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Feb 18th
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Home Things to Do Festivals MarsFest 2013 Science Festival Comes to Death Valley National Park

MarsFest 2013 Science Festival Comes to Death Valley National Park

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MarsFest 2013, a three-day annual science festival for all ages and interest levels, will be held March 1 through March 3, 2013 at Death Valley National Park in California.

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.

manly_beaconThe 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 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.

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 Nov. 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.

Event details and tentative schedule can be found at the park's "Events" page: www.nps.gov/deva/planyourvisit/events.htm or www.seti.org/marsfest2013 .

Visitors are advised to dress warmly and wear sturdy walking shoes. Winter daytime temperatures are mild in the low elevations, with cool nights that only occasionally reach freezing.

For more information, contact Death Valley NP Education and Outreach Coordinator, Amy Thickpenny, at (760) 786-3226

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