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Passport to Knowledge: "Countdown to Mars" (2003)
February 3, 2012

Target: Grades 4-10

Length: 60 minutes

Internet: http://passporttoknowledge.com   ⇒

Mars, the Red Planet, is named for the god of war. But, ironically, the exploration of Mars may help answer two of humanity's oldest and deepest questions: 1) Are we alone? and 2) Did life ever begin on another planet in our solar system? Finding out if Mars ever offered habitable environments is an adventure in which the United States and Europe lead the world, and the science, engineering and human team-work required provide an inspiring example of the peaceful uses of high technology.

COUNTDOWN TO MARS, a one-hour interactive special designed to share the process of designing, building, launching, flying and landing the Mars Exploration Rovers with students, teachers, parents and the public aired live on Thursday May 1, 2003. During the program, hosted by Bill Nye the Science Guy at DePaul University in Chicago, and linked live to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA, more than 250 youngsters worked with hands-on science activities simulating key mission milestones such as launch, landing and surface operations. They asked questions of NASA researchers on camera. This fast-paced documentary takes viewers behind the scenes to meet the unusually diverse group of men and women whose passion and hard work underpin mission success.


This program was first broadcast on NASA TV Education File Schedule May 1, 2003.

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