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Classrooms Invited to Join 'Saturn Smackdown'

Classrooms Invited to Join 'Saturn Smackdown' Montage of Saturn and some of its moons. Image credit: NASA/JPL Full caption

September 30, 2010

How do scientists and engineers plan a NASA mission from conception to launch and successful arrival at a planetary destination? It takes a lot of people working together as a team!

Classrooms can participate in "Saturn Smackdown," a live humorous debate featuring a scientist and engineer from the Cassini Mission at Saturn on Monday, Oct. 4, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. (Pacific Time). Trina Ray, who works in the Cassini Science Project Office, and Todd Barber, the mission's lead propulsion engineer, will give students a taste of the healthy intellectual debate that occurs while mission teams plan space events.  During the program, classrooms can email questions and suggested mission plans for Trina and Todd to perform. Please include your school name and grade level.

The Saturn Smackdown will be performed live at the Division of Planetary Science meeting at the Pasadena Convention Center.  A student audience at the meeting will also participate in the program.

Classrooms can watch the Smackdown live at

Teachers can email questions during the program to . They can also ask questions using the chat box on the Ustream page.

To learn more about the Cassini mission, go to