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Kathleen Burton                                                                                              Feb. 24, 2004

NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.

Phone: 650/604-1731 or 604-9000

Email: Kathleen.M.Burton@nasa.gov


RELEASE: 04-11AR

NEWS MEDIA INVITED TO REGISTER FOR NASA ASTROBIOLOGY CONFERENCE

News media representatives are invited to register in advance for the third biennial Astrobiology Science Conference, a five-day meeting to be held at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif. The meeting will be held March 28 through April 1 in a facility on the historic Moffett Field parade grounds and in the NASA Ames Conference Center (NACC).

At the conference, astrobiology experts from around the world will gather to discuss exploration strategies, research targets and current missions planned to further the search for life in the universe.

The Astrobiology Science Conference will feature more than 50 presentations and five days of poster sessions by pre-eminent researchers and scientists from around the world.

 "This year's meeting is structured around three big astrobiology questions: Where do we come from?  Are we alone?  Where are we going - on Earth and beyond?" said conference organizer Lynn Rothschild of NASA Ames. According to Rothschild, each question will be carefully examined through invited plenary lectures and contributed papers and enriched by special sessions on topics such as the ethics of exploration, the place of humans in astrobiology and the astrobiology drilling program.

With a session by top NASA and European Space Agency officials about what's next in space exploration, a lecture on the latest science results from the Mars Exploration Rover mission by the mission's principal investigator and a special session on new propulsion mechanisms, the astrobiology conference is closely aligned with the president's recently announced space exploration vision, which includes sending robotic and human missions to the moon and Mars.

News media planning to attend the conference can register by sending an e-mail by March 23 to Kathleen.M.Burton@nasa.gov at the Public Affairs Office at NASA Ames and include:

            Name

            Media Organization

            Attendance Dates

            Planned Interviews and Topics

            Number in Party

On-site registration also is available at the conference.

Non-U.S. news media must bring a valid passport and current U.S. visa and include the following data in their registration email:

            Passport Number

            U.S. Visa Number and Expiration Date

In keeping with NASA's mission to educate and inform the next generation of explorers, the conference will host "Astrobiology and Humanity," a Sunday afternoon session open to teachers and the public.

The session, to be held on March 28 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. PST, will feature hands-on educational activities and accessible lectures about astrobiology.

Abstracts, a meeting agenda and further information about the conference are available at:

http://abscicon.arc.nasa.gov/

NASA Ames Research Center is the location of the central offices of the NASA Astrobiology Institute, an international research consortium. Information about NASA's astrobiology programs may be obtained at:

http://astrobiology.arc.nasa.gov

and

http://nai.arc.nasa.gov/

To reach Ames, take the Moffett Field exit off Highway 101 and drive east to the main gate. Members of the media will be required to show a driver's license or other government-issued photo I.D. at the NASA Ames main gate.

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