Kathleen Burton
NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA
(Phone: 650/604-1731, 650/604-9000)
kburton@mail.arc.nasa.gov

Kelly Humphries
NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX
(Phone: 281/244-5050)
kelly.o.humphries1@jsc.nasa.gov

RELEASE 00-45
NOTE TO EDITORS AND NEWS DIRECTORS:

News media are invited to participate in a NASA Haughton-Mars
Project
(HMP-2000) field site visit during the period of July 19-22 on Devon
Island, Nunavut, in the Canadian High Arctic.

Media must coordinate visit requests to the HMP-2000 Base Camp at
Haughton with the Office of Communication at NASA Ames Research Center,
Moffett Field, CA. Media representatives must email an application by
June
30 to: kburton@mail.arc.nasa.gov. Application forms are on the
Internet
at: http://george.arc.nasa.gov/dx/basket/pressrelease/00_45AR.html.

HMP-2000 is a NASA-led international field research program
centered
on the scientific study of the Haughton impact crater and its
surroundings,
Devon Island, Nunavut, Arctic Canada. “The Haughton-Mars Project
provides
an opportunity for synergistic studies among team members composed of
planetary scientists, geologists, biologists and engineers from
information
technologies, robotics, human exploration and human factors,” said Dr.
Kelly Snook, NASA HMP Project Manager at NASA Ames Research Center, in
California’s Silicon Valley.

Haughton Crater is accessed by aircraft from Resolute Bay,
Cornwallis
Island, Canada. The site’s rocky polar desert setting, geological
features
and biological attributes have been studied for the past three field
seasons by experts from NASA and other institutions. The crater and
surrounding terrain are good sites for Mars analog studies, according
to
scientists.

“Our field investigations at Haughton are providing insights into
the
evolution of Mars, the effects of impacts on Earth, and the
possibilities
of life in extreme environments,” said Principal Investigator for the
HMP,
Dr. Pascal Lee of the SETI Institute, Mountain View, CA. “The field
work
also provides an opportunity to study the feasibility of, and
requirements
for, possible future robotic and human missions to Mars.”

Events of interest during the HMP-2000 media field site visit
opportunity will include:
o interviews with NASA spokespeople and HMP-2000 investigators,
including
Drs. Lee and Snook, and
o an inside look at planetary exploration research in the relatively
harsh, “Mars-like” environment of Devon Island in the Canadian High
Arctic
comprising:

  • Mars analog field work in impact geology, valley and canyon
    formation,
    ground-ice research and studies of life in extreme environments and its
    implications for astrobiology, the study of the origin, evolution and
    future of life in the universe;

  • field studies in information systems, robotics, spacesuit design and
    other Mars exploration enabling technologies;

  • simulated Earth-to-Mars “Mission Control” crew communications and
    mission support research, telemedicine experiments and human factors
    studies with NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX.

    To learn more about HMP-2000 and the media field site opportunity,
    go
    to: http://george.arc.nasa.gov/dx/basket/pressrelease/00_45AR.html (the
    NASA Ames Office of Communication website). Information about
    requesting an
    on-site visit and narrative information about HMP-2000 are posted
    there.
    For further information about HMP-2000 research, including field
    activities
    updates, go to: http://www.arctic-mars.org (the HMP-2000 website).

    In addition to the media field opportunity, videotape b-roll will
    be
    available via satellite on NASA-TV between July 19 and 22. The NASA
    Video
    File normally airs at noon, 3:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m., 9:00 p.m. and
    midnight
    EDT. NASA Television is available on GE-2, transponder 9C at 85
    degrees
    West longitude, with vertical polarization. Frequency is on 3880.0
    megahertz, with audio on 6.8 megahertz.

    Please Note:
    NASA may limit media access to the field site at any time, as required
    by
    ongoing research, available space and logistical support.

    Due to the expeditionary nature of the HMP-2000 research project and
    the
    many factors involved in its implementation and execution (including
    weather, flight schedules, etc.), invited media participants are
    cautioned
    that all plans, events or schedules in the field may change or be
    subject
    to cancellation without advance notice.

    – end –