Features an outdoor dance floor, our very own Astro DJ Ancient Lasers, the spectacle of our LED light show dubbed the JellyPuss, space themed cocktail specials, interstellar interactive art, spacecraft model displays from Toyshoppe Systems, special guest appearances from Bill Nye and a plethora of celebrity scientists and stars of the screen, themed photo booths, and much, much more. Costumes are encouraged!

For a complete schedule of events, visit: Media Contact (and press passes): Diane Murphy,; 202.361.9681

SpaceRef staff editor.