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Symposium On Mars Sample Return Mission At AAAS Meeting

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Donald Savage
Headquarters, Washington, DC                      February 9, 1998
(Phone:  202/358-1547)

NOTE TO EDITORS:  N98-12

SYMPOSIUM ON MARS SAMPLE RETURN MISSION AT AAAS MEETING

What are the benefits of exploring Mars? Is it possible to find signs of life using robotic explorers? What are the risks of bringing a sample of the Red Planet back to Earth? These are among the issues to be discussed by a panel of scientists, including Dr. Wesley T. Huntress, Jr., NASA's Associate Administrator of Space Science, at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting and Science Innovation Exposition in Philadelphia, PA, on Feb. 15, 1998.

The panel, called "Mars Sample Return Missions: Scientific, Technical and Social Challenges," will begin at 3 p.m. Panelists are Dr. Huntress; Dr. Klaus Keil, Professor of Planetary Geosciences and Chair, Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, University of Hawaii, Manoa; Dr. Rita R. Colwell, President, University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, College Park, MD; Dr. Jonathan Y. Richmond, Director, Office of Health Safety, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA; Dr. Margaret S. Race, SETI Institute, Mountain View, CA; and Dr. John D. Rummel, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA, and NASA.

Following the symposium, the panelists will take part in a round-table discussion on the benefits and challenges of Mars sample return and will take questions from the audience.

The AAAS annual meeting is scheduled for Feb. 12-17 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. Reporters can register and obtain accreditation at the newsroom, which will be located in room 405 in the Philadelphia Marriott Hotel, 1201 Market St., after it opens on Thursday, Feb. 12.

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