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Countdown to Mars

Event will be virtually hosted on Zoom and Facebook live.

Countdown to Mars

Our district doesn’t only have an impact on our state, our country, and the world; it also has a unique role to play in our solar system!

Right here at home, the scientists and technicians at NASA JPL have been hard at work for years on the latest step in our exploration of the Red Planet. I’m excited to announce that on February 18, 2021 the first-of-its-kind rover named “Perseverance” will be touching down on the surface of Mars.

The Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover will search for signs of ancient microbial life, which will advance NASA's quest to explore the past habitability of Mars. The rover has a drill to collect core samples of Martian rock and soil, then store them in sealed tubes for pickup by a future mission that will ferry them back to Earth for detailed analysis. Perseverance will also test technologies to help pave the way for future human exploration of Mars.

Strapped to the rover's belly for the journey to Mars is a technology demonstration — the Mars Helicopter Ingenuity, which may achieve a "Wright Brothers moment” by testing the first powered flight on the Red Planet.

Because this historic mission was planned and built right here in our own backyard, I’m hosting a virtual event on the eve of the landing to discuss the mission with experts from JPL. We will also take questions from the community.

I hope you will consider joining us over Zoom or Facebook to learn about this phenomenal achievement in the world of planetary science, and celebrate this milestone moment for humankind.

If you would like to submit a question for our panel, please email

RSVP over Facebook