PASADENA ( — You may not be able to make the trip to the Red Planet with NASA’s “Curiosity” rover, but Griffith Observatory is offering the next best thing.

Beginning Thursday, the Observatory will host three events open to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis, starting with a special screening of Triumph of the Dream, a documentary that explores the human face of the Mars Exploration Program that landed two rovers on Mars in 2004.

Immediately following the screening, filmmaker Norman Seeff will provide insight and commentary in a discussion with Griffith Observatory Curator, Dr. Laura Danly.

On Friday, the public is invited free of charge to the latest installment in the All Space Considered lecture series starting at 7:30 p.m. in the Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon Theater. Topics will include a focus on Mars exploration with special guests John Callas, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Project Manager of NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Project, and Space Journalist Leonard David.

The event calendar concludes on Sunday with Jet Propulsion Laboratory scientist Adrian Ponce hosting NASA’s live coverage of Curiosity’s landing on Mars in a free program starting at 9:00 p.m.

The Observatory will be open for this event until 12:00 midnight. However, inbound Griffith Park gates will close as usual at 10:00 p.m.

Portions of the programs will also be streaming live on the Griffith Observatory website.

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