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Museum Hosts Viewing Party for NASA Mars Rover Landing on Aug 5

Sunday eventing MarsFest 2012 offers Mars exploration experts, family activities and big-screen viewing of the “seven minutes of terror”

SEATTLE – NASA’s latest Mars rover, the Mars Science Laboratory named Curiosity, is scheduled to land on Mars at approximately 10:30 p.m. PDT on the evening of Aug. 5 Earth time.

Artist rendering of rover Curiousity on Mars. NASA image

Beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Museum, MarsFest 2012, is a free landing party that allows the public to share the experience of NASA’s most ambitious Mars mission with some of the people who helped make it happen. The evening will include Mars-related family activities and games, Mars exploration and spaceflight engineer speakers, and a live link-up with The Planetary Society’s Planetfest 2012 in Pasadena, Calif., starring Bill Nye.

Topping the evening is big-screen, live NASA TV coverage of the spacecraft’s final approach to the surface of the planet, when it undergoes such complicated, must-make-it maneuvers that NASA spaceflight controllers have dubbed the descent as “the seven minutes of terror.” MarsFest 2012 will end at about 11:30 p.m., depending upon the NASA broadcast’s updates.

6:30 to 7:10 p.m.
Webstream of the Bill Nye Show from the Planetary Society’s Planetfest at the Pasadena Convention Center, Pasadena, Calif.
7:10 to 7:30 p.m.
“7 Minutes of Terror” and other Mars videos.
7:30 to 9:00 p.m.
“All-star” line-up of Mars and space travel experts, including five former NASA Mars Science Laboratory engineers and managers, now with the asteroid mining company, Planetary Resources; a manager from the Mars Science Laboratory rocket supplier, Aerojet; and the Dept. Chair for the University of Washinton School of Earth and Space Science.
9:00 to 11:30 p.m.
Link up with NASA live feed.

Access the NASA video, “Curiosity’s Seven Minutes of Terror,” online at:

For more information about the Mars Science Laboratory:

For more information about The Planetary Society Planetfest 2012:

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 $17 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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