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NASA. Mars 2020 News Briefings

Date: Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Location: US,

News briefings will originate from JPL’s Von Karman Auditorium, but all media participation will be virtual. Members of the media who want to participate in any of the news conferences must contact Rexana Vizza ( no later than one hour before each briefing’s start time to ask questions over a phone line. Members of the media and public also may ask questions on social media during the events using #CountdownToMars.


All NASA TV news conferences will be available on the agency’s website and the NASA app. Briefing times listed below are Eastern and are subject to change, as are speakers:

  • 1 p.m. – News conference: Mission Landing Update, featuring:
    • Lori Glaze, director, NASA’s Planetary Science Division, NASA Headquarters
    • Matt Wallace, Perseverance deputy project manager, JPL
    • Jennifer Trosper, Perseverance deputy project manager, JPL
    • Allen Chen, Perseverance entry, descent, and landing lead, JPL
    • Kaitlin Liles, deputy chief engineer, Mars Entry, Descent, and Landing Instrumentation 2 (MEDLI2) sensor suite, NASA’s Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia
    • Ken Farley, Perseverance project scientist, Caltech, Pasadena, California


  • 3 p.m. – News conference: Searching for Ancient Life at Mars and in Samples Returned to Earth, featuring:
    • Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA associate administrator for science, NASA Headquarters
    • Bobby Braun, Mars Sample Return program manager, JPL
    • David Parker, director of human and robotic exploration, ESA’s European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC), Netherlands
    • Mary Voytek, director of NASA’s astrobiology program, NASA Headquarters
    • Ken Williford, Perseverance deputy project scientist, JPL
    • Libby Hausrath, participating scientist for returned sample science, University of Nevada Las Vegas


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