Live From Mars was active July 1996-December 1997.

L I V E F R O M M A R S - A Passport to Knowledge Project

UPDATE # 62 - December 5, 1997

PART 1: Don't miss December 10 chat with Jim Murphy!
PART 2: LFM teacher Ginny Dexter featured in upcoming LTC show
PART 3: Help choose a date for special LTC "Getting to Mars" show
PART 4: Rebroadcast of "Today on Mars" on NASA-TV
PART 5: Weather Worlds scavenger hunt reminder
PART 6: Mars Global Surveyor mission status
PART 7: Live From the Rain Forest info
PART 8: Subscribing & Unsubscribing: How to do it!


This Wednesday, December 10, at 10 a.m., PST, Pathfinder meteorologist Jim
Murphy will answer your questions about the weather on Mars compared to

Jim is a member of the Atmospheric Structure Investigation/
Meteorology Experiment (ASI/MET) team. He provided the first 30
days of Pathfinder's atmospheric data to the Weather Worlds activity. To
prepare for this chat, please read Jim's bio and journals before the chat.
They can be found at:

To participate in the Live From Mars chats it is necessary to register in
advance. For registration details go to:


On Thursday, December 11 "Sharing NASA 101" will deliver a presentation on
publishing student work online. This week's show, from 4-5 p.m., PST,
features Linda Conrad, Quest Project team member and teacher Ginny Dexter
discussing this online learning and teaching tool.

For those of you who haven't yet heard of Learning Technologies Channel
(LTC), it provides you with a location on the Internet to participate in
online courses and to remotely attend some NASA workshops and seminars.
"Sharing NASA 101" is a weekly series that focuses on Sharing NASA
projects and how to use them in your classroom. While this week's show is
the last in this series, it will restart again in January.

A primary focus of the LTC will be to broaden the uses of the Internet to
include in-service teacher training. The LTC will also provide access to
NASA projects and information. For a schedule of upcoming events go to:


An exciting event for Mars teachers is forthcoming on the Learning
Technologies Channel (LTC). Sometime on December 17, 18 or 19, NASA Mars
experts will present a special program about getting to Mars and the work
to be done once there. The program will come over the Internet with
audio/video/web, which is designed to work on newer computers with at
least a 28.8 Kbps connection. If you meet that technical criteria, get
ready to lose your socks! Past programs have been great!

Over the course of the ~90-minute program, education experts Tom Gates and
Don Scott of NASA Ames will cover about six exciting lessons, already
classroom tested. During the program, teachers will actually be doing a
few of these lessons hands-on themselves, so preprogram gathering of
simple materials is expected. Remote participation is encouraged, so
teachers can ask questions or share thoughts from afar, joining in, rather
then just watching.

Before you can mark your calendars, first help us choose a date and time
that's best for you. If you're interested in participating, please fill
out the survey at this address:


The selected date and time will be announced around December 10.


Just a reminder that if you missed the live broadcast of Program V "Today
on Mars," you'll have the opportunity to record it on Wednesday, December

Program V presents live weather data and imagery from Mars, showing what
has been learned from the Pathfinder lander and rover. These continuing
data provide students with material to analyze in math and computer
classes. The video shares what Sojourner has revealed about the actual
composition of Martian rocks, and what this implies for the question of
liquid water and the possibility of life. The video also gives a preview
of the next decade of exploration. The grade level of this one-hour
broadcast is 4-12.

NASA-TV's satellite coordinates and air times are as follows:

GE-2, Transponder 9C at 85 degrees West longitude, vertical
polarization, with a frequency of 3880 Mhz, and audio of 6.8 Mhz.

2-3 p.m., 5-6 p.m., 8-9 p.m., 11 p.m.-12 a.m., 2-3 a.m.
All times are in Eastern. NASA TV may preempt scheduled programming for
live agency events.


While you have been busy working on the data posted by classes for Weather
Worlds, questions were being generated. Remember to submit any questions
you think are interesting and challenging to: for inclusion in the Scavenger Hunt, which
begins this Monday, December 8.

Join with us as we search the Weather World data -- -- to find clues
and answers. Which location had the greatest differential in temperature
for a 24-hour period? What was the impact of being near the coast if you
lived on or near the 40-degree line of latitude? How many schools are
found at the 40-degrees N latitude (within + or - 5 degrees)? Which
location most closely followed a pattern of temperatures (relatively
speaking) found on Mars?

These answers and more are hidden in the data. Join with us as we seek the
answers to these and other questions about Worlds of Weather! **Any class
can join in the search activity. Previous participation in Weather Worlds
is not a requirement.**

The Scavenger Hunt will run from December 8-19. The challenge will be
available at three levels: elementary, middle and high school. The winners
at each level will be announced upon return from winter break. All
participants will be recognized online and with a printed certificate to
display in their school for their involvement in the Weather Worlds

For grand prize winners at each grade level there will be a truly grand
prize, related to Live From Mars and NASA's missions! Join now in
participating with classes across the country! It'll be fun and

Post questions and suggestions to:

or to the comoderators: 
   Eileen Bendixsen:
   Susan Hurstcalderone:


[Editor's note: Status report prepared by Office of the Flight Operations
Manager, Mars Surveyor Operations Project, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory]

Wednesday, 26 November 1997

Over the last two weeks, few activities other than normal aerobraking
operations have occurred on the Mars Global Surveyor mission. As of today,
the spacecraft has completed 49 orbits around Mars, including 13 passes
through the atmosphere since the resumption of aerobraking on November 7.

Currently, the spacecraft completes one orbit around Mars every 32.1
hours. This period of revolution represents nearly a 13-hour reduction as
compared to the original 45-hour orbit that Surveyor entered upon arrival
at the red planet. Predictions provided by Dan Johnston of the navigation
team show that aerobraking will continue to shrink the orbit period at an
average rate of about 14 minutes per orbit over the next week.

In other aerobraking related events, the atmospheric science team reports
an increased presence of dust in the Martian atmosphere in the southern
hemisphere. This situation will be closely monitored over the next few
weeks because global dust storms have the potential to cause large
variations in atmospheric pressure at aerobraking altitudes.

After a mission-elapsed time of 384 days from launch, Surveyor is 187.60
million miles (301.91 million kilometers) from the Earth and in an orbit
around Mars with a high point of  26,040 miles (41,907 km), a low point of
76.7 miles (123.5 km), and a period of 32.1 hours. The spacecraft is
currently executing the P49 command sequence, and all systems continue to
perform as expected. The next status report will be released on Friday,
December 12.


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