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Kari Fluegel March 2, 1993

Release No. 93-014

Scientists Gather for 24th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference

Scientists from around the world will meet in Houston to discuss research covering the universe at the 24th Annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference March 15-19 at the Johnson Space Center.

More than 700 researchers will converge at JSC's Gilruth Center for five days of presentations that will include data from Venus provided by the Magellan spacecraft; new information from the Galileo spacecraft now approaching Jupiter after a high speed pass by the Moon and Earth; and recent findings about the Chicxulub crater off the Yucatan Peninsula which many believe could explain the demise of dinosaurs on Earth.

"Even after 24 years, the conference gets more interesting every year," said Douglas Blanchard, chief of JSC's Solar System Exploration Division. "This year the program is especially strong and covers an interesting variety of planetary topics. We expect that our colleagues will once again find the conference a rich source of new data and ideas."

The public is invited to a special discussion about planetary science March 15 at 8 p.m. in Olin E. Teague Auditorium, Bldg. 2 at JSC. James Arnold of the University of California at San Diego will present "Cosmic Rays Probe Planetary Objects" and Maria Zuber of Johns Hopkins University will discuss "Gravity and Topography Fields of the Terrestrial Planets."

Other conference presentations are: March 15, 8:30 a.m. -- Basaltic Achondrites; A Geology of Venus--A Tribute of Valery Barsukov; Solar System Origins; and Impact Cratering and Shock Metamorphism. 1:30 p.m. -- Solar, Cosmic Ray and Dynamical Studies; Venus Volcanism; and Manson: The Hole and Shocking Story. Barsukov, who died in July 1992, was vice president of the International Union of Geological Sciences and a frequent keynote speaker on Soviet and Russian planetary exploration. The session of Solar, Cosmic Ray and Dynamical Studies will be dedicated to James R. Arnold, a pioneer in the study of cosmic-ray-produced radionuclides in extraterrestrial materials, who will be celebrating his 70th birthday.

March 16, 8:30 a.m. -- Primitive Achondrites; Venus Resurfacing and Tectonics; Chicxulub, KT Boundary and Other Impact Ejecta; and Remote Sensing/Space Weathering. 1:30 p.m. -- Meteorites and Volatiles; Venus Gravity from Magellan and Mars Geophysics; Large Impact Events--Theory and Observations and Galileo Earth/Moon Results; and Martian Geomorphology. The session on Meteorites and Volatiles will honor the service of Don Bogard as Planetary Materials and Geochemistry Discipline scientist.

March 17, 8:30 a.m. -- Interplanetary Dust--Laboratory Studies and Results from Spacecraft; Martian Surface Mineralogy and Spectroscopy; and Moon Rocks--From the Highlands to the Maria to Antarctica. 1:30 p.m. -- Ordinary and Enstatite Chondrites; Mars--Tectonism and Volcanism; and Lunar Volcanic Glasses and Regolith. 5:30 p.m. -- COMPLEX Plenary: Integrated Strategy for Planetary and Lunar Exploration from 1995 to 2010.

March 18, 8:30 a.m.--Carbonaceous Chondrites and Chondrules; Mars--Surface and Atmospheric Processes; Lunar Geology; and Asteroid and Planetary Core Formation and Metal-Rich Meteorites. 1:30 p.m. -- Stars, Stardust and Isotope Anomalies; Outer Solar System; and Future Lunar Exploration.

March 19, 8:30 a.m. -- Calcium-Aluminum-rich Inclusions (CAIs) and Heat Sources for Chondrule/CAI Melting; Comets and Asteroids; and Educating Young People in Earth and Planetary Sciences.

In addition to the daily sessions, scientists will participate in the two Poster Sessions set for 7-9 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday at the Lunar and Planetary Institute.

The conference is co-sponsored by the Lunar and Planetary Institute and JSC. All sessions are at JSC's Gilruth Center except when otherwise noted.

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