The John J. McCarthy Observatory in New Milford will hold its next “Second Saturday Stars” program March 12 from 7 to 9 p.m.

The topic will be held “Robotic Exploration of the Solar System,” which was scheduled for February but postponed due to inclement weather.

Kyle Cloutier, a mission operations engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the world’s leader in robotic space exploration, will be the guest speaker.

Cloutier, a graduate of New Milford High School and a longtime volunteer at observatory, is involved in the science planning for two long duration missions, the Mars Exploration Rover “Opportunity” and the Saturn orbiter “Cassini.”

Both missions are celebrating 12 years on station in 2016.

Speaking from Pasadena, Calif., Cloutier will provide an overview of the missions, including the challenges of operating a robot on a cold, dusty planet and a spacecraft billions of miles away in deep space.

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