Press Release

Top Mars Exploration Scientists to Speak in Denver Tuesday, 9 November 2004

By SpaceRef Editor
November 5, 2004
Filed under , ,

Boulder, Colorado – Forget the Greatest Show on Earth. The Greatest Show
in the Solar System comes to Denver next month, courtesy of the
Geological Society of America Annual Meeting.

Area residents and media will have a rare opportunity to see, hear, and
ask questions of top scientists working on active Mars missions at a
public forum titled "The Latest (Red) Dirt from the Mission Makers." The
forum, sponsored by Subaru of America, Inc., takes place Tuesday
evening, 9 November, 7:30-9:00 p.m. at the Colorado Convention Center
Ballroom in downtown Denver. No registration is required and media and
the general public are invited.

This year five spacecraft are simultaneously exploring Mars, providing
an unprecedented look at the intriguing Red Planet. New findings from
these active missions are providing powerful new insights into the
origins of the solar system and our own planet Earth.

Leading scientists working on these missions will give a non-technical
overview of current Mars exploration and the latest findings. Speakers

* Dr. Steven W. Squyres, Professor of Astronomy at Cornell University, lead scientist and principal investigator for the Mars Exploration Rover missions.

* Dr. Daniel J. McCleese, Chief Scientist of the Mars Program at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, California. McCleese will focus on robotics in use in current and future Mars missions.

* Dr. Michael C. Malin, President and Chief Scientist, Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego, CA. Malin has championed the spectacular photographic imaging effort of the Mars Global Surveyor mission, among others.

* Dr. Philip Christensen, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, and a principal investigator for the THEMIS instrument aboard the Mars Odyssey spacecraft. Christensen will summarize findings from use of that instrument.

* Dr. Jeffrey J. Plaut, from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory at Caltech and co-principal investigator of the MARSIS instrument on board the European Space Agency’s Mars Express mission. Plaut will describe findings from this remote sensing spacecraft currently in orbit around Mars.

Preceding the Public Forum on Tuesday afternoon, 12:30-6:00 p.m., GSA’s
Planetary Division is sponsoring a Planetary and Space Art Exhibit in
the Colorado Convention Center Room 606/608. Paintings, textural art,
photography, and electronic art by scientists and artists will be on
display. Access to this visually rich setting is complimentary for
journalists who wish to use it. (Note: This exhibit is NOT open to the
general public.)

In a related keynote symposium at the meeting, the Mars exploration
scientists and others will present the latest mission findings AND
discuss how they are being used to inspire young people and teach
science in our schools. This Pardee Keynote Symposium, "Seeing Mars with
New Eyes: Active Missions, Science Results, and Geoscience Education,"
is open only to meeting registrants and media who receive complimentary
registration. The session takes place Wednesday morning, 10 November,
8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., Colorado Convention Center, Ballroom 2/3.

SpaceRef staff editor.