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Making Our Way to Mars: Journey through Space with NASA Astronauts (Livestream)

Posted on January 26, 2021 - 10:47 AM CST

2/17/2021 (Wed) - 1:00 AM to 2:00 AM CST

Tags: Elementary | Families | General Public | High School | Informal | Middle School | Students | Webinar | Use of NASA Data | Presentation | Scientist Engagement | Student / Teacher Participation | Visualizations/ Video | Community Posts | Earth Science | Planetary Science

Event information

Making Our Way to Mars: Journey Through Space with NASA Astronauts

1-2 pm EST, February 17, 2021

Livestream open to all! Tune in on YouTube:

Event webpage:

Perseverance, NASA's newest and most advanced rover, is on target to land on Mars on February 18, 2021. How did it get there and what might it reveal about our nearest planetary neighbor?

Join NASA astronauts Mary Cleave, Paul Richards, and Alvin Drew on a virtual field trip from Earth to Mars with stops in between to learn how this mission got off the ground and why it’s so significant for us back here on Earth.

The tour will be piloted by Carter Emmart, the American Museum of Natural History’s Director of Astrovisualization, using OpenSpace, a NASA-funded open-source visualization software. Bring your questions to be answered on-screen and also in the chat by Lunar and Planetary Institute scientists Dr. Candice Bedford and Dr. Germán Martínez!

Set a reminder to tune in on the OpenSpace YouTube channel at 1 pm EST:

About this program

This program is brought to you in partnership with OpenSpace at the American Museum of Natural History, USRA STEMaction Center, and the Lunar and Planetary Institute.

For other programs and student activities, visit the USRA's event series webpage.

About the presenters

Mary L. Cleave, retired NASA Astronaut

Mary Cleave is an environmental engineer who served at NASA from 1980 to 2007, when she retired as Associate Administrator for Science. A veteran of two Atlantis space shuttle flights, Cleave flew as a mission specialist aboard STS-61B in 1985 and STS-30 in 1989, logging more than 10 days in space. In 1989 she deployed the Magellan Venus exploration spacecraft, the first U.S. planetary science mission since 1978, and the first planetary probe to be deployed from the Shuttle. Magellan has been one of NASA's most successful scientific missions providing valuable information about the Venusian atmosphere and magnetic field. She led the project that developed the first global measurement of plant life on Earth.

Paul W. Richards, retired NASA Astronaut

Paul W. Richards is a mechanical engineer with degrees from Drexel University (’87) and the University of Maryland (’91). He worked on the Hubble telescope project as a designer of crew aids and tools and boarded the Discovery shuttle for his spacewalk in March 2001. Paul flew on STS-102 and has logged more than 307 hours in space, including 6.4 EVA hours.

B. Alvin Drew, Jr., NASA Astronaut

Alvin Drew didn't always want to be an astronaut, but after watching the Apollo 7 mission, he knew what he wanted to do with his life. His flying career began at the United States Air Force Academy. In 2000, Alvin was selected as a mission specialist by NASA, and flew on the Space Shuttle Discovery in 2011, NASA’s final Shuttle flight.

Carter Emmart, Director of Astrovisualization, American Museum of Natural History

Since 1998 Carter has directed the museum's space show productions and the development of interactive software to explore the museum's Digital Universe 3D Atlas. Beginning in 2015, he has been the creative lead on OpenSpace, a NASA-supported, open-source, interactive data visualization software that will be used for this program. He studied geophysics at the University of Colorado in the 1980s and in 2006 received an honorary Ph.D. from Sweden's Linköping University, a development partner in OpenSpace. Carter grew up in a family of artists and began taking classes in astronomy at the old Hayden Planetarium at age ten.

About the chat experts

Dr. Germán Martínez, staff scientist, Lunar and Planetary Institute

Dr. Martinez is a team member of the ongoing Mars Science Laboratory mission, and Co-Principal Investigator of the upcoming Mars 2020 mission, expected to touch down on February 18. He is interested in the Martian weather, with focus on the water and radiative environment and dust dynamics.

Dr. Candice Bedford, planetary scientist, Lunar and Planetary Institute

Dr. Candice Bedford is a planetary scientist at the Lunar and Planetary Institute and NASA Johnson Space Center. Candice studies the ancient and modern geology of Mars as a collaborator on the NASA Curiosity rover science team and works as part of the NASA SAND-E Mars analog mission in Iceland to help prepare for the Mars 2020 mission due to land on February 18.