Mars Is Hot in June at Flandrau

May 7, 2001

The Quest To Explore Mars

We are in the midst of a decade of Mars exploration that is providing insights into the past, present, and future of both Mars and our own planet Earth. As we explore the "Red Planet," its polar ice caps, sprawling extinct volcanoes, vast meteorite craters and huge canyons dazzle us. Space missions such as Mariner, Viking, Pathfinder and Mars Global Surveyor have provided us with some of the most spectacular images and information ever obtained about this mysterious planet. The Mars Odyssey mission (launched in April 2001 and arriving October 2001) will give us an even closer look at Mars as it explores for water, maps minerals and elements in the soil, and tests for radiation that could hamper future human exploration.

The Show

MarsQuest was created by Loch Ness Productions in collaboration with the Space Science Institute of Boulder, Colo., with funding from the National Science Foundation. It is a supplemental component of MarsQuest, a traveling exhibition, which will debut at Park Place Mall in Tucson on June 1. MarsQuest is part of one of the largest public outreach projects ever produced by the planetary science community.

The planetarium show will surround the audience with colorful and beautiful images of Mars and its surface features, along with information about the history of observation and exploration of the "Red Planet". Dramatic narration describing past and present discoveries and future plans about Mars comes from Patrick Stewart, known for his role as "Captain Jean-Luc Picard" in the Star Trek television series and movies.

The planetarium show is comprised of four sections:

  • "Homage," traces Mars through history.

  • "Mars In Focus" details the Mars of our time.

  • "Mars In The Future" examines where on Earth we can prepare to live on Mars, what will be needed to get crewed missions there, and what the first landing may be like.

  • The show ends with "Rhapsody On A Red Planet," a poetically styled "Ode To Mars."

The planetarium program is 50 minutes long, including a live star talk at the end of the show.

MarsQuest will run indefinitely, replacing Flandrau's most recent signature planetarium show, Clouds of Fire, in the regular schedule. The planetarium's summer show schedule, which adds weekday matinees, will begin on June 11th, and will run through August.

Planetarium admission charges include free admission to the Flandrau Science Center science exhibit hall. The summer exhibit will be "Fun-2-3-4: all about a number of things!"

MarsQuest - The Exhibit

The 4500 square foot MarsQuest exhibit will open at Park Place Mall on Tuesday, June 1. The Tucson Children's Museum and SciEnTeK-12 are sponsors. Those attending the MarsQuest Planetarium Show at Flandrau Science Center will receive a discount coupon for the MarsQuest exhibit. The Tucson Children's Museum also will offer exhibit patrons a discount coupon for the planetarium show.

Flandrau Science Center

The mission of the Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium, a division of the College of Science at the University of Arizona, is to provide the community with a unique and stimulating approach to exploring science. In addition to its "Star Theater" planetarium, the Flandrau Science Center features topical, hands-on science exhibits packaged with a dynamic array of creative programs, including those that showcase UA science research. The Center also has an observatory that is open to the public several nights each week, "whiz-bang" science demonstrations designed to teach scientific principles in a unique way and many special programs geared to specific age groups. Flandrau Science Center, established as a result of a bequest from the late Grace H. Flandrau of Minnesota, recently celebrated its 25th year of service to the UA campus and the communities of Southern Arizona.

Flandrau Science Center's multimedia Star Theater provides a unique and entertaining educational experience. With 8600 stars, galaxies, the Sun, the Moon, the planets, meteors, 30 projectors, two video systems and a massive sound system, it is a central component of Flandrau's mission to "make science fun!"


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