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Mars Rover Curiosity Landing @ NASA Ames Research Center

NASA's Ames Research Center

Sunday, August 5, 2012 at 5:00 PM - Monday, August 6, 2012 at 12:00 AM (PDT)

Mountain View, CA

Mars Rover Curiosity Landing @ NASA Ames Research...

Ticket Information

Type Remaining End Quantity
General Admission
Due to the popularity of the Ames MSL Curiosity public event, this last group of tickets will fill the event to capacity. No further tickets will be made available, and there will be no overflow admission on the site.
Sold Out Ended Free  

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Share Mars Rover Curiosity Landing @ NASA Ames Research Center

Event Details

 Due to the popularity of the Ames MSL Curiosity public event, this last group of tickets will fill the event to capacity. No further tickets will be made available, and there will be no overflow admission on the site.

Ames is going to Mars, and you’re invited to join us!

Registration Required. Capacity limited to 5,000.

Share an historic evening of Mars exploration at Ames Research Center.


NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) spacecraft with the Curiosity rover is scheduled to arrive on the Martian surface at 10:31 p.m. PDT on Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012. Curiosity will search for evidence Mars had environments and chemical ingredients favorable for microbial life.

Ames is playing a vital role in Curiosity’s mission. Come talk to the scientists and engineers who are helping make this exciting mission possible, and learn about Ames’ contributions:


• Chemistry and Mineralogy instrument (CheMin): Ames scientists developed this instrument to identify and quantify the minerals in Martian rocks and soils.

• Mars Science Laboratory InterfaCE (MSLICE): Ames engineers developed a software tool in collaboration with engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., to plan the science activities of the Mars rover and maximize scientific research.

• Phenolic Impregnated Carbon Ablator (PICA): Ames researchers invented the unique thermal protection system consisting of tiles made of phenolic impregnated carbon ablator (PICA) that the MSL spacecraft will use to safely reach the surface of the Red Planet; Ames’ engineers tested PICA in Ames’ unique Arc Jet facility.

• Mars Science Laboratory Entry, Descent, and Landing Instrument (MEDLI): Engineers from Ames and NASA’s Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va., collaborated to design and build sophisticated plugs with multiple temperature sensors that measure atmospheric conditions and performance of the heat shield.

• Wind tunnel testing: Ames engineers conducted a full-scale MSL parachute deployment, small-scale verification tests, as well as supersonic tests to study the interaction between the MSL Capsule and parachute during atmospheric entry. 

• Booths also provided by Hiller Aviation Museum, Exploratorium, SETI Institute, and much more!

Event Schedule:

4 p.m.: Doors open. Grab a snack at one of the gourmet food trucks.

5 – 8 p.m.: Ames Expo - The Ames Community will exhibit its contributions to the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Mission. Explore booths and displays, meet scientists, and learn how they helped make this exciting mission possible. Did you know that we helped develop the largest supersonic parachute, or what the CheMin instrument is looking for?  Come find out!

7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.: The Curiosity Story of Ames: Several scientists, including Chris McKay, Ames’ ;senior scientist and renowned Mars expert, will deliver presentations and share their stories about Mars and why we are so curious about it!

9:00 p.m. – midnight: NASA TV Live Broadcast - we will tune in to the control room at JPL to find out what’s happening as the Curiosity mission unfolds and learn what happens next in NASA’s incredible journey to Mars.

Register for your tickets now and join us in this historic event celebrating the Mars Rover Curiosity and the important role played in the mission by NASA Ames and Silicon Valley.

Additional Event information will be emailed prior to event.

Have questions about Mars Rover Curiosity Landing @ NASA Ames Research Center? Contact NASA's Ames Research Center

When & Where

NASA Ames Research Center

Mountain View, CA 94035

Sunday, August 5, 2012 at 5:00 PM - Monday, August 6, 2012 at 12:00 AM (PDT)

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NASA's Ames Research Center

NASA's Ames Research Center, located at Moffett Field, California, was founded Dec. 20, 1939, as an aircraft research laboratory by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) and in 1958 it became part of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Ames, one of 10 NASA field installations, is located in the heart of California's Silicon Valley at the core of the research cluster of high-tech companies, universities and laboratories that define the region's character. With over $3 billion in capital equipment, 2,300 research personnel and a $600 million annual budget, Ames' economic impact is significant. Ames plays a critical role in virtually all NASA missions in support of America's space and aeronautics programs.

As a leader in information technology research with a focus on supercomputing, networking and intelligent systems, Ames conducts the critical R&D and develops the enabling technologies that make NASA missions possible. Ames also is a leader in nanotechnology, fundamental space biology, biotechnology, aerospace and thermal protection systems, and human factors research. Ames research in astrobiology focuses on the effects of gravity on living things, and the nature and distribution of stars, planets and life in the universe.

In addition, Ames works collaboratively with the FAA, conducting research in air traffic management to make safer, cheaper and more efficient air travel a reality. Ames engages in information and education outreach, forms collaborative partnerships, and fosters commercial application of NASA technologies. Ames is developing NASA Research Park, an integrated, dynamic research and education community created to cultivate diverse partnerships with academia, industry and non-profit organizations in support of NASA's mission.

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