MarsFest to take place in Death Valley next month

Death Valley National Park will host MarsFest to explore and celebrate the extremes of Earth, officials said in a press release.

The events will take place March 11-12 and will feature field trips, an expo, children’s programming and a lecture series.

Scientists from NASA’s Ames Research Center, Jet Propulsion Lab, and Planetary Science Institute, along with the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute will be on hand to share their information about their fascinating research and its relationship to Death Valley, a press release said.

For decades, space scientists have come to the park to conduct research and instrument testing at planetary analog research sites—places with conditions similar to those found on other planets. Scientists will be leading field trips to some of these analog sites, including Badwater, Ubehebe Crater, and Mesquite Sand Dunes, according to the press release.

The MarsFest expo offers visitors the opportunity to talk with park rangers and scientists one-on-one while participating in hands-on demonstrations, such as viewing the sun through a special eye-protecting telescope, and operating a model Mars rover.

The event is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the Death Valley Natural History Association, the SETI Institute, NASA and the National Park Service.

For more information and a schedule of events, visit the Death Valley Natural History Association website.

Contact reporter Daria Sokolova at On Twitter: @dariasokolova77

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