The Red Planet Shines at Museum of Flight Mars Fest 2011

Jan. 22 event with lectures, astronomy activities and family programs about  the exploration of Mars

Seattle – Mars Fest at The Museum of Flight was first held in January 2004 to recognize the then-recent landings of the Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity. Mars Fest 2011 celebrates seven years of amazing discoveries made possible by these robotic explorers.

NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Spirit captured this westward view from atop a low plateau where the rover spent the closing months of 2007. NASA photo.

The Jan. 22 family-friendly event will look at the exploration of Mars with a program of speakers, films, workshops and exhibits from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mars Fest activities are free with admission to the Museum.
11 a.m.      
“The Great Martian Road Trip,” a presentation by NASA Solar System Ambassador Dr. Ron Hobbs that looks at our fascination with Mars throughout history, while focusing on the wealth of discoveries from the recent Mars Exploration Mission.
1 p.m.        
Dr. Stephen Wood, from the University of Washington Department of Earth and Space Science, will speak on the climate of Mars, focusing on the planet’s history of water and other ices.
2 p.m.        
Lauren Edgar, currently with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory Mars Exploration Mission, will present some of the rover discoveries. Edgar is a Caltech graduate student and former Museum of Flight Apprentice.
3 p.m.        
Robert Zubrin, author and founder of the Mars Society, will conclude the day’s activities with a lecture about future human missions to Mars. Dr. Zubrin will be available to sign books at the conclusion of his remarks.
Other activities will be throughout the Museum. Alumni of the Washington Aerospace Scholars program will be on hand to talk about how they designed a mission to Mars during their summer residencies at The Museum of Flight. Informational booths from The Mars Society and other space- and astronomy-related groups. The Bank of America Weekend Family Workshops will offer Mars rover-themed activities for children.

The Museum of Flight is located at 9404 E. Marginal Way S., Seattle, Exit 158 off Interstate 5 on Boeing Field half-way between downtown Seattle and Sea-Tac Airport. The Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $16 for adults, $14 for seniors 65 and older, $13 for active military, $9 for youth 5 to 17, and free for children under 5. Group rates are available. Admission on the first Thursday of the month is free from 5 to 9 p.m. courtesy of Wells Fargo. For general Museum information, please call 206-764-5720 or visit

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