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Mars Landing Previewed at NASA Visitor Center
07.30.12
 
Get a preview of the upcoming Mars Science Laboratory Mission at the NASA Visitor Center at the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia August 4 and 5.

Mars Science Laboratory will deliver the Curiosity rover to the surface of the Red Planet at approximately 1:31 a.m. EDT, August 6. Curiosity, carrying laboratory instruments to analyze samples of rocks, soil and atmosphere, will investigate whether Mars has ever offered environmental conditions favorable for microbial life.

A preview of the historic mission will be presented at 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday by Ned Fox, a geology and Earth science education major from Va. Tech University and a summer intern at the Visitor Center.

Sunday evening the Visitor Center will be open from 7 to 10 p.m. for an evening dedicated to Mars.

Rob Landis, with the Wallops Advanced Projects Office, will give a 30-minute presentation beginning at 8 p.m. The presentation will provide a preview of this historic mission to place the SUV size rover on the surface of Mars to explore the planet.

Landis has an eclectic set of science and mission operations leadership and hands-on experience ranging from space-based observatories (the Hubble Space Telescope and the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer); to deep space missions (Cassini-Huygens, the Mars Exploration Rovers - Spirit and Opportunity) and manned spaceflight (International Space Station and the space shuttle).

All presentations will be followed by the video “Curiosity’s Seven Minutes of Terror.”

Telescopes will be available Sunday evening for viewing Mars shortly after sunset and other celestial objects.

Also, take a look at Mars as you have never seen it on the Visitor Center’s Science on a Sphere. View Mars as if it is floating in the center of the room.

The Visitor Center, part of the Robert L. Krieger Education Complex, is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is located on Va. Route 175 about six miles from U.S. Route 13 and five miles from Chincoteague, Va. Admission to the Visitor Center is free. For further information, please call (757) 824-2298.

For information about the Visitor Center on the Internet, visit:http://sites.wff.nasa.gov/vc

More information on the Mars Science Laboratory is available on the internet at:http://www.nasa.gov/msl