NASA’s Voice Of Mars Probe Steve Squyres To Speak At SIUE Feb. 17

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“Spirit and Opportunity” have always been prominent in the life of Steve Squyres, the NASA scientist best known as the face and voice of the Mars exploration mission including the pioneering and spectacular drive across the Red Planet’s surface by two high-tech robotic rovers.

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During Steve’s appearance Feb. 17, the audience will enjoy never before seen photos of the Mars surface taken by those rovers.

“Spirit and Opportunity” have always been prominent in the life of Steve Squyres, the NASA scientist best known as the face and voice of the Mars exploration mission including the pioneering and spectacular drive across the Red Planet’s surface by two high-tech robotic rovers.

As the acclaimed scientist and principal investigator of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program from 1988 to 2004 when the mission came to fruition, Squyres will be on campus as part of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Arts & Issues series Feb. 17, with a theme of “Roving Mars: Spirit, Opportunity and the Exploration of the Red Planet.” He will appear at 7:30 p.m. that Wednesday in Meridian Ballroom, on the first floor of SIUE’s Morris University Center.

Squyres, who currently is the Goldwin Smith Professor of Astronomy at Cornell University, will detail to the Arts & Issues audience how he turned what seemed like an improbable dream into a successful $800 million reality. He will discuss the risks taken, the mistakes made and how the project’s goals were ultimately achieved.

Arts & Issues series Coordinator Grant Andree says he is excited about Squyres’ presentation. “During Steve’s appearance Feb. 17, the audience will enjoy never before seen photos of the Mars surface taken by those rovers,” Andree said. “Our patrons may recall how similar NASA photos ignited a firestorm of interest in space exploration at the time of the mission.

“If you’ve never seen NASA’s Mars photos before, you are in for a visual treat.”

In addition to his teaching duties at Cornell, Squyres has served as chair of the NASA Space Science Advisory Committee and participated in many of NASA’s exploration missions. By applying his experience from the Mars mission in the corporate world, Squyres provides fresh approaches to managing large teams, working together under pressure and operating effectively in unpredictable environments.

Tickets for “Roving Mars: Spirit, Opportunity and the Exploration of the Red Planet” are $27; SIUE employees and retirees, as well as all senior citizens, $25; SIUE students, $13. Ticket information, subscription rates and ticket sales are available on the Web site: artsandissues.com, or by calling (618) 650-5774.

Editors: Most of the 2009-10 Arts & Issues photos suitable for print are available at http://www.siue.edu/artsandissues/PhotoIndex.shtml

The next Arts and Issues series appearance will be:
Malashock Dance—Thursday, April 1, 7:30 p.m., Dunham Hall Theater (LIMITED SEATING)
Dynamic, emotionally charged choreography executed by magnificently trained dancers are signatures of the Malashock Dance Co. The troupe’s repertoire includes more than 60 original works that have mesmerized audiences and epic works that have interpreted human struggles, with charming and intimate, often playful, pieces that convey the intricacies of relationships. Mike Mizerany, a product of the SIUE dance program, is the group’s associate artistic director.

Each year, under the guidance of the SIUE College of Arts and Sciences, the Arts & Issues series brings some of the best and brightest performers and speakers from around the world to Southwestern Illinois audiences for entertaining and thought-provoking presentations on the SIUE campus.

The SIUE College of Arts and Sciences combines foundational education with diverse and highly-specialized coursework. Faculty help students explore diversity of ideas, experiences and people while learning to think and live as fulfilled, productive members of a global society. The College offers degree programs in the arts, humanities and social and natural sciences.

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville is a nationally recognized public university offering a broad choice of degrees and programs ranging from career-oriented fields of study to the essential, more traditional, liberal arts. At SIUE we offer 44 baccalaureate degrees, 13 post-baccalaureate certificates, 47 master's degrees, 11 post- master's certificates, two first-professional degrees, and one post-first professional certificate. Known for an emphasis in health science education, SIUE offers a nursing school, pharmacy school and dental school. Additionally undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificates are available in engineering programs, business programs, elementary education programs and secondary education programs.

SIUE offers the advantages of a small, liberal arts college with the low tuition rates of a state university. Our emphasis on undergraduate education, complemented by faculty research, creates practical applications for student learning. Located in the second most populated area of the state, this Illinois university draws students from all 102 Illinois counties, 42 states and 50 nations.

One of 12 Illinois colleges and universities, SIUE is located on 2,600 acres of rolling hills and woodlands in Edwardsville, just 25 miles from St. Louis, a major metropolitan area. Proximity to the St. Louis area enhances SIUE’s energy and vitality. The campus is easily accessed from several major interstates, while the city of Edwardsville offers ample opportunity for jobs, entertainment, shopping and fun.

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Greg Conroy

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