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Links to broadcast quality audio files and transcripts. David Des Marais, an astrobiologist at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif. is interviewed about the 2003 Mars Exploration Rover mission (MER). Des Marais is a member of the science operation working group of the 2003 MER mission. He is also the principal investigator for the Ames Team of the NASA Astrobiology Institute. This interview was recorded 6-2-03.

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The questions below are linked to broadcast quality as well as on-line audio files.

  1. Question One: What do the MER rovers look like? (52 SECONDS)
  2. Question Two: What are the capabilities of the MER rovers? (1:23 MINUTES)
  3. Question Three: What is the purpose of the MER missions? (53 SECONDS)
  4. Question Four: What is the timetable for the MER missions? (17 SECONDS)
  5. Question Five: Where are the rovers going to operate on Mars? (1:30 MINUTES)
  6. Question Six: Are you going to look for water or minerals and rocks, or even fossils? (52 SECONDS)
  7. Question Seven: What were the Viking missions of the 1970’s? (1:25 MINUTES)
  8. Question Eight:
  9. Question Nine:What is one of the main consequences of a thin, Mars-like atmosphere? (25 SECONDS)
  10. Question Ten: What is the MER timeline? (1:40 MINUTES)
  11. Question Eleven: Will people at home be able to see the MER missions unfold via the Internet? (53 SECONDS)
  12. Question Twelve: How much data will the MER rovers send to Earth? (40 SECONDS)
  13. Question Thirteen: What is a spectrometer? (1:40 MINUTES)
  14. Question Fourteen: What is the main thrust of the missions? (41 SECONDS)
  15. Question Fifteen: What is Beagle? (46 SECONDS)
  16. Question Sixteen: How does the Beagle mission compare to the MER missions? (1:55 MINUTES)

    Audio Archive
  17. For more information about the MER project on the Internet, visit:

    NASA will feature live Web casts of the launches on the Internet at: