Trent Perrotto
Headquarters, Washington                              
William Jeffs                                   
Johnson Space Center, Houston
Julie Tygielski
Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston

Feb. 25, 2011
Lunar And Planetary Conference Highlights Solar System Evolution
HOUSTON -- NASA researchers and other scientists will present findings that provide new insights into the evolution of the solar system during the 42nd annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference.

The conference will run March 7-11 at the Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel and Convention Center, 1601 Lake Robbins Drive, The Woodlands, Texas.

Key events include the unveiling of future planetary science strategy; early science results from a Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency mission, called Hayabusa, that returned the first particle samples from an asteroid; presentations about the recent comet Hartley 2 flyby; and the upcoming MESSENGER mission, the first spacecraft to orbit Mercury.

The conference also will include a briefing about the Planetary Decadal Survey at 5:30 p.m. CST on March 7. The survey is a strategy released by the National Research Council in Washington to prioritize missions, research areas and observations ten or more years into the future. The briefing's featured speaker will be Steve Squyres of Cornell University. He is the survey's chair and principal investigator for NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers.

News media representatives interested in registering or obtaining more information should visit:


The conference is hosted by the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston. The institute is managed by the Universities Space Research Association, a national, nonprofit consortium of universities chartered in 1969 by the National Academy of Sciences at NASA's request.

For information about NASA and agency programs, visit:



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