Budding artists and those with a flair for computer graphics have an opportunity to support NASA's next mission to Mars by designing a logo for the Mars Surveyor '98 orbiter and lander mission.

Anyone may enter the contest, said Cathy Davis, logo contest coordinator and a member of the Mars Exploration Program Office at JPL. "We're interested in flashy, eye-catching designs that convey the excitement of this mission to Mars," she said.

Logos, which are multi-colored and typically about the size of a person's palm, can be any shape, such as square, oval or rectangular, and depict a variety of scenes relevant to the Mars Surveyor '98 mission. "Artists should avoid adding a lot of small detail to their designs because the detail will be lost in the final format, " Davis said. Designs can include images of the orbiter and lander spacecraft, the planet Mars, the southern polar cap region in which the Mars Surveyor '98 lander will land, or the spacecraft's trajectory from Earth to Mars. Designs may also carry the institutional logos of JPL, the NASA "meatball" and Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver.

Designs will be judged on style and content, and the winning entry will become the property of JPL for use as the Laboratory sees fit, Davis said. The Laboratory also reserves the right to modify the winning design for accuracy and compliance with JPL graphics standards. Entries are due no later than February 4, and should be mailed to Cathy Davis, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Mail Stop T1129, Pasadena, CA 91109. For further information, contact Cathy Davis at 818-354-6111. The winner will be announced on February 6.

"The contest winner will have the prestige of seeing his or her creation on the Mars Surveyor '98 spacecraft, as well as on Mars Surveyor '98 memorabilia, T-shirts, coffee mugs, posters, CD ROMs and other merchandise," Davis added. "These products will be developed for educational and public outreach purposes."

For additional information about the Mars Surveyor '98 mission and logo designs from the last two missions to Mars -- Mars Pathfinder and Mars Global Surveyor -- visit JPL's Mars Missions home page at

The Mars Surveyor '98 mission is the next set of spacecraft to be launched to Mars under the auspices of NASA's Mars Surveyor Program. The mission is designed to trace the evolution of Mars' climate and search for water in the Martian soil. The Mars '98 orbiter will be launched Dec. 10, 1998, from Cape Canaveral, FL, and arrive at Mars on Sept. 23, 1999. A companion lander will be launched from Florida on Jan. 3, 1999, and touch down near the south pole of Mars on Dec. 3, 1999.

The spacecraft are in development at Lockheed Martin Astronautics in Denver, which is NASA's industrial partner for the mission. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, manages the mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, DC. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA.

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