Press Release

National Air and Space Museum Celebrates Mars Day July 16 at National Mall Building and Udvar-Hazy Center

By SpaceRef Editor
July 12, 2004
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The many wonders of the Red Planet will be explored July 16 when the
National Air and Space Museum celebrates Mars Day! with a host of activities
at the museum’s flagship building on the National Mall in Washington and the
new Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va.

The annual Mars Day! festivities give the public a chance to learn the
latest about our "next-door neighbor" from the staff of the museum’s
Education Division, Space History Division and Center for Earth and
Planetary Studies (CEPS). CEPS scientists were directly involved in the
planning of this year’s very successful Spirit and Opportunity rover
missions.

Mars Day! activities at the Mall building will include close-up views of
full-scale rover models; a chance to collect surface samples with a robotic
arm; a Red Planet quiz; hands-on study of meteorites; and a look at Mars
based on the thinking of the 1890s. Mars Day! at the Mall building is
generously supported by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.

Making its first appearance at the Udvar-Hazy Center, Mars Day! will offer
visitors to the museum’s companion facility in Virginia the chance to
maneuver a rover through a "Mars Yard" terrain; 3-D views of the martian
surface; and an artistic setting for children to create their own visions of
the planet from their imaginary spacecraft window.
Mars Day! is held annually to mark the July 1976 landing of Viking, the
first spacecraft to operate on Mars. A test version of the lander is
displayed in the Mall building.

The Udvar-Hazy Center, which opened Dec. 15, is located near Washington
Dulles International Airport. The National Air and Space Museum building on
the Mall is located at Sixth Street and Independence Avenue S.W. Both
facilities are open daily from 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. (Closed Dec. 25.)
Admission is free but there is a $12 fee for parking at the Udvar-Hazy
Center. Shuttle bus service runs between the facilities with a roundtrip
ticket costing $7 (group discounts are available).

SpaceRef staff editor.