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Rachel Prucey
NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.
650-604-0643/930-6149
rachel.l.prucey@nasa.gov

Robin Croft
NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.
650-604-6787/202-431-6633
deborah.r.croft@nasa.gov
May 21, 2008
 
MEDIA ADVISORY : M08_46AR
 
 
NASA’s Ames Scientists to Celebrate Phoenix Mars Landing
 
 
MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. -- NASA’s Ames Research Center will celebrate the Phoenix Mars landing at the Ames Exploration Center on May 25, 2008 with robotic demonstrations, Phoenix animations and presentations about the mission from Ames' scientists.

The Phoenix Mars mission, which launched on Aug. 4, 2007, will study the history of water in the ice-rich soil of the Martian arctic and search for evidence of a habitable zone to help NASA prepare for human exploration. Phoenix will attempt to determine whether there was ever life on Mars and characterize its climate and geology.

Entry, descent and landing of NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander will begin at 4:46 p.m. PDT. The flight team will listen for radio signals indicating that Phoenix has entered the top of Mars’ atmosphere. Phoenix will then perform a series of challenging activities after it enters the atmosphere to slow it from 12,000 mph to 5 mph for a soft touchdown. The Phoenix team will again listen for radio signals confirming the landing at 4:53 p.m. PDT.

WHAT: Opportunity to hear NASA Ames scientists and engineers discuss their contributions to the NASA Phoenix Mars Lander mission, watch live televised mission coverage and see robotic rover demonstrations. Visitors also can see heat shield material samples and Phoenix animations. Admission is free, and all activities are open to the public.

WHO: Speakers include:
- Chris McKay, NASA Ames planetary scientist and Phoenix co-investigator
- James Kurien, NASA Ames computer scientist
- David Korsmeyer, chief, NASA Ames Intelligent Systems Division

WHEN: Noon to 5:30 p.m. PDT, Sunday, May 25, 2008
- Noon to 2:45 p.m. PDT: Regular Exploration Center programming.
- 2:45 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. PDT: NASA Ames scientists will give presentations.
- 3:45 p.m. to 4:53 p.m. PDT: Live mission control coverage and commentary will be projected onto a large screen. Phoenix is scheduled to touch down on Mars' arctic northern plains at 4:53 p.m. PDT.
- 4:53 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. PDT: Robotic rover and Phoenix software demonstrations.

WHERE: Ames Exploration Center, NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.

Driving Directions: To reach Ames, take U.S. Highway 101 to the Moffett Field, NASA Parkway exit and drive east on Moffett Boulevard towards the main gate. The Ames Exploration Center is the large white dome outside the main gate.

For more information about the Phoenix mission, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/phoenix

To watch the Phoenix mission coverage online, tune in to NASA Television, at:

http://www.nasa.gov/ntv

 

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