A new generation of Mars student scientists will release their first
results at a press briefing scheduled for noon EST (10 a.m. Arizona Time)
on Wednesday, March 20 at the Mars Space Flight Facility at Arizona State

Eighteen students, including 11 sixth and seventh graders from Danvers,
Illinois, and 7 high school students from Nogales, Arizona, will talk about
their experiences and show their results as the first of thousands of
participants in NASA’s Mars Student Imaging Project. The project is a
NASA-funded science education program that allows elementary, middle and
high school classes to do real-life planetary exploration and study using
NASA’s Mars Odyssey’s Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) visible light

Briefing participants will include:

* Students and teachers from Nogales High School in Nogales,
Arizona, who will be currently engaged in an investigation to acquire an
image and will discuss their science objectives.

* Students and teachers from Olympia School District in
Danvers, Illinois, who will present an image acquired during their ongoing
investigation, and will discuss their preliminary research findings.

* Dr. Philip Christensen, Korrick Professor of Geological
Sciences at ASU and principal investigator for THEMIS.

* Sheri Klug, Director of ASU’s Mars Education Program.

An expanded view of student experiences in the imaging program will also
be aired in a one hour show on NASA’s “Live from Mars” at 1 p.m. EST (11
a.m. Arizona Time) on March 19. The program, which is broadcast into
thousands of classrooms nationwide, will provide an overview of the student
imaging program and capture the live experiences of the Olympia School
District students in the process of acquiring their image.

The Mars Education Program is an outreach activity of ASU, developed
initially in connection with research activities involving the Thermal
Emission Spectrometer experiment on NASA’s Mars Global Surveyor
spacecraft. The program operates the Mars Student Imaging Project with
funding from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.
JPL manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for NASA’s Office of Space Science
in Washington. Principal investigators at Arizona State University in Tempe,
the University of Arizona in Tucson and the Johnson Space Center, Houston ,
operate the science instruments. Additional science investigators are
located at the Russian Space Research institute and Los Alamos National
Laboratories, New Mexico.

Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver, is the prime contractor for the
project, and developed and built the orbiter. Mission operations are
conducted jointly from Lockheed Martin and from JPL, a division of the
California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

Additional information about the 2001 Mars Odyssey is available on the
Internet at: