Mountain View, CA, – December 22, 2003 – The Mars Institute is launching its first global Explore Mars Lecture Tour, a series of science talks and public lectures on Mars science and exploration, past, present and future, offered in support of Mars research worldwide and the continuation of the Mars Institute’s research and education programs. The 2004 Tour will consist of four regional tours, beginning with a tour of the Asia-Pacific region in January, 2004.

The launching of the Mars Institute’s 2004 Explore Mars Lecture Tour coincides with the anticipated arrival over the next few weeks of several new robotic spacecraft at Mars. These include the European Space Agency’s Mars Express orbiter carrying the Beagle 2 lander, scheduled to land on Mars on December 25, and NASA’s twin Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, scheduled to land on January 4 and 25, respectively. They will join two other robotic spacecraft currently working in Mars orbit, NASA’s Mars Global Surveyor and Mars Odyssey.

The 2004 Explore Mars Lecture Tour in the Asia Pacific region will include stops in Hong Kong, Sydney, Canberra, and Tokyo. Each stop will feature science talks and public lectures by Mars Institute Chairman Dr. Pascal Lee accompanied by Chief Executive Officer Marc Boucher. Lee and Boucher will discuss ongoing progress in Mars science and exploration, from the latest advances in the robotic exploration of Mars to current renewed prospects for human missions to the Red Planet, in particular via analog research conducted here on Earth, in low Earth orbit, and perhaps soon again on the Moon.

The Asia Pacific tour schedule is as follows:

Hong Kong:   Sunday, January 4   Hong Kong Space Museum
    Tuesday, January 6   Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Sydney:   Friday, January 9   Australian Centre for Astrobiology at Macquarie University
Canberra:   Saturday, January 10   Canberra Space Center
    Saturday, January 10   National Museum of Australia, Canberra
Tokyo:   Wednesday, January 14   University of Tokyo
    Thursday, January 15   Institute of Space and Astronautical Science

Locations, times, titles and abstracts for the scheduled talks are available on the Mars Institute’s web site.

In addition to the Asia-Pacific region, the Mars Institute’s global Explore Mars Lecture Tour will include regional tours of the East and West coasts of North America in the Spring and Fall of 2004, and of Europe in the Fall of 2004.

About the Mars Institute

The Mars Institute is a non-profit public benefit corporation registered and incorporated in both the United States
and Canada whose purpose is to further the scientific study, exploration, and public understanding of Mars.
The Institute:

  • Develops, implements and supports high quality peer-reviewed scientific research about the planet Mars, its present nature, and its climatic, geologic and possibly biologic evolution, including through analog studies (investigations of similarities and differences between the Earth, Mars and other planets);
  • Analyzes, develops and implements concepts, technologies and strategies for the exploration of Mars, by robotic systems and humans;
  • Informs the public on the results, progress, and benefits to humankind of Mars exploration through the development and implementation of educational and public outreach activities.

For more information, please contact:

Marc Boucher, CEO (Email)
Mars Institute
Tel.: +1 (604) 669-3725