Phoenix Lands on Mars

Sunday, May 25, 2008
3:00 pm — 8:00 pm

Location: Kuiper Space Sciences Building

Join us as we celebrate the PHOENIX Lander's touchdown on the red planet!

UA Museum of Art
1 to 4 p.m. The University of Arizona Museum of Art invites you to celebrate the day the Phoenix Mars Lander touches down, with an afternoon of family activities. Festivities include:

* an interactive gallery game that will guide you through NASA space
artist Robert McCall’s current exhibition
* a presentation about postage stamp design given by the Postal
History Foundation in honor of McCall’s iconic stamp illustrations
* hands-on children’s activities that merge science and art
* multimedia presentation on the space project produced by the Phoenix Mars Lander team at UA

Beginning at 3 p.m., a NASA/JPL TV feed will be available in the Kuiper, Sonett, and Flandrau buildings, with PHOENIX and HiRISE* mission staff available to discuss the projects and the science.

Flandrau Science Center will present the MarsQuest planetarium show:
1 p.m., 3-2-1 Blast Off!
2:30 p.m., MarsQuest
4 p.m., Under Arizona Skies (live sky show)
Admission is free.

4 to 5 p.m. Suzanne Young
5 to 6 p.m. Sanlyn Buxner
6 to 7 p.m. Sam Kounaves
7 to 8 p.m. Mike Hecht

Kuiper Space Sciences
From 3 to 4 p.m., Maria Schuchardt will lead 10-minute tours of the Space Imagery Center (Kuiper 450), a NASA Regional Planetary Image Facility.

From 3 to 5 p.m., Eileen Chollet (Ph.D. student in the Department of Planetary Sciences) and the Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association will provide telescopes for viewing the sun on the UA Mall in front of Kuiper Space Sciences.

Our local chapter of Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS) has fun with science and makes liquid nitrogen ice cream in Kuiper Atrium on the 4th floor beginning at 3 p.m.

Educators from the Science and Math Education Center (SAMEC) will lead hands-on science activities for children in Kuiper 309 and 330.

  • Room 301: Playdough Planets (grades K-3) and Mars Balloon Lander (grades 3-5)

  • Room 309: OOBLECK (states of matter) (grades 1-6) and Volcano Breath-It’s a Gas (grades 3-5)

  • Room 329: Chemistry Magic!

  • Room 330: The Physics Factory ( will share their enthusiasm for physics through a combination of hands-on learning. The Physics Factory aims to show that physics is an exciting process of discovery and invention.

At 4 p.m., Professor William Boynton, Department of Planetary Sciences/Lunar and Planetary Laboratory and TEGA team leader, will narrate NASA/JPL coverage and watch for touchdown at 4:38 p.m.

At 5:15 p.m., Daniel Janes, Senior Data Analyst, will host the NASA/JPL television feed.

At 6 p.m., Professor Alfred McEwen, Department of Planetary Sciences/Lunar and Planetary Laboratory and Principal Investigator on the HiRISE camera, will discuss “Spying on Mars with HiRISE” in Kuiper 308. Dr. McEwen will describe the first PHOENIX lander image, expected to arrive on Earth at 6:30 p.m.

From 7 to 8 p.m., Senior PHOENIX Staff Engineer Rob Bovill reviews the PHOENIX mission.

Charles P. Sonett Space Sciences Building
The HiRISE staff will be on hand to discuss how HiRISE helped Phoenix find a landing spot and about their mission onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Please note that due to space limitations, it might standing room only with our NASA TV feed.

What to Eat?
El Saguarito will be on site vending burritos, hot-dogs, nachos, and drinks.

Parking is No Problem!
Parking is free and available, including all university surface parking lots (please be careful not to park in service or reserved spaces), metered street parking, and parking garages. The garage most convenient to the landing events is the Cherry Avenue Garage. A campus parking map is available here (PDF).

Television coverage
Comcast channel 116 (UA channel)
Cox Cable will be add the NASA channel for this weekend only to accommodate the landing broadcast.