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Celebrating the Landing of the Curiosity Rover

The Curiosity Rover, NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission, is prepped to land on the Red Planet on Aug. 5, and the UA and Tucson communities are coming together to celebrate.

In advance of the landing, Science Downtown will present “Tucson Lands on Mars" on Aug. 4, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The general public is invited to attend lectures from the UA’s finest space explorers and to engage in fun activities for the whole family.

The UA College of Science sponsored the event, which will include displays of artifacts from space exploration projects undertaken by the college. One example is the life-size mockup of the Mars Phoenix lander on loan from the UA’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory.

Also, several guest speakers will attend: Peter Smith, principal investigator of the Phoenix Mars Mission; Alfred McEwen, principal investigator of the HiRISE Mars Imaging Instrument; and Shane Byrne, co-principal investigator of the HiRISE instrument.

Other activities include volcano and crater making, planet painting, a hunt for meteorites, tours, raffles, movies, food and the opportunity to control robotic arms with science demonstrations, among other things. 

Admission is $9 for adults, $5 for children and $7 for students, seniors and military. All Groupons, including expired, will be honored.

The Science Downtown exhibit hall is located at 300 E. Congress St., on the southeast corner of East Congress Street and South Fifth Avenue.

The new rover's mission is to investigate Mars' past or present ability to sustain microbial life. To learn more, visit the Mars Science Laboratory site and the Tucson Land on Mars event page on Facebook.

Photo credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech