Press Release

NASA Invites Media to Interview Mars Science Lab Scientist

By SpaceRef Editor
November 15, 2011
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NASA Invites Media to Interview Mars Science Lab Scientist

News media are invited to interview NASA scientist David Blake, a principal investigator for the Mars Science Laboratory, at a briefing and lab demo at 10 a.m. PST, Friday, Nov. 18, 2011, in building 239, room B-48, at NASA’s Ames Research 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 at 7:25 a.m. PST Nov. 25, 2011.

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. CheMin data will be useful in the search for potential mineral biosignatures, energy sources for life or indicators of past habitable environments.

Reporters interested in attending the event must contact Cathy Weselby at or 650-604-4789 by 5 p.m. PST, Nov. 17. To reach Ames, take U.S. Highway 101 to the Moffett Field, NASA Parkway exit and drive east on Moffett Boulevard towards the main gate. Reporters must obtain visitor badges from the Visitor Registration and Badging Office at the main gate.

To view the CheMin digital press kit, visit:

For more information about the Mars Science Laboratory, visit:

For more information about NASA Ames, visit:

SpaceRef staff editor.