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Celebrate the Next Mars Landing with the Planetary Society

Curiosity, the big new Mars Science Laboratory Rover, will lower itself to the surface of Mars on the night of Sunday, August 5, 2012. It’s a great reason to party! So the Planetary Society will welcome thousands of space enthusiasts to the Pasadena Convention Center on Saturday and Sunday, August 4 and 5, for a celebration that will climax with live coverage of the landing.

The Society has made exciting events in space the inspiration for many past Planetfests. Now it has captured the enormous potential of this mission with the title “Curiosity Knows No Bounds.” The jam-packed two-day schedule features many appearances by Planetary Society Chief Executive Officer Bill Nye The Science Guy. Bill will welcome passionate Mars scientists, engineers, entertainment industry stars, and the men and women who have dedicated their hearts and minds to the success of Curiosity.

A special tribute to the late Ray Bradbury will feature dramatic readings of the writer’s work, and an examination of how his passion inspired entire generations of space explorers.

Top NASA and Jet Propulsion Lab officials will drop in to share their plans and dreams, while popular Planetary Society blogger Emily Lakdawalla will talk with outstanding members of a new generation of scientists and engineers who will lead planetary exploration in the years to come. Stars of space and screen will include NASA Planetary Science Division Director Jim Green, Star Trek and Stargate star Bob Picardo, JPL Director Charles Elachi, and best-selling author Andrew Chaikin.

A Kids and Family Science Activity Zone both days will give young people opportunities for hands-on science and demonstrations overseen by Bill Nye. The Saturday program on the main stage will be dominated by family-friendly speakers and topics.

The Space Art Gallery will do more than exhibit the work of the world’s most famous space artists. Visitors will watch as these artists create their amazing visions of the universe.
The celebration will reach a nail-biting finale as attendees follow Curiosity’s landing live on giant screens, with commentary from NASA and our onstage experts.

Bill Nye invites everyone to join the adventure. “Unless you’re in the JPL mission control room, Planetfest will be the most exciting spot on our planet! I’m looking forward to a two-day blowout inspired by the passion, beauty and joy of planetary science.”

“Planetfest 2012: Curiosity Know No Bounds” will be held in the Exhibition Hall of the Pasadena Center at 300 East Green Street. Hours are 9:30am to 5:00pm on Saturday, August 4, and 2:00pm to at least 11:30pm on Sunday, August 5.

Early Bird tickets are available till July 15, with adult passes at just $33 for one day, or $60.50 for Saturday and Sunday. Seniors and members of the Planetary Society can take advantage of substantial discounts. Young people 9 to 17 get in for less than half the cost of an adult ticket, while children 8 and under are free! Visit planetfest.org for more information and to purchase tickets.

Space enthusiasts around the world can share the fun and excitement via the live Planetfest webcast. Planetfest satellite gatherings are also being planned in many cities. Planetfest.org will have the complete rundown of events, and a link to the Pasadena webcast. The website will also be the place to go for ongoing announcements of new Planetfest events, guests and activities.

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