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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI web chat to examine Mars explorations July 18

Media Contact: Todd McLeish, 401-874-7892

KINGSTON, R.I. – June 30, 2006 – John Grant, one of the scientists coordinating the rovers used to explore Mars, will discuss the science of space exploration and answer questions about Mars during an online chat on Tuesday, July 18 at 1 p.m.

A 1986 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, Grant joined the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in 2000 and leads the day to day operations of the Mars rovers. He also is on the science team for the Mars reconnaissance orbiter and is currently working to select landing sites for the 2009 Mars rover expedition.

A service of the URI Division of University Advancement electronic communications program, online chats are free and open to the public and are accessible through the URI website.

To enter the chat, go to for instructions. Participants may submit questions in advance, but the chat will not begin until the scheduled date and time. Thirty minutes is the total time allotted for the chat. A full transcript will be posted to the University’s website at the end. Questions about web chats should be directed to the URI Publications Office at 401-874-2075.

URI’s online chats, which began in September 2004, have featured question and answer sessions with such alumni as Tom Mulligan, Los Angeles Times senior correspondent discussing the Iraq war; Academy Award-winning filmmaker Ross Kauffman talking about the making of Born into Brothels; and marine explorer Robert Ballard discussing archaeological oceanography. URI administrators, faculty and coaches have also participated in chats.

The chats are made possible through the cooperation of the URI Athletics Department and College Sports Online, hosts of the web site.