Press Release

NASA Ames Invites Media to Mars Science Lectures

By SpaceRef Editor
November 16, 2011
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NASA Ames Invites Media to Mars Science Lectures
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News media are invited to hear NASA’s David Blake give a free public lecture about Mars and NASA’s next mission to Mars–the Mars Science Laboratory–at 7 p.m. PST Thursday, Nov. 17 in the NASA Ames Exploration Center, Moffett Field, Calif.

Blake is the principal investigator for the CheMin (short for “Chemistry and Mineralogy”) instrument, scheduled to launch aboard the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL). Scientists will use CheMin to search for mineral clues indicative of a past Martian environment that might have supported life. The instrument uses X-ray diffraction, a first for a mission to the Red Planet, and a more definitive method to identify minerals than any other instrument on previous Mars missions.

At 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 19, NASA’s David Des Marais will share insights about Mars–what we know now and what we expect to learn from the MSL mission–during a free public lecture in the NASA Ames Exploration Center. Des Marais is a senior space scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center and is currently a member of MSL science team.

News media are also invited to observe a live televised broadcast as Curiosity, NASA’s next Mars rover, lifts off for the Red Planet at 7:25 a.m. PST Friday, Nov. 25, in the Exploration Center at NASA’s Ames Research Center. The Exploration Center will open at 6:30 a.m. The launch will be preceded with brief comments from NASA scientist Tori Hoehler, who will share information about the upcoming mission.

NASA’s Exploration Center is the large white dome located at the main gate of NASA’s Ames Research Center. To reach NASA Ames, take U.S. Highway 101 to the Moffett Field, NASA Parkway exit and drive east on Moffett Boulevard towards the main gate and bear right into the parking lot.

For more information about the Mars Science Laboratory, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/msl

For more information about NASA Ames, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/ames

SpaceRef staff editor.