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Mars and the Mojave Festival
Join us for the first ever Mars and the Mojave Festival
Exploring extremes on Earth and beyond

March 9-11, 2012
Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park encompasses some of the most extreme environments on the planet. For decades, planetary scientists have come here for research and instrument testing.

We are proud to announce the first ever Death Valley National Park planetary analog festival, titled the Mars and the Mojave Festival – Exploring Extremes on Earth and Beyond.

This pioneer three-day public event, scheduled for March 9-11, 2012, will feature scientist- and National Park Service interpreter-guided field trips to analog sites, evening keynote speakers and panels, star-gazing, and an al fresco expo including mini-rover demonstrations and a 1/10th-scale model of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity Rover.

Representatives and investigators from Ames Research Center and other NASA centers, non-profits, and universities conducting work in the field will present results from their projects to the public.

The event is co-sponsored by NASA Ames Research Center, the Death Valley National Park, the SAM Team at NASA Goddard, and the SETI Institute.

One goal of the Festival is to raise public awareness about planetary analog and astrobiology research taking place on Earth, as well their relevance to planetary missions, including MSL. The NASA Mars Science Laboratory was successfully launched on November 26, 2011 and will to land on Mars August 2012 to help determine if this red planet has ever supported, or can currently sustain, any life - as we know it - sometime during its past.

Death Valley National Park boasts several planetary analog research sites within its boundaries and is excited share with its visitors this little known, but extremely important, use of our public lands.

Mars and the Mojave Festival Organizing Committee:
Stephanie Kyriazis, education specialist (Death Valley National Park)
Rosalba Bonaccorsi, research scientist (NASA Ames Research Center/ SETI Institute)
Liza Coe, Spaceward Bound education coordinator (NASA Ames Research Center)
Lora Bleacher and Andrea Jones, education and public outreach specialists (MSL/SAM Team at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)

For further information, contact Rosalba Bonaccorsi or visit these websites:

A flier for Mars and the Mojave

Friday, March 9

Time Event Location
7:30pm – 8:30pm Keynote Address: Curiosity on Mars, Dr. Chris McKay Visitor Center Auditorium
8:30pm – 10:30pm Telescope viewing of planets and more with rangers Furnace Creek Airport

Saturday, March 10

Time Event Location
9:30am – 12:00pm Field Trip: Badwater and Mars Hill
Dr. Susanne Douglas, Dr. Aaron Zent
Badwater Parking Lot
1:00pm – 2:00pm After-Lunch Lecture Visitor Center Auditorium
1:00pm – 5:00pm Expo: Join NASA and other organizations for mini-Mars Rover
demos and information
Lawn next to Visitor Center
7:30pm – 8:30pm Keynote Panel: Societal Relevance of Planetary Analog Research
Introductory remarks by Dr. Tyler Nordgren
Visitor Center Auditorium

Sunday, March 11

Time Event Location
9:30am – 11:00am Field Trip: Ubehebe Crater
Dr. Rosalba Bonaccorsi
Ubehebe Crater Parking Lot
1:00pm – 2:00pm After-Lunch Lecture Visitor Center Auditorium
2:00pm – 2:30pm Closing Ceremony: The Future of Planetary Analog Research Visitor Center Auditorium