Weekly Space Hangout: June 27 2018: Space News Roundup

Hosts:
Fraser Cain (universetoday.com / @fcain)
Dr. Paul M. Sutter (pmsutter.com / @PaulMattSutter)
Dr. Kimberly Cartier (KimberlyCartier.org / @AstroKimCartier )
Dr. Morgan Rehnberg (MorganRehnberg.com / @MorganRehnberg & ChartYourWorld.org)

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Star Trek’s Geordi LeForge Explains NASA’s new MAVEN Mars Orbiter

Star Trek actor LeVar Burton Shares MAVEN’s Story in a New NASA public service announcement (PSA). Credit: NASA
Watch the PSA below[/caption]

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL – Star Trek actor and space enthusiast LeVar Burton stars in a new action packed NASA public service announcement (PSA) about the agency’s next Mars-bound spacecraft, the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft slated for blast off in barely two days time on Nov. 18 from the Florida Space Coast.

Burton played the beloved character of chief engineer ‘Geordi LeForge’ aboard the legendary Starship Enterprise on “Star Trek: The Next Generation” – known by audiences worldwide.

And Burton gives an appropriately other worldly narration in the NASA PSA containing exciting new animations explaining the goals and science behind the MAVEN Mars orbiter and how it will accomplish its tasks.

I was privileged to meet chief engineer ‘Geordi LeForge’ at a prior NASA launch event.

He is genuinely and truly dedicated to advancing science and education through his many STEM initiatives and participation in educational programming like the NASA PSA.

MAVEN will study the Red Planet’s atmosphere like never before and in unprecedented detail and is the first mission dedicated to studying Mars upper atmosphere.

MAVEN’s is aimed at unlocking one of the greatest Martian mysteries; Where did all the water go ? And when did the Red Planet’s water and atmosphere disappear ?

MAVEN’s suite of nine science instruments will help scientists understand the history, mechanism and causes of the Red Planet’s dramatic climate change over billions of years.

Burton’s PSA will be used at MAVEN scheduled events around the country and will also be shared on the web and social media, according to NASA. The goal is to educate the public about MAVEN and NASA’s efforts to better understand the Red Planet and the history of climate change there.

Be sure to check out the new video – below:



Video caption: NASA is returning to Mars! This NASA Public Service Announcement regarding the MAVEN mission is presented by LeVar Burton in which he shares the story about NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution mission—or MAVEN—and how it will explore Mars’ climate history and gather clues about the question scientists have been asking for decades. MAVEN will look at specific processes at Mars that led to the loss of much of its atmosphere…and MAVEN data could tell scientists a lot about the history of climate change on the Red Planet.

“NASA is thrilled to have LeVar Burton explain this mission to the greater public,” said Bert Ulrich, NASA’s multimedia liaison for film and TV collaborations in a NASA statement. “Thanks to Burton’s engaging talents and passion for space exploration, audiences of all ages will be able to share in the excitement of NASA’s next mission to Mars.”

MAVEN is targeted to launch Monday, Nov. 18 at 1:28 p.m. EST atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

You can watch the launch live on NASA TV

Stay tuned here for continuing MAVEN and MOM news and Ken’s MAVEN launch reports from on site at the Kennedy Space Center press site.

Ken Kremer

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Learn more about MAVEN, MOM, Mars rovers, Orion and more at Ken’s upcoming presentations

Nov 15-20: “MAVEN Mars Launch and Curiosity Explores Mars, Orion and NASA’s Future”, Kennedy Space Center Quality Inn, Titusville, FL, 8 PM

Dec 11: “Curiosity, MAVEN and the Search for Life on Mars”, “LADEE & Antares ISS Launches from Virginia”, Rittenhouse Astronomical Society, Franklin Institute, Phila, PA, 8 PM