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04-003
For Release: January 15, 2004

Sallie A. Keith
Media Relations Office
216-433-5795
sallie.a.keith@nasa.gov

VISITOR CENTER OFFERS MARS BRIEFINGS

Space enthusiasts eager for all the latest information on the red planet will find a unique opportunity when the NASA Glenn Research Center's Visitor Center hosts a special Mars briefing on Saturday, January 17.

Mike Blair, a professional geologist and Visitor Center docent, will speak on the history of Mars and compare the makeup of Mars and Earth from 11 a.m. to noon. From 1 to 2 p.m. Joe Kolecki, a consultant to NASA's Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission and a physicist at Glenn, will provide an overview of Mars and discuss the MER and the future of Mars exploration. Both briefings will include a question and answer session.

In addition to the guest speakers, the Visitor Center will have new images of Mars on display, including some three-dimensional photographs. Viewing glasses will be provided. There will also be a variety of activities for students and a "Picture Yourself on Mars" photo booth, where the whole family will enjoy becoming astronauts for the day.

Admission to the Visitor Center is free and is wheelchair accessible. Advanced registration is required for the Mars briefings. To register, call 216-433-9653.

All adult visitors must present a government issued photo identification to obtain entrance to the center. Access to the center by foreign nationals is subject to restrictions. Foreign nationals should call 216-433-2000 in advance for details. All vehicles are subject to inspection. Normal hours of operation are Monday-Friday 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.; and Sunday 1 - 5 p.m.

NASA Glenn Research Center's Visitor Center is located at 21000 Brookpark Rd., Cleveland. It offers interactive exhibits on air and space travel in four galleries covering 6,000 square feet. Regular exhibits include: AeroAdventure: Innovating Tomorrow's Engines; John Glenn: Tribute to America's Hero; and Space Communications.

More information on the Visitor Center, along with directions, is available online: http://www.grc.nasa.gov/Doc/visitgrc.htm

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