MarsQuest Planetarium Show Opens Thursday at Flandrau
Audiences will be treated to beautiful images of the Red Planet, plus a tour of explorations past and present.

Rebecca Ruiz-McGill
Feb. 26, 2008

A new planetarium show at The University of Arizona Flandrau Science Center gives visitors front-rows seats on a 50-minute journey to the Red Planet.

The show, called "MarsQuest," begins with a history of Mars and then moves to future exploration possibilities, including human missions, and ends with “Ode to Mars,” a poetically styled homage.

Created by Loch Ness Productions in collaboration with the Space Science Institute of Boulder, Colo., with funding from the National Science Foundation, the "MarsQuest" planetarium show will surround the audience with colorful and beautiful images of Mars and its surface features. The show is filled with dramatic narration from Patrick Stewart, known for his role as Capt. Jean-Luc Picard in the "Star Trek" television series and movies.

The show’s premier, slated for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, features Peter Smith, principal investigator for the Phoenix Mars Mission, who will provide the audience with the latest Phoenix Mission update in a special introduction to the MarsQuest planetarium.

The UA is the first public university to lead a mission to Mars. The mission launched in August and is scheduled to arrive on the Red Planet in May.

Mars space missions such as Mariner, Viking, Pathfinder and Mars Global Surveyor have provided spectacular images and information on Mars. Of paramount interest was the discovery by the Mars Odyssey Orbiter in 2002 of large amounts of subsurface water-ice in the northern arctic plain.

The Odyssey Orbiter discovery has scientists racing to the planet to answer the question of whether there ever was, is or could be life on Mars. The Phoenix Mars Mission is designed to help answer that question. Upon landing, the Phoenix Mars Mission team will study the history of water and conduct a search for complex organic molecules in the ice-rich soil of the Martian arctic.

"MarsQuest" show times are 6:30 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays, 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Saturdays, and 2:30 p.m. on Sundays.

Extra info


"MarsQuest" Premiere


Flandrau Science Center, Star Theater


Feb. 28, 6:30 p.m.

The show is $5 per person. Children under 4 are free.


For more information, call 520-621-STAR (7827) or visit the Flandrau Web site at



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Sam Kane
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Flandrau: The UA Science Center
Cell: 520-247-7279