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November 14, 2013

Dwayne Brown/Allard Beutel
Headquarters, Washington   
202-358-1726 / 202-358-2191
dwayne.c.brown@nasa.gov / allard.beutel@nasa.gov

LeVar Burton Shares MAVEN’s Story in a New NASA PSA

Actor LeVar Burton

(Image Credit: NASA)

As NASA prepares for next week's launch of the agency's next Mars-bound spacecraft, the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN), actor LeVar Burton shares the excitement of the mission in a new NASA public service announcement (PSA).

The video, containing newly edited NASA animations, will be used at events around the country and shared on the web and social media. The goal is to educate the public about MAVEN and NASA’s efforts to better understand the Red Planet and the history of climate change there. 

Burton has been a lifelong advocate of education through his many STEM initiatives and participation in educational programming.  He is also known worldwide as Geordi LeForge, chief engineer of the Starship Enterprise on "Star Trek: The Next Generation," as Kunta Kinte in the breakthrough mini-series "Roots" and beloved by generations of children as the host and producer of the "Reading Rainbow" television series. 

"NASA is thrilled to have LeVar Burton explain this mission to the greater public," said Bert Ulrich, NASA's multimedia liaison for film and TV collaborations. "Thanks to Burton’s engaging talents and passion for space exploration, audiences of all ages will be able to share in the excitement of NASA’s next mission to Mars."

MAVEN is targeted to launch Monday, Nov. 18 at 1:28 p.m. EST from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The spacecraft will take critical measurements of the Martian upper atmosphere to help scientists understand climate change over the Red Planet's history. MAVEN is the first spacecraft devoted to exploring and understanding the Martian upper atmosphere.

To view the PSA, visit:


For more information about NASA's MAVEN mission, visit:



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Page Last Updated: November 14th, 2013
Page Editor: Karen Northon