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Kimberly W. Land
(757) 864-9885

RELEASE NO. 01-102

For Release:   Oct. 11, 2001

Langley scientist to speak on the mysterious red planet

Has life ever existed on Mars? Today, we know that Mars is a cold, dry planet. But evidence tells us that in its early history, Mars was warm and wet, abundant with liquid water on its surface. In fact, in 1996 it was reported that Mars meteorites found on Earth may contain evidence of microorganisms.

Dr. Joel S. Levine, senior research scientist in NASA Langley’s Atmospheric Sciences Competency, will speak on "Mars: A Strange and Complex Planet" at a colloquium at 2 p.m., Monday, October 15, at NASA Langley's H.J.E. Reid Conference Center.

Media Briefing: A media briefing will be held at 1:15 p.m. at the H.J.E. Reid Conference Center, 14 Langley Blvd., at NASA Langley Research Center. Members of the media who wish to attend should contact Kimberly W. Land (757) 864-9885 to arrange for credentials and an escort to the Reid Center.

Levine’s current research includes assessing the impact of recent worldwide wildfires on atmospheric chemistry and climate. He’s also worked on the search for ancient trapped gas in core samples obtained from the 35 million-year-old Chesapeake Bay impact crater.

Additionally, at the request of the National Archives, Levine took measurements of the gases in the encasements containing the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.

The general public is invited to the Sigma Series lecture on the same topic at the Virginia Air and Space Center at 7:30 p.m., that evening.

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