News Details

OC Parks Welcomes Back NASA’s JPL Educational Series “Mars and Stars”

(Aug. 28, 2013) -- OC Parks welcomes back NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for a series of educational public programs showcasing various deep space missions. The first event in a three-part series will visit Upper Newport Bay on Saturday, September 14 with a special presentation on Dawn Mission.

The ambitious and exciting Dawn Mission, launched in September 2007, is one of NASA’s most remarkable ventures into the solar system. The spacecraft completed an exploration of the asteroid belt Vesta, and is currently traveling to the asteroid belt Ceres. These were among the last uncharted worlds in the inner solar system prior to Dawn Mission.

Dr. Marc Rayman, Chief Engineer and Director of Dawn Mission, will deliver a special presentation titled “To Boldly Go - Well, You Know: NASA’s Dawn Mission to the Asteroid Belt.” Dr. Rayman will discuss the fascinating mission, its use of ion propulsions and the two destinations on its adventure, as well as share profound insight on how to maneuver spacecraft in deep space.

The second event in a three-part series will visit Limestone Canyon on Saturday, September 28 with a special presentation called “Climate Change Overload: Reconnecting with Planet Earth.”

Laura Faye Tenenbaum, a member of the Earth Science Communications Team at JPL, will explain NASA’s critical role in understanding climate science, Earth science, and oceanography. JPL has several missions preparing for launch that will study climate change and its effects on our planet, and Laura will discuss these missions with visitors. She will also discuss the challenges climate change presents for both scientists and non-scientists.

The final event in the series will take place at Irvine Regional Park on Saturday, October 12 from 6 to 9 p.m. Eric Blood, an Entry, Descent and Landing Systems Engineer with JPL who assisted with the landing of the Curiosity Rover will present on "Exploring Other Worlds - Mars."
Before coming to this event at Irvine Regional Park, visit the animals at the OC Zoo or ride train the Irvine Park Railroad. The OC Zoo will have free admission after 4 p.m. and will stay open until 5 p.m. The Irvine Park Railroad will be open until 6 p.m.
Following the presentations, guests will enjoy telescope stargazing and have an opportunity to meet the presenters. OC Parks will also provide a kids’ craft area with space-themed projects as we wait for the sun to set before the presentation.

JPL’s series of events are free and open to the public. The events are held outside so it is recommended to dress warmly. Join OC Parks and JPL for the perfect family adventures through the galaxy this fall.


OC Parks 2013 Mars and Stars Series

Date: Saturday, September 14

Time: 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Location: Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve

Address: 2301 University Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660

Cost: FREE

RSVP Required: (949) 923-2290,

Date: Saturday, September 28 - CANCELED DUE TO RED FLAG CONDITIONS

Time: 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Location: Augustine Staging Area

Address: Driving directions will be provided with an email confirmation after registration.
Cost: FREE

RSVP Required: Visit to register.


Date: Saturday, October 12
Time: 6 to 9 p.m.

Location: Irvine Regional Park
Address: 1 Irvine Park Road, Orange, CA 92869
Cost: FREE
For More Information: (714) 973-6835 or email