Martian Lake the Size of Connecticut - But It's a Heck of a Lot Easier to Get Here

NASA References a State That Yields Surprising Places of Discovery

Jan 09, 2004, 00:00 ET from Connecticut Office of Tourism

    HARTFORD, Conn., Jan. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- According to NASA, and as widely
 reported in the media, the land rover Spirit made a historic landing on the
 Red Planet earlier this week in a "Connecticut-sized" basin, which scientists
 think was once a massive lake.
     Although the approximate size might be the same, Connecticut has many
 characteristics different from Mars -- not to mention the more than
 3.5 million inhabitants to, as far as we know, Mars' zero population.
     "At 5,009 square miles, Connecticut is the third smallest state in the
 U.S., yet has been a state full of significant discoveries and inventions
 throughout history," said Ed Dombroskas, director for the Connecticut Office
 of Tourism. "While we may be similar in size to the Spirit landing site, I can
 say for sure: there's a lot more to do here in Connecticut. Plus it's a much
 easier trip."
     Fortunately, Earthlings won't need to travel 106 million miles to Mars to
 learn about some of Connecticut's interesting places of discoveries,
      *  Discovery Museum, Bridgeport, CT
      Visitors can become part of a team sending a mission to Mars with the
      Challenger Learning Center located at the museum, which includes several
      educational simulators.  At the core of the learning center is a two-room
      lab designed to simulate Mission Control and a Space Station. During the
      program, visitors transform themselves into astronauts, engineers and
      scientists in order to complete their mission.  For more information,
      visit or contact (203) 372-3521.
      *  Dinosaur State Park, Rocky Hill, CT
      Made by large carnivorous dinosaurs, visitors can discover 500 real
      Jurassic Period dinosaur tracks that are 200 million years old.  Enclosed
      by a geodesic dome, this is the only protected dinosaur track way in the
      world.  For more information, visit or
      contact (860) 529-8423.
      *  PT Barnum Museum, Bridgeport, CT
      The only museum that depicts the life of P.T. Barnum, a man "out of this
      world," who brought the unusual to the general public and founded the
      "Greatest Show on Earth."  Within the three floors of the museum,
      visitors will see Baby Bridgeport, a preserved elephant; the Feejee
      Mermaid, Barnum's biggest hoax; the world-famous Tom Thumb and his
      miniature equipage; Lavinia Warren, Mrs. Tom Thumb; the Pa-Ib mummy,
      buried more than 2,500 years ago; and the Lilliputian Circus.  For more
      information, contact (203) 331-1104.
      *  Science Center of Connecticut, West Hartford, CT
      Visitors can unlock their imagination as they are whisked away to other
      worlds and gaze the beauty of the night sky in the Gengras Planetarium
      located at the museum.  Couples can even get married in the planetarium
      under a starry evening or families can host an evening birthday party.
      For more information, visit or
      contact (860) 231-2824.
      *  Mark Twain House and Visitors Center, Hartford, CT
      Mark Twain knew all about traveling great distances and throughout time
      with his book, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, which was one
      of the world's first stories about time travel. Guests of the Mark Twain
      House will enjoy visiting the famed author's home, and exploring the new
      33,000-square-ft. Mark Twain Visitors Center, which recently opened in
      November 2003.  For more information, visit or
      contact (860) 247-0998.
     For other earthly activities found in Connecticut, travelers will want to
 visit the Connecticut Office of Tourism website at and click
 on its innovative 52 Getaways for suggested itineraries. In addition,
 travelers can click onto Specials -- a one-stop resource guide that includes
 options to create a personalized itinerary.  With one simple click, a list
 appears highlighting some of the hottest deals around the state.  All
 essential information -- including a description of the package, dates of
 availability, and contact information -- is clearly outlined, in addition some
 direct links are provided to each individual property and attraction mentioned
 in the package.
     For more information please call 1-800-CT BOUND (1-800-282-6863) or Visit 24/7; download releases/photography.

SOURCE Connecticut Office of Tourism