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June 19, 2000

Kathleen Burton
NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA
(Phone: 650/604-1731, 650/604-9000)
kburton@mail.arc.nasa.gov

Catherine Watson
NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX
(Phone: 281/244-5050)
Catherine Watson1@jsc.nasa.gov

Release: J00-41

Haughton-Mars Project Announces Media Field Visit Opportunity

News media are invited to participate in a NASA Haughton-Mars Project (HMP-2000) field site visit during the period of July 19-22 on Devon Island, Nunavut, in the Canadian High Arctic.

Media must coordinate visit requests to the HMP-2000 Base Camp at Haughton with the Office of Communication at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA. Media representatives must email an application by June 30 to: kburton@mail.arc.nasa.gov. Application forms are on the Internet at: http://amesnews.arc.nasa.gov/releases/2000/00_45AR.html.

HMP-2000 is a NASA-led international field research program centered on the scientific study of the Haughton impact crater and its surroundings, Devon Island, Nunavut, Arctic Canada. "The Haughton-Mars Project provides an opportunity for synergistic studies among team members composed of planetary scientists, geologists, biologists and engineers from information technologies, robotics, human exploration and human factors," said Dr. Kelly Snook, NASA HMP Project Manager at NASA Ames Research Center, in California's Silicon Valley.

Haughton Crater is accessed by aircraft from Resolute Bay, Cornwallis Island, Canada. The site's rocky polar desert setting, geological features and biological attributes have been studied for the past three field seasons by experts from NASA and other institutions. The crater and surrounding terrain are good sites for Mars analog studies, according to scientists.

"Our field investigations at Haughton are providing insights into the evolution of Mars, the effects of impacts on Earth, and the possibilities of life in extreme environments," said Principal Investigator for the HMP, Dr. Pascal Lee of the SETI Institute, Mountain View, CA. "The field work also provides an opportunity to study the feasibility of, and requirements for, possible future robotic and human missions to Mars."

Events of interest during the HMP-2000 media field site visit opportunity will include: · interviews with NASA spokespeople and HMP-2000 investigators, including Drs. Lee and Snook, and · an inside look at planetary exploration research in the relatively harsh, "Mars-like" environment of Devon Island in the Canadian High Arctic comprising:

- Mars analog field work in impact geology, valley and canyon formation, ground-ice research and studies of life in extreme environments and its implications for astrobiology, the study of the origin, evolution and future of life in the universe;

- field studies in information systems, robotics, spacesuit design and other Mars exploration enabling technologies;

- simulated Earth-to-Mars "Mission Control" crew communications and mission support research, telemedicine experiments and human factors studies with NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX.

To learn more about HMP-2000 and the media field site opportunity, go to: http://amesnews.arc.nasa.gov/releases/2000/00_45AR.html (the NASA Ames Office of Communication website). Information about requesting an on-site visit and narrative information about HMP-2000 are posted there. For further information about HMP-2000 research, including field activities updates, go to: http://www.arctic-mars.org (the HMP-2000 website).

In addition to the media field opportunity, videotape b-roll will be available via satellite on NASA-TV between July 19 and 22. The NASA Video File normally airs at noon, 3:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m., 9:00 p.m. and midnight EDT. NASA Television is available on GE-2, transponder 9C at 85 degrees West longitude, with vertical polarization. Frequency is on 3880.0 megahertz, with audio on 6.8 megahertz.

Please Note: NASA may limit media access to the field site at any time, as required by ongoing research, available space and logistical support.

Due to the expeditionary nature of the HMP-2000 research project and the many factors involved in its implementation and execution (including weather, flight schedules, etc.), invited media participants are cautioned that all plans, events or schedules in the field may change or be subject to cancellation without advance notice.

 

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