Sundial on board new Mars rover

Astronomy and Physics University of Redlands Professor Available for the Media

WHAT: The Mars rover “Curiosity” is scheduled to launch on the Atlas V rocket this Saturday, November 26 to seek out any evidence that Mars was once habitable or could support microbial life in the past. “Curiosity” will carry the most advanced scientific gear ever used on the Red Planet’s surface, including a sundial which will allow the determination of time of day on Mars. The first two sundials went to the planet closest to Earth in 2004 on rovers “Spirit” and “Opportunity” and “Curiosity” houses the last of three sundials. University of Redlands Physics Professor Tyler Nordgren was part of the design team of the sundial and is available to comment on this timely topic.

WHEN/WHERE: The Rover “Curiosity” will be launched on Saturday, November 26, 2011 at 10:02 a.m. EST from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Dr. Nordgren is available for phone interviews as requested.

WHO: Dr. Tyler Nordgren was part of the team involved in the design on the sundial instrument that will be on the rover “Curiosity.” Before becoming an educator at Redlands, Tyler Nordgren was an astronomer at the U.S. Naval Observatory and Lowell Observatory in Arizona. Nordgren was at the U.S. Naval Observatory when the sundial project began, and has worked with fellow researchers from other universities as well as the Planetary Society, and Bill Nye.

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