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November 5, 2014
NASA to Discuss Science Findings of Oct. 19 Comet Flyby of Mars

NASA will host a media teleconference at noon EST on Friday, Nov. 7, to provide initial science observations of comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring’s close flyby of Mars and the impact on the Martian atmosphere.

NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), and a radar instrument aboard the European Space Agency’s Mars Express spacecraft provided the first close-up studies of the comet that originated from the distant outer reaches of our solar system.

Briefing participants include:

- Jim Green, director, Planetary Science Division, NASA Headquarters, Washington

- Nick Schneider, instrument lead for MAVEN’s Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph, University of Colorado, Boulder

- Mehdi Benna, instrument scientist for MAVEN’s Neutral Gas and Ion Mass Spectrometer, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt. Maryland

- Don Gurnett, lead investigator on the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding instrument on Mars Express, University of Iowa, Iowa City

- Alan Delamere, co-investigator for MRO’s HiRISE instrument, Delamere Support Services, Boulder, Colorado

For dial-in information, media representatives should e-mail their name, affiliation and telephone number to Dwayne Brown at dwayne.c.brown@nasa.gov by 11 a.m. Friday.

Visuals will be posted at the start of the event at:


Audio of the teleconference will be streamed live at:


The event will also be streamed, with visuals used by the participants at:


For more information about Comet Siding Spring, visit:



Dwayne Brown

Headquarters, Washington




Preston Dyches/Guy Webster

Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.




Nancy Neal Jones/Elizabeth Zubritsky

Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.



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Page Last Updated: November 6th, 2014
Page Editor: Sonja Alexander