NASA’s Dr Japie here to tell us about space

Dr Japie van Zyl, Solar System Exploration Director at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory is going to be at the coast to discuss the wide range of possibilities and opportunities there are in space.

Van Zyl, born and raised in Namibia, is the Director for Solar System Exploration at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Previously, he was the Associate Director of Project Formulation and Strategy. Formerly, he was the Director for JPL’s Astronomy and Physics Directorate. Van Zyl heads the Mars Curiosity project. Curiosity is a car-sized robotic rover exploring on Mars as part of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission which is to help determine whether Mars could ever have supported life, as well as determining the role of water, and to study the climate and geology of Mars.

Dr Van Zyl said: “I have had earlier this year a Skype discussion with the grade 6 learners of Narra! Primary School of Walvis Bay and I would like to engage in further discussions during my visit at the coast. I would like to extend an invitation to the youth at the coast as well as all members of the community to come and join me at the Walvis Bay Civic Centre on 15 December. I would like to inspire the children and parents of Namibia to believe that anything is possible if you set your mind on it. Come and be part of an amazing evening.”

The discussion will take place on 15 December at the Walvis Bay Civic Centre from 18:00, the event is free of charge and open to the public with the focus on the youth along with their parents. Seats are limited, therefore interested parties are asked to contact Martella Diederiks at 081 245 6062 or

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