To support NASA’s Mars exploration program and to coincide with the
January landings of the Mars Exploration Rover mission, NASA Ames
Research Center will unveil its new Mars Center on Dec. 29.

The Mars Center will feature a dynamic array of interactive displays,
exhibits and demonstrations designed to excite, inform and educate
the public about the mysteries of the red planet. In addition, the
center supports the agency-wide mission of inspiring the next
generation of explorers.
“We are proud to announce the opening of NASA Ames’ Mars Center,
which will give the community an opportunity to share in the wonder
and excitement of exploring Mars,” said NASA Ames Director G. Scott
Hubbard. “The center also will serve as a dynamic educational
resource about Mars for the entire Bay area community.”

Members of the news media are invited to participate in a preview
tour and exhibit demonstrations at the new Mars Center at Ames
starting at 9 a.m. PST, followed by a festive ribbon-cutting ceremony
at 10:30 a.m. PST, and concluding with interview opportunities with
Mars experts. The new Mars Center is located in the large white tent
that formerly housed Space Camp California at the main gate to
Moffett Field. The Mars Center will open its doors to the public Dec.
29 from 12 noon to 4 p.m. PST and will remain open through June 2004.

Hubbard, Dr. Daniel Clancy, director of information sciences and
technology; Dr. Leroy Fletcher, director of aerospace; Dr. David Des
Marais and Dr. Nathalie Cabrol, scientists on the Mars Exploration
Rover mission, will be available for interviews.
Mars Center media events schedule:

  • Media Tour 9:00 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. PST
  • Opening Program with Remarks by Director 10:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. PST
  • Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony 10:30 a.m. PST
  • Media Interview Opportunity 10:35 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. PST
  • Open to Public 12 Noon PST

The goal of the Mars Center is to familiarize adults and children
with current information about Mars, provide live coverage
transmitted from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena,
Calif., about the Mars Exploration Rovers’ missions and share ongoing
research about future Mars missions.

The Mars Center will feature interactive displays and exhibits
focused on Mars, the Mars Exploration Rover missions and NASA Ames’
scientific and engineering support roles in missions to the red
planet – both past and present.

Exhibits will include a Mars immersive theater, where visitors will
see live transmissions of the Mars Exploration Rover landings from
mission control at JPL; Carnegie-Mellon University’s interactive
rover yard, where visitors can ‘drive’ robotic vehicles on a
simulated Mars science mission; and a children’s room where young
people can take part in Mars-related activities.

In addition, the Mars Center will feature a series of family nights
and star-gazing parties beginning in January, and lectures with NASA
Ames Mars experts, beginning in February.

For further information about the Mars Center, visit:

For information about the Mars Exploration Rovers, visit: