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Robert D. Allen
(757) 864-6176

For Release: June 15, 1999

RELEASE NO. 99-031

Project Scientist to Discuss Mars Airplane

On Tuesday, June 15, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Langley's Mars Airplane Package Project Scientist, Dr. Joel S. Levine, will discuss the technological challenges of flying an airplane through the atmosphere of Mars.

The presentation will occur in the H.J.E. Reid Conference Center, at the Langley Research Center. Levine will address visiting American Society of Engineering Education faculty members, Norfolk State University students and Langley summer student-scholars.

Artist's illustration of an early Mars Airplane concept, courtesy of NASA Ames Research CenterThe Mars Airplane mission is scheduled to launch as early as November 2002 and deliver a small, remotely-piloted airplane to the atmosphere of Mars on December 17, 2003 -- the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers first powered flight.

NASA Langley Research Center, located in Hampton, Va., was assigned overall responsibility for the development of the Mars Airplane Package (MAP). MAP consists of everything that enters Mars' atmosphere -- the aeroshell atmospheric entry system, the airplane and the scientific instruments. The development of the MAP will draw from many of Langley's areas of expertise -- aeronautics, atmospheric sciences, and advanced structures and materials.

Dr. Levine will be available to news media immediately following his presentation until 12:45 p.m. News media interested in attending the talk or interviewing Dr. Levine should contact Bob Allen at (757) 864-6176 or by e-mail at (

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