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Erica Hupp
Headquarters, Washington

Marny Skora/Lindsay Crouch
Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.

June 16, 2006
NASA Conference Celebrates 30 Years of Mars Research
NASA will host a symposium titled "Mars: Past, Present and Future" on Thursday, June 22 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the agency's Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.

The event is part of NASA's Viking 30th Anniversary celebration. It will highlight the first successful soft landing on Mars by the Viking spacecraft. Speakers will include key participants in Viking and other NASA Mars missions. The event will be audio webcast.

To attend the event, media must contact Marny Skora at 757-864-3315/757-344-6111 (cell) or Lindsay Crouch at 757-864-3189/757-870-6912 (cell) by noon Wednesday, June 21.

NASA's Viking 1 and 2 missions to Mars, each consisting of an orbiter and a lander, obtained high-resolution images of the Martian surface, characterized the structure and composition of the atmosphere and surface and searched for evidence of life. Viking 1 was launched on Aug. 20, 1975, and arrived at Mars on June 19, 1976.

On July 20, 1976, the Viking 1 Lander separated from the Orbiter and touched down at Chryse Planitia. Viking 2 was launched Sept. 9, 1975, and entered Mars orbit on Aug. 7, 1976. The Viking 2 Lander touched down at Utopia Planitia on Sept. 3, 1976.

To view the Mars symposium agenda and hear the webcast, visit:

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