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George H. Diller
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

NASA to Hold Public Meetings for Proposed Mars Mission
NASA officials will be available on Sept. 27, 2006, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Florida Solar Energy Center, 1679 Clearlake Road, Cocoa, Fla., to exchange information and receive public comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) recently released for the proposed Mars Science Laboratory that would launch in 2009.

The public meetings will also feature exhibits and other material explaining all aspects of the proposed mission. Under the Proposed Action, NASA would build a rover powered by a Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator, or MMRTG. An alternative mission would be powered by solar arrays.

Briefing participants will be:

-Mark Dahl, Mars Science Laboratory program executive, NASA Headquarters
-Richard Cook, project manager, Mars Science Laboratory, JPL
-Dr. Aswhin Vasavada, deputy project scientist, Mars Science Laboratory, JPL
-Kenneth Kumor, NASA Environmental Management Division, NASA Headquarters

The mobile, robotic science laboratory would launch on a Lockheed Martin Atlas V expendable launch vehicle from Complex 41 between mid-September and early November of 2009 on a mission to determine if Mars had, or now has, an environment that could support microbial life. The project is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

The official notice about the DEIS and public meeting is available online at:

The Mars Science Laboratory DEIS is available at:

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