Press Release

Phoenix Mars Lander Press Opportunity at KSC Tuesday, June 26

By SpaceRef Editor
June 22, 2007
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Phoenix Mars Lander Press Opportunity at KSC Tuesday, June 26

NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander, to be launched on a Delta II rocket Aug. 3, will be the focus of a news media opportunity on Tuesday, June 26, at Kennedy Space Center.

After a brief orientation, media representatives will be taken inside the clean room at KSC’s Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility. Phoenix can be observed tucked inside the cruise stage that will carry it to the red planet. Project management and test team members from NASA, Lockheed Martin and the University of Arizona will be available for interviews.

The Phoenix spacecraft will land in the arctic region of Mars and attempt to answer questions such as: Can the Martian arctic support life? What is the history of water at the polar landing site? How is the Martian climate affected by polar seasonal change?

To answer these questions, Phoenix uses some of the most sophisticated and advanced technology ever sent to Mars. A robotic arm on the lander will dig through the soil to the water ice layer underneath, and deliver soil and ice samples to the mission’s experiments. On the instrument deck are miniature ovens, a mass spectrometer, an atomic force microscope and a “chemistry lab-in-a box” to analyze the samples. Imaging systems will provide an unprecedented view of Mars. Also included is a weather station.

Participating in the media event will be:

Peter Smith, Phoenix Principal Investigator
University of Arizona

Barry Goldstein, Phoenix Project Manager
Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Ed Sedivy, Phoenix Program Manager
Lockheed Martin Space Systems

Ron Mueller, Mission Manager for Launch Integration
NASA Launch Services Program, Kennedy Space Center

For this event, full clean room protocol must be observed. Those planning to attend are required to wear long pants and closed-toe shoes. Clean room attire (bunny suits) will be furnished. Quality control personnel will request cleaning of photographic equipment with alcohol wipes that will be provided.

No suede, leather or vinyl camera cases are permitted within the clean room. Special bags will be provided for camera accessories. Please do not wear perfume, cologne or makeup. No graphite pencils, food, tobacco, chewing gum, lighters, matches, pocketknives, cell phones or two-way pagers will be permitted inside the clean room. Wireless microphones and electronic flash photography will be permitted. The lighting in the facility is high-pressure sodium (orange).

Those needing accreditation should apply online at:

For further information regarding accreditation for the event, contact the NASA News Center at 321-867-2468 by 4:30 p.m. Monday, June 25.

On Tuesday, June 26, media should arrive at the KSC Press Site at 9:15 a.m. Departure by bus will be at 9:30 a.m. Arrival back at the KSC Press Site will be at approximately 11:45 a.m.

SpaceRef staff editor.