The Planetary Society will present “Mars: A New World for Humankind” to members of Congress in Washington, DC on Thursday February 10.  Steven Squyres, principal investigator for the Mars Exploration Rovers, and Bill Nye the Science Guy, Vice President of The Planetary Society, will make the presentation with Louis Friedman, the Society’s Executive Director, moderating the program.

“New visions for robotic and human space flight merge at Mars,” said Friedman.  “Politicians rightly ask about the value of space exploration; this presentation of results from Mars exploration will demonstrate that value and, hopefully, help implement the vision.”

Squyres will recap this past exciting year of Mars exploration in which two rovers have been investigating the planet’s surface, sending back images and other data from an amazing alien world.  Nye will discuss how Mars exploration – a focus for mission objectives in space – has great public and educational significance.  Nye was part of The Planetary Society’s education experiment on the MER mission, and he was the originator of the MarsDial located on each rover – a sundial that engaged both students and the worldwide public.

President Bush announced a new direction for U.S. human space flight last year when the rovers began their historic mission in January.  Hallmarks of the new policy include human and robotic flights to the Moon and Mars, with the exploration of our solar system providing the rationale that justifies the cost and risk of space flight.  Mars, a world that may once have been habitable, is now the logical future destination of human space exploration.

The presentation will include stunning pictures of this remarkable world, and will be followed by a Q & A session.

“Mars:  A New World for Humankind” will take place in room 2318 of the Rayburn House Office Building, 4:00-6:00 pm, on February 10, 2005.  The event is open to Members of Congress and their staff, and the media.  All attendees are invited to bring families and children since one of the principal values of space exploration is the inspiration and education it provides to the next generation.

Media should RSVP to Susan Lendroth (626-793-5100, susan.lendroth@planetary org) or Barbara Rayworth (626-793-5100,


Susan Lendroth at (626) 793-5100 ext. 237 or by e-mail at 


Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray and Louis Friedman founded The Planetary Society in 1980 to advance the exploration of the solar system and to continue the search for extraterrestrial life.  With members in over 125 countries, the Society is the largest space interest group in the world.  For more information, contact Susan Lendroth at (626) 793-5100, ext. 237, or by e-mail at ( ).


The Planetary Society