Donald Savage

Headquarters, Washington, DC

(Phone: 202/358-1547)


NASA will announce the agency’s Mars exploration plans for 2003
at a news briefing to be held 2:00 p.m. EDT Monday, July 24, 2000, at
NASA Headquarters, 300 E St. SW, Washington, DC.

Two missions under consideration are a Mars scientific orbiter,
which will have a camera capable of imaging objects as small as about
two feet (60 cm) across, and a large scientific rover which will land
using an airbag cocoon like that on the successful 1997 Mars
Pathfinder mission. Dr. Edward Weiler, Associate Administrator,
Office of Space Science, Washington, DC, made the final selection.

Two teams, one centered at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory
(JPL), Pasadena, CA, and the other at Lockheed Martin Astronautics,
Denver, CO, conducted separate, intensive two-month studies of the
missions to define the and evaluate their likelihood for success,
cost, and readiness for flight.

Participants will be:

*Dr. Edward Weiler, Associate Administrator, Office of Space Science,
NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC.

*Mr. Scott Hubbard, Mars Program Director, NASA Headquarters,
Washington, DC.

*Dr. Jim Garvin, Mars Program Scientist, NASA Headquarters,
Washington, DC.

*Dr. Firouz Naderi, Mars Program Office Manager, Jet Propulsion
Laboratory, Pasadena, CA.

The press briefing will originate from the James E. Webb
Auditorium at NASA Headquarters, and will be carried live on NASA TV
with two-way question-and-answer capability for reporters covering the
event from participating NASA centers.

NASA Television is broadcast on the GE2 satellite which is
located on Transponder 9C, at 85 degrees West longitude, frequency
3880.0 Mhz, audio 6.8 MHz. Audio of the broadcast will be available
on voice circuit at the Kennedy Space Center on 321/867-1220.