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NASA Sets Saturday Briefing For Discovery’s STS-119 Mission

March 14, 2009

Early science results from the Kaguya, Chandrayaan-1 and Chang\’e-1lunar missions and the Venus Express spacecraft will highlight the 40th
annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference March 23-27 in Houston.

The conference will include presentations on the latest findings from these missions and special sessions on the icy satellites of Jupiter and Saturn and the MESSENGER spacecraft\’s two flybys of Mercury last year. Exciting new results from a variety of planetary science disciplines also will be presented. Leading scientists from around the world will attend to discuss these and other topics at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel andConvention Center in The Woodlands, Texas.

Media may register to attend. For LPSC press information including links to the program, media advisories and contact information, visit:

http://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2009/index.shtml

Data from recent missions continue to offer space scientists worldwide new information and imagery to study. The major objectives of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency\’s Kaguya mission, launched Sept. 14, 2007, are to gather scientific data on lunar origin and evolution and to develop technology for future lunar exploration. The Chinese National Space Administration\’s Chang\’e-1 was launched Oct. 24, 2007. Its goal is to make three-dimensional images of the many lunar landforms and outline maps of major lunar geological structures.

The two-year mission of Chandrayaan-1, launched last October by the Indian Space Research Organization, is to map the lunar surface and investigate its properties.

The European Space Agency\’s Venus Express spacecraft has observed an eerie glow in the nighttime atmosphere of Venus. This imagery is showing scientists that the atmosphere of Earth\’s nearest neighbor is a place of high winds and turbulence. The spacecraft was launched Nov. 9, 2005, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

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