NASA astronaut and Antarctic researcher Don Pettit will give the keynote address to kick off Ice Fest on March 9. Pettit’s presentation, “Polar Perspectives,” will start at 2 p.m. in Muenzinger Auditorium, Colorado Ave., University of Colorado, Boulder. This event is free and open to the public.

Ice Fest is a celebration of the start of the International Polar Year (IPY) at the University of Colorado-Boulder. IPY is an international scientific collaboration and cooperation protecting Antarctica for scientific research.

Pettit recently spent six weeks researching meteorites on the ice fields of Grosvenor Mountains in Antarctica as a member of the 2006-2007 Antarctic Search for Meteorites (ANSMET) expedition. ANSMET is a yearly expedition to gather meteorites that naturally concentrate on the Antarctic glaciers.

Pettit was selected as an astronaut in 1996. He was the science officer on Expedition 6 to the International Space Station. He logged more than 161 days in space, including more than 13 hours during two spacewalks.

For more information or to schedule an interview, contact Adriana Raudzens Bailey, University of Colorado-Boulder, at 303-492-6289 or Brenda A. Cabaniss, NASA Johnson Space Center Astronaut Appearances Office, at 281-244-8860.

For more information about Pettit, visit:

To read Pettit’s “Space Chronicles on Ice” about his Antarctic expedition, visit:

For more information on ANSMET, visit:

For more information about Ice Fest, visit: