The American Museum of Natural History is hosting an online day of live events in honor of the Red Planet. MarsFest will celebrate Friday’s scheduled launch of NASA’s mission to Mars. Beginning at 10 a.m. ET on Wed., Jul. 29, MarsFest at Home will offer a varied slate of programming, including: a special edition of the Museum’s Scientists at Home program with Museum Curator and meteoriticist Denton Ebel on what to expect from the latest mission in NASA’s Mars Exploration Program; a live guided virtual flight with Caltech professor and NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Research Scientist Bethany L. Ehlmann and the Museum’s Director of Astrovisualization Carter Emmart to the locations on Mars that Perseverance is targeting; and a space comedy jam featuring Marcia Belsky, Jay Jurden, Pooja Reddy, Chris Duffy, and Karen Chee. 

MarsFest

MarsFest programming, which will be accessible via individual links available at amnh.org/calendar/mars-fest and below, includes:

10 am: Scientists at Home: Mars 2020—Live Watch Party: On July 30, NASA is planning to launch the Mars 2020 mission and send the Perseverance rover to collect samples from the Red Planet’s rocky surface in search of signs of ancient life. Join a live session with Museum Curator Denton Ebel, chair of the Division of Earth and Planetary Sciences, to find out what to expect from the latest, long-awaited mission in NASA’s Mars Exploration Program—including how it may help advance human exploration of our neighboring planet.  

1 pm: Field Trip–Mars 2020: As part of NASA’s Mars 2020 mission, the Perseverance rover will launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida. What could this mission tell us about water and life on the Red Planet? Caltech professor and NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Research Scientist Bethany L. Ehlmann will lead us on a virtual field trip to the very locations that Perseverance is targeting to help answer these questions. Dr. Ehlmann will be joined by the Museum’s Director of Astrovisualization Carter Emmart and scientists in the chat to answer your questions live on YouTube.

8 pm: Space Comedy Jam: Tune in to a livestream comedy show celebrating all things space! As part of MarsFest, a stellar lineup of comedians will perform stand-up and funny songs, as well as play space-related games with you, the audience—all from the comfort of your own home! The program features Marcia Belsky, Jay Jurden, Pooja Reddy, and Chris Duffy and is hosted by Karen Chee. Viewers should register for this Zoom event.

—Jennifer Swartvagher

Featured photo: American Museum of Natural History

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