Exploratorium: Home

Journey to Mars

For Immediate Release:
January 01, 2004

Media Available
Jenny Slafkosky (415) 528-4367

Journey to Mars

Live In-Museum and Online Webcast Schedule
January 4, 6-11, 13-18, 23-25, 2004
Come to the Exploratorium or go to www.exploratorium.edu/mars

In conjunction with Journey to Mars, the following themed in-museum and online Webcast schedule will be featured at the Exploratorium, in addition to weekend special events. Also, a full-scale, movable model of the actual Mars Exploration Rover (MER) from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory will be on display. Smaller robots built by Carnegie-Mellon Robotics Institute will be ready for visitor-controlled missions in 10’ x 10’ "Mars yards" inside the museum. Webcasts are live in the museum, and are also available online at www.exploratorium.edu/mars. Throughout January, see the latest images and conditions of the MER on the red planet and expect updates on scientifically significant findings. Journey to Mars is made possible through the generosity of the Jim Clark Endowment for Internet Education, the National Science Foundation, and the McBean Family Foundation. Web technology made possible by Macromedia.

The following are included in the price of museum admission:

Sunday, January 4
Journey to Mars Webcast
Introduction to Adventure
Phyllis C. Wattis Webcast Studio, 2pm
Physicist Ron Hipschman leads an introduction to what’s taking place on Mars, including an overview of past Viking and Pathfinder missions. Discover more about the Mars Exploration Rovers (MERS) and the tools they’ll use while exploring Mars.

Tuesday, January 6
Journey to Mars Webcast
View from Mars
Phyllis C. Wattis Webcast Studio, 2pm
See images from Mars, with the MER as the photographer, and find out why the red planet is red. What do sunsets look like on Mars and why does the moon appear blue? What does the night sky look like, and what does the Earth look like as seen from Mars? With planetary physicist Dr. Paul Doherty.

Wednesday, January 7
Journey to Mars Webcast
What Time is it on Mars?
Phyllis C. Wattis Webcast Studio, 2pm

Calendars differ depending on what planet you are on. The year can vary in length, and so can the day. How old would you be on Mars? We’ll tell you how to find out. We’ll explore both the Mars calendar and the Mars seasons. (It’s summer now in the southern hemisphere, where the rovers are.) With astrophysicist Dr. Linda Shore.

Thursday, January 8
Journey to Mars Webcast
Tales of A Martian Rock Climber
Phyllis C. Wattis Webcast Studio, 2pm
What would it be like to be a rock climber on the surface of Mars? How is the geology different? Would it be easier or harder to climb those rock faces in the lower gravity of Mars? Join rock climber and scientist Dr. Paul Doherty for an energetic exploration of Mars.

Friday, January 9
Journey to Mars Webcast
Getting the Message
Phyllis C. Wattis Webcast Studio, 2pm
Each MER contains nine digital cameras, and will be photographing the surface of Mars. But how will those images get back to Earth? How, exactly, will NASA change these images from black and white to color? Visitors can construct a picture just as computers do — by beginning with a grid of numbered squares, and then coloring each square either black and white, depending on the number. Also, don’t miss images from yet another eye on Mars: the Hubble Space Telescope. With physicist Ron Hipschman and possible video conference with Keith Noll (the Hubble Space Telescope) (to be confirmed).

Saturday, January 10
Journey to Mars Webcast
Camping on Mars
Phyllis C. Wattis Webcast Studio, 2pm
What would it be like to set up camp on Mars? We probably wouldn’t be roasting marshmallows around a fire — fires need oxygen and Mars has no free oxygen. And, although water would boil on the surface of Mars, it wouldn’t be hot –— it would be at the freezing point. See demos of boiling water in a vacuum. Oh! Your thin nylon tent wouldn’t be much protection from radiation on the surface of Mars, either. With Dr. Paul Doherty and educator Eric Muller.

Sunday, January 11
Journey to Mars Webcast
Phyllis C. Wattis Webcast Studio, 2pm
Explore the myths, misconceptions and urban legends about Mars, ranging from the face on Mars to little green men, from H.G. Wells’s War of the Worlds to Orson Welles’s infamous October 30, 1938 broadcast.

Tuesday, January 13
Journey to Mars Webcast
Martian Snowflakes
Phyllis C. Wattis Webcast Studio, 2pm
Dr. Paul Doherty discusses ice on Mars and how it might manifest itself in atmospheric effects, such as halos and sundogs, that also appear here on Earth. (Sundogs are the two bright spots you see on either side of the sun when there are ice crystals in the atmosphere.) Dr. Doherty “discovered” Martian snowflakes by creating them in the lab.

Wednesday, January 14
Journey to Mars Webcast
The History of Mars
Phyllis C. Wattis Webcast Studio, 2pm
Today Mars may be one of the best places to look for evidence of life other than on Earth. Dr. Linda Shore explores how Mars was perceived before — from ancient times to Galileo to the
modern day.

Thursday and Friday, January 15 & 16
Phyllis C. Wattis Webcast Studio, 2pm

Saturday, January 17
Journey to Mars Webcast
Playing Around On Mars
Phyllis C. Wattis Webcast Studio, 2pm
With its differences in gravity and atmosphere, some of our toys may not perform as we expect them to. Will a Frisbee “fris,” and will a boom box boom? We will also simulate some of the conditions on Mars right here at the Exploratorium, using swing sets and inclined planes to mimic a sense of weaker gravity. With Dr. Paul Doherty.

Sunday, January 18
Journey to Mars Webcast
Pop Culture Mars
Phyllis C. Wattis Webcast Studio, 2pm
From science fiction and toys to the invasion of Mars movies.

Friday, January 23
Journey to Mars Webcast
How Do You Look for Life?
Phyllis C. Wattis Webcast Studio, 2pm
One of the primary missions of the MERS is to look for evidence of past water on the surface of Mars. Why is the possibility of water existing on Mars so exciting to scientists on Earth? Was there ever water on Mars? How do we define life? Explore the answers with biologist Dr. Karen Kalamuck.

Saturday, January 24
Journey to Mars Webcast
Being Human on Mars
Experiments, Activities, Demos and Webcast
Skylight Area, noon - 4pm
Use your senses as though you were on Mars. What would it be like to touch, smell and hear on the red planet? Experiment and find out. Touch a speck of meteorite. What would a sunset look like on Mars? What would you weigh on its surface? Most important of all, does Mars have an odor? Investigate these questions with Exploratorium Senior Scientist Paul Doherty as he leads us on a virtual tour of Mars. Learn about the differences between life on Earth and Mars and what challenges human explorers would face inhabiting the rocky planet.

Sunday, January 25
Journey to Mars Wrap-Up
Phyllis C. Wattis Webcast Studio, 2pm
During this mission, two rovers will land on Mars. The rover Opportunity should land today. We’ll review the mission thus far and look at future missions.

Hours of Operation & New Evening Hours
Tuesday-Sunday 10am-5pm;  every Thursday evening adults only (ages 18 and up) 6pm-10pm.

$29 for adults, with lower rates for SF Bay Area residents, youth, seniors, students, teachers and the disabled. Tickets available at the door and advance tickets available online at www.exploratorium.edu/visit/tickets.

Getting Here
The Exploratorium is easily accessible by public transit. Convenient parking is available nearby. For more information, visit www.exploratorium.edu/visit/location-directions

About the Exploratorium
The Exploratorium is the global leader in informal learning, igniting curiosity and inspiring creativity in people of all ages. The world-renowned science museum creates original, interactive exhibits, on display at more than 1,000 science centers, museums and public spaces around the world. Dedicated to education reform in and out of the classroom, the Exploratorium is a premier professional development center for educators and a creator of award-winning educational resources. Since 1969, the Exploratorium has influenced generations of entrepreneurs, artists, scientists, teachers, students, children, museum professionals and everyday doers, reaching nearly 180 million people annually from around the globe. On April 17, 2013, the Exploratorium opened at Pier 15 in the heart of San Francisco's Embarcadero, where it will celebrate a new era of experiences that encourage critical thinking and awaken wonder for generations to come. For more information, visit www.exploratorium.edu/visit.

Pier 15
San Francisco
California 94111
(415) 528-4444 telephone

Contact Us:
Jenny Slafkosky (415) 528-4367