The public is invited to attend events hosted by NASA and the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum (NASM) to commemorate 10 years of roving across Mars. Anniversary activities will showcase the images and achievements of the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity, both launched by NASA in the summer of 2003. Activities also will highlight how Mars robotic exploration and discovery will aid plans for a future human mission to Mars.
Spirit and Opportunity completed their three-month prime missions in April 2004 and went on to perform extended missions for years. The rovers made important discoveries about wet environments on ancient Mars that may have been favorable for supporting microbial life. Although Spirit ceased communicating with Earth in March 2010, the Opportunity rover continues its work on the Red Planet.
Anniversary events include (all times Eastern):
Thursday, January 16 at 10 p.m.: NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, CA, will host a public celebration of a decade of rover exploration of Mars. The event will be held in the Beckman Auditorium on the California Institute of Technology campus, 1200 E. California Blvd., Pasadena. JPL manages the Opportunity and Curiosity rovers for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington.
The participants are:
-- Charles Elachi, director, JPL
-- Steve Squyres
-- John Callas, project manager, Mars Exploration Rover Project, JPL
-- Bill Nye, chief executive officer of the Planetary Society, Pasadena, Calif.
The event will be streamed live on the Web at: http://ustream.tv/NASAJPL
Friday, January 17, 10 p.m.: JPL will host a public lecture delivered by John Callas, entitled "The Mars Exploration Rovers: A Decade of Exploration," at the Vosloh Forum on the campus of Pasadena City College, 1570 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena. For more information, contact Guy Webster at 818-354-6278.
Thursday, January 23, 2 p.m.: JPL will host a media briefing on the Opportunity rover's decade of exploration. NASA Television and the agency's Web site will provide live coverage of the event. Reporters and the public can ask questions from NASA centers and via Twitter using the hashtag #10YrsOnMars.
Participants will include:
-- John Callas
-- Steve Squyres
-- Ray Arvidson, Mars Exploration Rovers deputy principal investigator, Washington University in St. Louis, MO.
The discussion will also be Webcast live at: http://ustream.tv/NASAJPL
For NASA TV streaming video, downlink and scheduling information, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/nasatv
For more information on the rovers and the Mars Exploration Program, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/mars