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Death Valley, CA--Join Death Valley NP for the second annual MarsFest (formerly Mars and the Mojave) March 1 - March 3, 2013.MarsFest is an annual science festival for all ages and interest levels held in Death Valley National Park.The festival is a partnership between the National Park Service and several NASA centers and NASA-sponsored research arms (the Carl Sagan Center/SETI Institute, Ames Research Center, Goddard Space Flight Center, and the Jet Propulsion Lab)to bring scientists and the public together to explore our nation's forays into space.
MarsFest 2013 will feature guest lectures by planetary scientists; field trips to other-worldly sites in the park, an Expo with information booths, instrument demonstrations, kids' activity tables, and ranger talks/guided hikes for novice space explorers.The festival will culminate in a panel discussion on the future of planetary exploration, on earth and beyond.
Death Valley National Park encompasses some of the most extreme environments on the planet.For decades, planetary scientists have come to the park to conduct research and instrument testing. The goal of MarsFest is to raise public awareness about planetary research taking place on Earth as well as celebrate the scientific endeavor of the Mars Science Laboratory Mission, which launched successfully on November 26, 2011.A suite of instruments, mounted on the Curiosity rover, is helping to determine if Mars can currently sustain or has ever supported life.Several of Curiosity's instruments and experiments were designed by scientists who have worked in Death Valley, and will be participating in the festival.MarsFest will give insight into these excursions into space and about Curiosity's findings since landing on Mars in August 2012.
We encourage you to join us in celebrating the scientific heritage of Death Valley, while learning more about the research going on here, on Mars, and beyond.Event details and tentative schedule can be found at our "Events" page: http://www.nps.gov/deva/planyourvisit/events.htm, or http://www.seti.org/marsfest2013.
For more information, contact Death Valley NP Education and Outreach Coordinator, Amy Thickpenny at 760-786-3226.