Press Release

NASA Briefing Previews Next Step for Exploring Mars

By SpaceRef Editor
July 14, 2005
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NASA’s launch opportunities will begin Aug. 10, 2005, for the agency’s next mission to Mars. NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) is a robotic spacecraft, and it will examine the mysterious red planet in unprecedented detail. This important step in a long-range vision for exploring Mars is the subject for a news briefing at 1 p.m. EDT, Thursday, July 21, in the NASA Headquarters auditorium, 300 E St. SW, Washington.

Briefing participants:
— Douglas McCuistion, NASA Mars Exploration Program Director, Science Mission Directorate, Washington
— Michael Meyer, Mars Exploration Program Chief Scientist, Science Mission Directorate
— James Graf, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project Manager, JPL
— Richard Zurek, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project Scientist, JPL

The MRO will use six instruments to study the Martian surface, profile the atmosphere and probe the subsurface of the planet. Key objectives are improved knowledge about what happened to Martian water and evaluation of potential landing sites for future missions.

The conference is live on NASA TV with question-and-answer capability from participating agency centers. To ask questions by phone, media should call Tomeka Scales at: 202/358-0781 by noon EDT, Wednesday, July 20 for access number. Reporters may listen to the briefing by calling: 321/867-1220/1240/1260. NASA TV is available on the Web on an MPEG-2 digital signal accessed via satellite AMC-6, at 72 degrees west longitude, transponder 17C, 4040 MHz, vertical polarization. It’s available in Alaska and Hawaii on AMC-7 at 137 degrees west longitude, transponder 18C, at 4060 MHz, horizontal polarization. A Digital Video Broadcast compliant Integrated Receiver Decoder is required for reception. For NASA TV schedules and programs, visit:

SpaceRef staff editor.