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April 4, 2002

John Bluck

NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.

Phone: 650/604-5612 or 604-9000

Release: 02-39AR

NOTE TO EDITORS AND NEWS DIRECTORS: You are invited to cover astrobiology talks at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., on Sunday, April 7. Astrobiology is the study of the origin, evolution, distribution and future of life in the universe. To reach Ames, take the Moffett Field exit from Highway 101, drive east to the NASA Ames main gate, and inquire there for directions to the astrobiology talks in historic Hangar 1 and educational activities in Bldg. 3. All visitors must present valid picture identification issued by a government entity in order to enter Ames.


Teachers and members of the public are invited to attend lectures about astrobiology on Sunday, April 7, beginning at 1:30 p.m. PDT in a large tent in historic Hangar 1 at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif. Astrobiology is the study of the origin, evolution, distribution and future of life in the universe.

Following the first three speeches by experts familiar with astrobiology, teachers may visit Bldg. 3 beginning at 4:30 p.m. PDT to talk with astrobiology educators, gather teaching materials and participate in hands-on classroom activities.

At 5:30 p.m. PDT in Hangar 1, there will be another talk open to the public. Dr. Alexander Rich from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass., will speak about ‘Memories of Chuck Klein in the Viking Mission and how Studying Left-Handed DNA may lead to a Therapy for Smallpox.’ There is no admission charge to these events. More information about Rich is on the World Wide Web at:

and at:

"A number of research scientists are in the area for an astrobiology conference at Ames, and this is a great opportunity to provide teachers with resources for exploring astrobiology in their classrooms," said Karen Dodson, education and public outreach coordinator for the NASA Astrobiology Institute at NASA Ames, located in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley.

NASA Ames and the NASA Astrobiology Institute are hosting the second Astrobiology Science Conference in Ames’ Hangar 1 and the Moffett Training and Conference Center in Bldg. 3 on April 7-11. Astrobiology experts from around the world will converge at Ames for this conference. More information about the conference is on the Internet at:

The first round of speakers Sunday April 7 includes NASA Ames scientist Christopher McKay who will present a 60-minute overview of astrobiology, ‘Astrobiology: The Search for Life Beyond the Earth,’ starting at 1:30 p.m. PDT. Following McKay, Peter Doran from the University of Illinois, Chicago, will speak at 2:30 p.m. PDT about ‘Research in Extreme Cold Environments.’ Doran, whose specialty is polar science, conducts research at the McMurdo Dry Valley in Antarctica. More information about Doran’s research can be found on the World Wide Web at:

After Doran’s talk, William Moore of the University of California, Los Angeles will speak at 3:40 p.m. PDT about ‘Europa, Icing on the Cake of Life.’ A moon of Jupiter, Europa, may have a global ocean that might contain life, according to some scientists. Moore has a home page on the Internet at:

Moore’s talk will end at 4:30 p.m. PDT.

To reach Ames, take the Moffett Field exit from Highway 101, drive east to the Ames main gate to receive directions to the astrobiology events in historic Hangar 1 and Bldg. 3. A valid driver’s license or similar identification is required for entry.

NASA Ames is the agency’s lead center for astrobiology and the location of the central offices of NASA’s Astrobiology Institute, an international research consortium. Information about NASA’s astrobiology programs may be obtained at:

The NASA Astrobiology Institute’s web site is located at:

An image related to this news release is available in high resolution, ‘publication size,’ on the Internet at:


Astrobiology Science Conference Poster
(PDF Format)


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