National Air and Space Museum Celebrates “Mars Day!” July 21


SOURCE: NATIONAL AIR AND SPACE MUSEUM

Monday, July 17, 2017 – 8:30am

Media Inquiries
Alison Mitchell, 202-633-2376, mitchellac@si.edu
Amy Stamm, 202-633-2392, stamma@si.edu
Public Inquiries
202-633-1000

The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum will present “Mars Day!,” its annual tribute to the Red Planet Friday, July 21, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the museum on the National Mall. Organized by the museum’s Center for Earth and Planetary Studies, the event enables visitors to interact with its team of staff scientists and experts from NASA.

This year, a Mars rover concept vehicle from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will be on view. Using NASA-engineered science and specs, this rover was created as a traveling exhibit to inspire and educate the next generation of space explorers. Visitors will learn about the materials used to build it and custom features employed that could accommodate the terrain on Mars. Supplemental materials, including kiosks that explain plant life exploration and the Martian habitat, a virtual reality experience and an expert talk about the rover, will provide information about the quest to travel to the Red Planet.
Other “Mars Day!” displays and activities will give opportunities for visitors to:

Listen to Mars Science Laboratory team member John Grant discuss Curiosity, the latest rover to operate on Mars

Learn about Curiosity’s landing site, Gale Crater, and the rocks and minerals found there with planetary geologist Jon Cawley

Hear NASA astronaut Jon McBride discuss his experiences as an astronaut and why the Mars rover concept vehicle is important

See images of recent Martian avalanches, dust devils, sand dunes and impacts, and learn how the surface of Mars is still changing today with planetary scientist Maria Banks

Discuss the history of water on Mars with planetary scientist Ross Irwin

Talk with Jim Green, director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division, about NASA’s missions of exploration
Learn about the Viking mission to Mars with historian Matthew Shindell and planetary scientist Ross Irwin
Test their skills in a hands-on activity with small robots as they maneuver a robotic rover or collect samples with a robotic arm

Learn how to see beneath the surface of Mars with planetary scientist Jennifer Whitten

See high-resolution views from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter with planetary scientist Sharon Wilson Purdy

Meet Mike Seibert, lead flight director and rover driver for the Opportunity mission

Listen to Mars Story Time for kids

View the surface of Mars in 3-D with red/blue glasses

Find out about radar mapping of Mars on the European Mars Express mission with planetary scientist Tom Watters

Experience the Journey to Space 3D IMAX film (ticket prices apply) and “Fly to Mars” Planetarium show
For more information and a detailed schedule of activities, visit http://airandspace.si.edu/marsday.
“Mars Day!” is held annually at the museum’s building in Washington to commemorate the July 1976 landing of Viking 1, the first spacecraft to operate on Mars. A test version of Viking 1 is displayed in the Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall.

The National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is located in Chantilly, Va., near Washington Dulles International Airport. The museum building on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., is located at Sixth Street and Independence Avenue S.W. Both facilities are open daily from 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). Admission is free, but there is a $15 fee for parking before 4 p.m. at the Udvar-Hazy Center.

Note: Summer hours for the National Mall building are 10 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. and in effect until Sept. 9 unless otherwise noted. Check the museum’s website for the most up-to-date times.

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Rover concept vehicle

Using NASA-engineered science and specs, this rover was created as a traveling exhibit to inspire and educate the next generation of space explorers.

Mars Day!

Mars Day! is an annual National Air and Space Museum event that celebrates the Red Planet with a variety of educational and fun family activities. Visitors learn about current and future missions and have the opportunity to talk to scientists from the museum’s Center for Earth and Planetary Science that are active in Mars research.


Mars Day! 2017

July 21, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm

National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC

Mars Day! is an annual National Air and Space Museum event that celebrates the Red Planet with a variety of educational and fun family activities. Visitors can also talk to scientists active in Mars research and learn about current and future missions.

2017 Schedule

In Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall

A Piece of Mars, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
See a real meteorite that came from Mars, with scientists from the National Museum of Natural History.
Water on Mars, 10:00 to 11:00 am
Learn about the history of water on Mars with planetary scientist Ross Irwin.
Viking,10:00 am to 12:00 pm and 1:00 to 3:00 pm
Learn about the Viking mission to Mars with planetary scientists Ross Irwin and Bob Craddock.
Mars Science Laboratory, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Learn about Curiosity, the latest rover to operate on Mars, with MSL science team member John Grant.
NASA Mars Missions, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Talk to Jim Green, the director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division, about NASA’s missions of exploration.
Robot Explorers, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm
Test your skills in this hands-on activity with small robots as you maneuver a robotic rover or collect samples with a robotic arm.
Mars Radar, 11:00 am to 1:00 pm
Learn how to see beneath the surface of Mars with planetary scientist Jennifer Whitten.
MARSIS, 12:00 to 1:00 pm
Talk to planetary scientist Tom Watters about radar mapping of Mars on the European Mars Express mission.
Gale Crater, 1:00 to 3:00 pm
Talk to geologist Jon Cawley about the rocks and minerals found at Curiosity’s landing site.
HiRISE, 1:00 to 3:00 pm
See high resolution images from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter with planetary scientist Sharon Wilson Purdy.
Currently Active Mars, 1:00 to 3:00 pm
See images of recent Martian avalanches, dust devils, sand dunes, and impacts, and learn how the surface of Mars is still changing today, with planetary scientist Maria Banks.
In Exploring the Planets
Rover Driver, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Meet Mike Seibert, Lead Flight Director and Rover Driver for the Opportunity mission.
Mars Story Time, 11:00 am
Join educator Ann Caspari for story time.
TechQuest Game, 12:00 to 3:00 pm
Join educator Doug Baldwin as you become a Mars planetary geologist selecting rock samples to return to Earth.
In Space Race
Images of Mars in 3D, 12:00 to 3:00 pm
View the surface of Mars in 3D with red/blue glasses.
In Looking at Earth
Regional Planetary Image Facility, 10:00 am to 1:00 pm
Learn about the Museum’s Regional Planetary Image Facility, a NASA-funded archive of planetary imagery.
Red Planet Quiz Show, 1:30 pm
Test your Mars knowledge, with Martian of Ceremonies Billie Cullison.
At the West End
Mars Car, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm
See a Mars rover concept vehicle for future human exploration of Mars.
Bringing the Future of Space Exploration to Life: Mars Rover Concept, 11:30 am to 12:00 pm
NASA astronaut Jon McBride will talk about Kennedy Space Center’s Mars Rover Concept.
Rover concept veihcle
Using NASA-engineered science and specs, this rover was created as a traveling exhibit to inspire and educate the next generation of space explorers. Catch it at the Museum from Friday, July 21 to Sunday, July 23 afternoon.
In the Albert Einstein Planetarium
Fly to Mars Planetarium Show, 10:30 am
Learn about Mars exploration in this planetarium presentation with astronomy educator Becca Ljungren.
In the Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater
Journey to Space 3D, 10:25 am and 11:50 am
See an exciting IMAX film with thoughts on human exploration of Mars. Ticket prices apply.
National Air and Space Museum



https://airandspace.si.edu/newsroom/press-releases/national-air-and-space-museum-celebrates-“mars-day”-july-21

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