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To MARS with MER - Interact

Touchdown! and Touchdown + 6!

Live Sites: Mars, NASA JPL Pathfinder Mission
Control, Science Centers and Planetariums

LIVE FROM MARS #3: July 6 and 9, 1997 14:00-16:00 Eastern.

On July 4th, NASA's Pathfinder spacecraft will land on Mars. Soon the first images from the surface of the Red Planet in over 20 years will begin returning to Earth. A little later, "Sojourner," the first-ever robotic rover to explore Mars, will roll away from the lander.

Pathfinder's mission has been the first where use of the Internet and video has allowed millions across the nation and around the world to follow its progress from launch through landing. And to honor Pathfinder's Independence Day arrival on Mars, PASSPORT TO KNOWLEDGE joins with the American Museum of Natural History in New York and other science centers and planetariums to present two live interactive telecasts linking museum visitors in New York and at selected sites around America directly to NASA experts at JPL.

"LIVE FROM MARS" will feature interactions with key members of the mission, discussing the latest images and events, and answering questions on camera "LIVE FROM MARS" will feature interactions with key members of the mission, discussing the latest images and events, and answering questions on camera from museum guests or received in real time via the Internet.

The broadcasts, which take place on July 6 and 9, 1997, from 14:00 to 16:00 hours Eastern are part of an ongoing series of "electronic field trips to scientific frontiers" produced by PASSPORT TO KNOWLEDGE, and designed to introduce young people to the excitement of understanding the Universe through hands-on activities and live connections with real-world scientists.

Program 3A: JULY 6: TOUCHDOWN!
NASA MARS EXPERTS: At NASA/JPL, guests for program 3A will include (subject to mission emergencies): Pathfinder project manager Tony Spear; mission scientist Matt Golombek; Mars Exploration Program Manager Donna Shirley; and chief engineer Rob Manning.

In New York, Hayden Planetarium Director Neil Tyson drops eggs surrounded by balloons from a museum balcony to demonstrate Pathfinder's airbag landing system. Surrounded by pterosaur fossils, Neil and astronomy educator Amie Gallagher help youngsters experiment with balloon rockets to explain how humans have learned to fly.

At COSI in Columbus, OH, (Ohio's Center of Science & Industry) former astronaut Kathryn Sullivan turns museum visitors into a "Robot Rover made of Humans" showing how hard it is to explore remote and exotic worlds with silicon intelligence. COSI's also collaborates with local CBS affiliate WBNS to host the first, live interplanetary weathercast!

In Denver, at the Museum of Natural History, planetarium director Don Asquin helps visitors use a stream table to understand features looking like ancient rivers on Mars surface, and shows how messages and images are returned from space.

From the Planetary Society's Planetfest (set for July 4, 5, 6, also in Pasadena, CA) come comments from celebrated science fiction authors, and tributes to other missions such as the Galileo spacecraft's achievements in exploring Jupiter and its icy moon, Europa -- another possible site of past or even present life in our solar system, besides Earth and Mars.

Program 3B: JULY 9: TOUCHDOWN + 6!
Program 3B will feature Matt and Donna once more, who will be joined by deputy project manager Brian Muirhead and Imager for Mars Pathfinder principal investigator Pete Smith, head of the lander imaging team.

During the July 9th program, in Wheeling, WV at NASA's Classroom of the Future, blind youngsters swim underwater and assemble space station modules, demonstrating construction techniques which may someday help carry humans to Mars.

Hosting the program in New York along with Neil Tyson are distance educator Camille Moody from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and a live audience. At NASA/JPL, David Seidel -- one of the "voices of Pathfinder" during Landing Day -- will introduce the Mars experts and explain the exciting events seen in edited reports during the telecasts.