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Kathleen M. Burton                                                                            March 23, 2004

NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.

Phone: 650/604-1731 or 604-9000

E-mail: Kathleen.M.Burton@nasa.gov


RELEASE:  04-21AR

NOTE TO EDITORS AND NEWS DIRECTORS: News media are invited to attend a discussion about astrobiology on March 28, 2004, at NASA Research Park, Moffett Field, Calif. The free public session will be held from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. PST in the NASA Ames Conference Center (NACC).

To reach Ames, take the Moffett Field exit off Highway 101 and drive east to the main gate. To reach the NACC, drive through the main gate, follow Clark Road, bear right onto South Akron Road and follow this to the NACC. 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.

ASTROBIOLOGY 'STARS' TO SHINE AT NASA CONFERENCE

NASA will present a series of public talks about astrobiology on Sunday, March 28.

Astrobiology is the study of the origin, evolution, distribution and future of life in the universe.

The agenda will include a special session in Spanish, "Astrobiologia en Espanol," from 1 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. PST. At the session, 12 speakers from the United States, Spain and Latin America, will deliver 15-minute talks highlighting the latest research in astrobiology. Topics will include life in extreme environments, the origin of life and the response of aboriginal societies to the effects of 'El Nino.'

"The public Sunday astrobiology sessions will bring an accessible, integrative view of science to the community," said Dr. Lynn Rothschild, organizing chairperson of the conference and a researcher at Ames. "This is a great opportunity to expand public awareness, provide teachers with resources for exploring astrobiology in the classroom and reach out to our Spanish-speaking constituents."

An "Astrobiology and Man" session will take place from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. PST. In addition, an educators' event will be held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. PST. Teachers may talk with astrobiology educators, gather teaching materials and participate in hands-on classroom activities about astrobiology.

The public astrobiology talks are an adjunct to the Astrobiology Science Conference, which will be held at NASA Ames from March 28 to April 1. 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 conference will feature more than 50 presentations and five days of poster sessions by pre-eminent researchers and scientists.

Conference abstracts, a meeting agenda and further information about the Astrobiology Science 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 at

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

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