February 26, 2010 (REVISED March 2, 2010) NASA Scientist James B. Garvin to Discuss "Mars Update" at Library of Congress, March 17

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Science, Technology and Business Division (202) 707-5664 | NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (301) 614-6627

What have scientists learned so far about Mars? Does life exist there? Will human beings someday colonize the Red Planet? NASA scientist James B. Garvin will discuss the latest findings and the Mars exploration strategy, in a lecture at the Library of Congress.

Garvin, who is the chief scientist of the Sciences and Exploration Directorate Office at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, will present “Mars Update” at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, March 17, in the Mary Pickford Theater on the third floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. The event is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are needed.

The illustrated lecture, the second in a series of programs in 2010, is presented through a partnership between the Library’s Science, Technology and Business Division and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

During the past three decades, spacecraft voyages have shown that Mars is rocky, cold and sterile beneath its hazy, sometimes pink sky. But today’s Martian wasteland hints at a formerly volatile world where volcanoes once erupted freely, meteors plowed deep craters and flash floods and rain rushed over the land. If Mars once had liquid water—or still does today in its subsurface—did any microscopic life forms exist?

Garvin, who was the lead scientist on the NASA team that restructured Mars exploration in 2000, will discuss the exploration results. Garvin has received two NASA Outstanding Leadership medals for his work developing the highly successful strategy behind the current Mars Exploration Program and also for his leadership in the formulation of the science role of the Mars Exploration Rover Mission, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and the Mars Science Lab.

Today, as the chief scientist of the Sciences and Exploration Directorate at Goddard, Garvin advises senior leaders of NASA on matters that range from how science fits into the future of human exploration of space to the basic scientific research and development priorities for the agency and center. Garvin came to NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in 1984 as a staff scientist. He received a bachelor’s degree and a Ph.D. from Brown University and a master’s degree from Stanford.

The Library of Congress maintains one of the largest and most diverse collections of scientific and technical information in the world. The Science, Technology and Business Division provides reference and bibliographic services and develops the general collections of the Library in all areas of science, technology, business and economics. For more information, visit www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/.


PR 10-040
ISSN 0731-3527