Press Release

Join a Mission to Mars at Planetfest ’99

By SpaceRef Editor
November 8, 1999
Filed under


The Planetary Society

65 N. Catalina Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91106-2301 (626) 793-5100 Fax (626)

E-mail: Web:

For Release: November 8, 1999

Contact: Susan Lendroth

Join a Mission to Mars at Planetfest ’99

Hear the first sounds from Mars! See the first images from landfall near
the Martian South Pole! Examine the spacesuits for the first astronauts on
Mars…the first astronauts in Touchstone Pictures’ film, Mission to Mars,
that is.

All this and more is possible at the Planetary Society’s grand three-day
space festival, Planetfest ’99, December 3-5 at the Pasadena Center in
Pasadena, California. Touchstone Pictures’ Mission to Mars is the primary
sponsor of Planetfest ’99, which coincides with the arrival of the Mars
Polar Lander at the Red Planet.

Planetfest participants will hear the first-ever sounds of Mars from a
Planetary Society-sponsored microphone on the spacecraft and will see live
images from the landing site near the south pole of Mars on a giant screen
via a link with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

The Mission to Mars web site will join the Planetary Society and the Jet
Propulsion Laboratory as one of three websites to carry the first sounds of
Mars from the Mars Microphone. The Planetary Society will host
the sounds at, and Touchstone Pictures’ Mission to
Mars will host them at The third
website will be JPL’s,

Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin and Bill Nye the Science Guy, the
co-chairmen of Planetfest ’99, will be on hand. Astronaut Story Musgrave,
a consultant for Mission to Mars, will appear at Planetfest, and will join
the film’s producer, Tom Jacobson, and actor Jerry O’Connell at a special
panel session with Planetary Society President Bruce Murray. Also
scheduled for the December celebration are a host of astronauts,
scientists, science-fiction writers, and leaders of space exploration.

Planetfest ’99 will be a celebration the whole family can enjoy, with
hands-on activities in a Child’s Universe, speakers, space exhibits, a film
festival, holiday shopping at the Space Emporium, and a special exhibit
from Touchstone Pictures’ Mission to Mars, which is scheduled for release
in March, 2000. The movie portrays NASA’s first human expedition to the
Red Planet.

In this first public display of props from Mission to Mars, Planetfest
attendees will see a full scale Mars rover, an operational vehicle designed
for human occupants, as well as a half-scale model of the rover used for
distance shots in the movie.

The exhibit will also feature giant-sized images of the Mission to Mars
landscape set, the Mars habitat, the revolving wheel of the spaceship, etc.

Authentically detailed spacesuits worn by the actors will be on display,
and visitors can browse the Mission to Mars website at computer
workstations in the exhibit.

For space enthusiasts worldwide unable to attend Planetfest in person, the
Planetary Society’s web site Planetfest Online will
feature a changing array of guest interviews, background information and
live webcasts from the event itself.

The Mars Microphone was developed by the University of California Space
Science Laboratory for the Planetary Society — the organization that
funded the instrument. It is flying aboard the Mars Polar Lander within a
LIDAR instrument built by the Russian Space Research Institute (IKI).

Mission to Mars is a Jacobson Company production of a Brian De Palma film,
directed by Brian De Palma and produced by Tom Jacobson. The film stars
Gary Sinise, Don Cheadle, Connie Nielsen, Jerry O’Connell and
Tim Robbins.

Major sponsors for Planetfest ’99 include Touchstone Pictures’ Mission to
Mars, Oldsmobile, Intel Corporation, Cisco Systems, Inc. and LEGO.

Additional sponsors include Earthlink, OCE Office Systems, the Norris
Foundation, Swales Aerospace, Raytheon, Discovery Channel, Sky Publishing,
David Brown and Abe Gomel of The Planetary Society’s New Millennium
Committee, International Services, Radio Shack, Employee Community Fund of
the Boeing Company, Epson, StarLab, Minotaur Amusements, Meade Telescope,
Motorola, MBNA, Mars Inc., Sonic Foundry Inc., U-Haul, Community Bank,
Costco Wholesale, Smart & Final, and Steve’s InFocus Photo Lab and Portrait

For tickets to Planetfest ’99 or further information about the events
there, call toll free 1-877-PLANETS or visit the Planetary Society’s web
site at


Media, please contact Susan Lendroth for additional information or press
credentials to Planetfest ’99: (626)793-5100 or by e-mail at

Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray and Louis Friedman founded the Society in 1979 to
advance the exploration of the solar system and to continue the search for
extraterrestrial life. With 100,000 members in over 140 countries, the
Society is the largest space interest group in the world.

Linda Wong

The Planetary Society

65 N. Catalina Ave.

Pasadena, CA 91106-2301

Tel: (626) 793-5100 ext. 236

Fax: (626) 793-5528


SpaceRef staff editor.