NASA Scientists Dive Deep to Learn More about Life on the Moon, Mars


MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. -- NASA and the Canadian Space Agency invite journalists and the public on Tuesday, July 14, to observe the international, multidisciplinary Pavilion Lake Research Project team as it studies the origin of rare freshwater carbonate rock structures that thrive in Pavilion Lake, British Columbia, Canada.

Reporters will have an opportunity to interview Pavilion Lake Research Project scientists from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PDT on July 14 as they study and explore the unique underwater formations and conduct research about life in extreme environments. Journalists interested in attending must register before July 13 at:

http://www.pavilionlake.com/participants/2009-media-access

A park permit is required for filming at Pavilion Lake. Reporters should e-mail Rob Enns at Rob.Enns@gov.bc.ca to obtain a permit.

Scientists believe the carbonate rock structures, known as microbialites, first were formed by microorganisms more than 2.5 billion years ago. Today, environments rich in microbialites are seen as potential analogs for the biological, geological and chemical processes of early Earth. Similar processes possibly occurred on other planets, such as Mars.

Using a combination of underwater vehicles and scuba divers, the research project blends science and technology to advance knowledge of astrobiology and examine how humans could explore the moon and Mars.

Pavilion Lake Research Project science team members, including a pair of NASA astronauts, will be available for interviews at the event.

For more information about NASA's plans lunar surface analogs, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/home/analogs.html

The Pavilion Lake Research Project science team is providing mission updates on Twitter at:

http://www.twitter.com/pavilionlake

For more information about this year's Pavilion Lake Research Project and a list of participants and partner organizations, visit:

http://www.pavilionlake.com

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