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Report: Mars water announcement expected next week
Posted: Wed, May 22, 2002, 8:48 PM ET (0048 GMT)
Mars Odyssey map of south polar water ice (NASA/JPL/Univ. Arizona) NASA is expected to reveal new evidence of water ice just below the Martian surface during a press conference next week, SpaceRef.com reported Wednesday. The report said that Jim Garvin, the lead scientist for NASA's Mars exploration program, told attendees of a Capitol Hill breakfast Wednesday that a press conference is scheduled for 12 pm EDT (1600 GMT) Thursday, May 30, to discuss the latest results from the Mars Odyssey spacecraft. SpaceRef and others speculate that the announcement will be the latest data from the gamma-ray and/or neutron spectrometer on Mars Odyssey; preliminary data released in March from those instruments suggested that extensive amounts of ice may exist below the surface. The press conference is scheduled shortly before the news embargo on articles published in that week's issue of the journal Science expires; the American Geophysical Union is also holding its spring meeting in Washington DC that week. The press conference would also coincide with the 31st anniversary of the launch of Mariner 9, the first American spacecraft to orbit the Red Planet, and whose images showed evidence of past water flows on the planet's surface.
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