These audio clips about the soon-to-launch Phoenix Mars lander are excerpts from news conferences held Thursday, Aug. 2, at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Phoenix launch is scheduled early on the morning of Sat., Aug. 4, and will land on the Martian north polar region in May 2008. The mission will explore the region's weather and water history, and determine whether the Martian north pole might have had conditions suitable for life.
More information is online at http://www.nasa.gov/phoenix .
CUT 1 - NASA'S LEAD SCIENTIST FOR MARS, MICHAEL MEYER, EXPLAINS THAT PHOENIX WILL SAMPLE SOIL AND ICE NEAR THE MARTIAN NORTH POLE, LOOKING FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THE PAST AND PRESENT.
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Length: 16 seconds
OUT: "OF YEARS"
Transcript: "The goals of the program are going to be to reveal the climatic history of the polar area and also to understand the potential microbial habitability through the seasons and through thousands of years "
2 -PHOENIX PROJECT MANAGER BARRY GOLDSTEIN, OF NASA'S JET PROPULSION LABORATORY IN PASADENA, SAYS THEY'VE TESTED THE SPACECRAFT EXTENSIVELY AND STUDIED ITS LANDING SITE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE, BUT WHEN PHOENIX LANDS ON MARS IN MAY 2008, AT 170-MILLION MILES FROM EARTH, THERE WILL BE MANY UNKNOWNS.
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Length: 18 seconds
OUT: "VERY LITTLE ABOUT"
Transcript: "The vehicle is doing everything it does on its own with no interaction with the Earth, with anybody. What we're trying to do is we're trying to take a vehicle, as I said before, that's traveling quite quickly and slow it down, orient it and get it to land safely in an area that we know very little about."