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November 17, 2011
RELEASE J11-027
NASA Johnson Space Center to Outline Concepts and Challenges for Future Human Exploration Missions to Mars

HOUSTON – Experts at NASA's Johnson Space Center will discuss concepts for a future human mission to Mars at 1 p.m. CST on Nov. 23 as the agency prepares for the launch of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL).

The MSL robotic mission is scheduled to launch Nov. 25 from the Kennedy Space Center. The spacecraft will deliver a car-sized rover named Curiosity to the surface of Mars in August 2012.

Briefers will discuss the architecture and challenges of a human mission, how robotic efforts play a role in preparing for a future human mission, lessons that have been learned in analog operations conducted in remote locations on Earth, and the scientific knowledge to be gained from human exploration of Mars. The briefing will be broadcast live on NASA Television and the agency's website.

Briefing participants are:

  • Doug Ming, manager, Human Exploration Science Office and a co-investigator on MSL (participating from Kennedy)
  • Bret Drake, deputy chief architect, Human Spaceflight Architecture Team
  • Matt Ondler, assistant director, Advanced Project Development
  • Mike Gernhardt, NASA astronaut
  • Dr. John Charles, program scientist, Human Research Program

Journalists can ask questions from participating NASA centers or by phone. To arrange for credentials to attend in person, contact the Johnson Space Center newsroom at 281-483-5111 by 4 p.m. Tuesday. To participate by phone, reporters must call the newsroom by 12:45 p.m. Wednesday.

For NASA TV streaming video, scheduling and downlink information, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/ntv

For more information about the Mars Science Laboratory mission, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/msl

For more information about future human space exploration missions, visit:

http://exploration.nasa.gov

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Brandi Dean
Johnson Space Center, Houston
281-483-5111

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