Artist's concept of NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft
Artist's concept of NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft

There is good reason Mars is named after the Roman god of war. It has been a battle getting to and researching the elusive red planet.

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., continues to lead NASA's exploration of Mars. In a pair of free lectures titled "The Odyssey to Mars," JPL's newly appointed Mars Odyssey project manager, Roger Gibbs, will discuss the challenges of Mars exploration. The first lecture will be held May 9 at JPL, and the second on May 10 at Pasadena City College.

The presentation will focus on the success of Mars Odyssey, and how learning from past mistakes assured the Odyssey spacecraft arrived on time and on target into orbit around Mars last October. Gibbs will also describe how Odyssey is unveiling the mysteries of the red planet's mineral and chemical composition and how the mission fits into NASA's broader Mars Exploration Program.

A Webcast of the lecture will be available at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 9, at .

Both lectures are open to the public and will start at 7 p.m. Seating is on a first- come, first-served basis. Thursday's lecture will be in JPL's von Karman Auditorium, located at 4800 Oak Grove Drive in Pasadena, off the Oak Grove Drive exit of the 210 (Foothill) Freeway. Friday's lecture will be at the Pasadena City College Forum, located at 1570 E. Colorado Blvd.

For more information, call (818) 354-0112 or go to .

JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

News Media Contact

JPL/Colleen Sharkey (818) 354-0372