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Sept. 27, 1999

John Bluck

NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

650/604-5026 or 604-9000

jbluck@mail.arc.nasa.gov


RELEASE 99-60 AR

NASA SPONSORS "MARS MILLENNIUM" INTERNET WEBCAST

Designing a Mars community for human beings will be featured during a NASA-sponsored educational one-hour "webcast" at 10 a.m. PDT, Tuesday, Sept. 28. The webcast will be available on the Internet at:

http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/ltc/mars

Four NASA scientists are scheduled to appear in a round-table discussion during the webcast to answer students' questions submitted during a simultaneous "web chat," as well as by students at the event site. During Internet chats, students use computers to converse with mentors by typing questions and reading responses and dialogue via the World Wide Web. Webcasts include a live, moving video picture and sound that are sent to computers via the Internet.

"The scientists will cover four questions about Mars," said Sandy Dueck, Mars Millennium Webcast moderator for NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA. "The questions are: What is Mars like right now? Why are we so interested in Mars? What are the current missions planned for Mars? When and how will human beings explore Mars, and what might they do there?"

The webcast is being incorporated into the Mars Millennium educational program that is endorsed by the White House, said Dueck. "This is an Internet educational activity that educators across the country will use," she said. The Mars Millennium website is at: http://mars2030.org

The webcast is being hosted from the NASA Ames Main Auditorium. There, Ames researchers Dr. Christopher McKay, a planetary scientist whose current research focuses on the evolution of the Solar System and the origin of life; and his colleague, Dr. Kelly Snook, who analyzes Mars data and is working on a possible mission to Jupiter's moon, Europa, will make their presentations.

Also participating, are Dr. Robert Anderson, who is the science mission planner for the Mars 2001 mission and the Mars Pathfinder outreach coordinator; and David Seidel, an outreach supervisor and pre-college programs officer. Both are from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, CA.

At least four classrooms of students from three San Francisco Bay Area schools, grades 2 through 8, will also participate at Ames in the round-table discussion with the scientists. The schools include: Monarch Montessori, Sunnyvale, CA; Hayward Project School, Hayward, CA; and Toyon Elementary School, San Jose, CA.

The Mars Millennium Webcast project is one of many Internet offerings from NASA's Quest Project at:

http://quest.arc.nasa.gov

These on-line, interactive projects connect students with NASA employees and are designed to inspire young people to pursue careers in high technology.

The webcast will also be available from LiveOnTheNet at http://www.liveonthenet.com/promos/nasa/mars/

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