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March 14, 1997

Don Savage
Headquarters, Washington, DC
(Phone: 202/358-1547)

Linda Copley
Johnson Space Center, Houston TX
(Phone: 281/483-5111)

Release: N97-18


Press Briefing to Present New Data and Status of 'Past Life on Mars' Debate Scheduled for March 19

Seven months after NASA's initial announcement suggesting that a Martian meteorite shows life may have existed on ancient Mars, a panel of science experts will present new data and deliver a progress report on the continuing "Past Life on Mars" discussion at a press briefing scheduled for 12 noon CST, Wednesday, March 19, in the media briefing room at the Johnson Space Center (JSC), Houston, TX.

Douglas P. Blanchard, Ph.D., Chief of JSC's Earth Science and Solar System Exploration Division, will moderate a six-person panel of co-authors of each of the six abstracts on the Mars issue that are scheduled for presentation later that day during a special plenary session of the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in the adjacent Teague auditorium at JSC.

The briefing will be carried live on NASA Television with two-way question and answer capability from participating NASA centers. As of March 15, NASA Television will be broadcast at a new satellite location. The new satellite is GE-2, Transponder 9C at 85 degrees West longitude, frequency 3880.0 MHz, audio 6.8 MHz.

The text of complete abstracts to be presented may be obtained in advance of the event by contacting the web site for the 28th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference at URL:

The conference will be held March 17-21, 1997 in Houston. Sessions will be held at JSC and the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI), 3600 Bay Area Boulevard, Houston, TX.


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