Visit Mars Via Downey - NBC Southern California

Visit Mars Via Downey

The Columbia Memorial Space Center pays homage to the Red Planet.



    Your Perfect Day at the Ballgame
    July 19 is Mars Day at the Columbia Memorial Space Center in Downey.

    Though there are no clocks or calendars or time-keepers or Day-Timers on the planet Mars -- as far as we know -- there is a recent interesting trend among we earthlings here on planet Earth. (You probably guessed which planet we'd name when you read "we earthlings.")

    And that trend is this: Mars time is summertime. Well, summertime for the Northern Hemisphere (not to get Northern Hemisphere-centric) and winter for the Southern. Why? Because a lot of the recent Rover and Pathfinder action from the last few decades have served as major July and August events.

    Oh, Curiosity. Remember the amazing August night waaaay back in '12 when you plunked down in that crater on the Red Planet? We do, too.

    Sigh. Memories.

    So celebrating Mars Day in July feels right on target. So much so that the Mars Society of Los Angeles is teaming up with the Columbia Memorial Space Center in Downey to fete our nearest planetary neighbor on Saturday, July 19.

    Whoops. Did that make the moon feel kind of sad, when we said "nearest planetary neighbor"? You totally get what we mean, dear lunar satellite, right? No hurt feelings.

    The Earth's "tiny, rusty brother in our solar system" will get a cosmos-sized share of attention during Mars Day. Activities include a look at various rovers that have made the Big Hurtling Journey Through Space (that just needed some capital letters) and driving "a model rover over simulated Martian terrain."

    Fun fun. And now we're jealous. Surely there's a flooring company that will install simulated Martian terrain in one's living room or den? 


    For all this and more Martian goodies, look to Downey on July 19. Admission? Five dollars, a bargain for a day of delightful space science.

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