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Kathleen Burton                                                                                                                                                                                           Dec. 23, 2003

NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.                                                     

Phone: 650/604-1731 or 604-9000


NOTE TO EDITORS AND NEWS DIRECTORS: News media representatives are invited to participate in an interview opportunity and ribbon-cutting ceremony on Dec. 29 at 9 a.m. PST to commemorate the opening of the new Mars Center at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif. To reach the Mars Center, which is located just outside NASA Ames Research Center's main gate, take the Moffett Field exit off U.S. 101. Follow the signs, proceed to the main gate and take an immediate right into the Mars Center parking lot. 


RELEASE:  03-107AR



To support NASA's Mars exploration program and to coincide with the January landings of the Mars Exploration Rover mission, NASA Ames Research Center will unveil its new Mars Center on Dec. 29.


The Mars Center will feature a dynamic array of interactive displays, exhibits and demonstrations designed to excite, inform and educate the public about the mysteries of the red planet. In addition, the center supports the agency-wide mission of inspiring the next generation of explorers. 


"We are proud to announce the opening of NASA Ames' Mars Center, which will give the community an opportunity to share in the wonder and excitement of exploring Mars," said NASA Ames Director G. Scott Hubbard. "The center also will serve as a dynamic educational resource about Mars for the entire Bay area community."


Members of the news media are invited to participate in a preview tour and exhibit demonstrations at the new Mars Center at Ames starting at 9 a.m. PST, followed by a festive ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10:30 a.m. PST, and concluding with interview opportunities with Mars experts. The new Mars Center is located in the large white tent that formerly housed Space Camp California at the main gate to Moffett Field. The Mars Center will open its doors to the public Dec. 29 and will remain open through June 2004.


Hubbard, Dr. Daniel Clancy, director of information sciences and technology; Dr. Leroy Fletcher, director of aerospace; Dr. David Des Marais and Dr. Nathalie Cabrol, scientists on the Mars Exploration Rover mission, will be available for interviews. 

The goal of the Mars Center is to familiarize adults and children with current information about Mars, provide live coverage transmitted from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, Calif., about the Mars Exploration Rovers' missions and share ongoing research about future Mars missions.



Mars Center media events schedule:

Media Tour  
Opening Program with Remarks by Director
Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony
Media Interview Opportunity
Open to Public

The Mars Center will feature interactive displays and exhibits focused on Mars, the Mars Exploration Rover missions and NASA Ames' scientific and engineering support roles in missions to the red planet - both past and present.


Exhibits will include a Mars immersive theater, where visitors will see live transmissions of the Mars Exploration Rover landings from mission control at JPL; Carnegie-Mellon University's interactive rover yard, where visitors can 'drive' robotic vehicles on a simulated Mars science mission; and a children's room where young people can take part in Mars-related activities.


In addition, the Mars Center will feature a series of family nights and star-gazing parties beginning in January, and lectures with NASA Ames Mars experts, beginning in February.


For further information about the Mars Center, visit:

For images of the Mars Center, visit:

For images of Mars, visit:

For information about the Mars Exploration Rovers, visit:



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