But we do think TMwM is unique in our emphasis on the people behind the mission. (Hence the people pictures on almost every page.) Many other sites provide BIOgraphies, but few have as many or as diverse a group of scientists, engineers, technicians and support staff as this. Here's an overview of the site.
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Here's where to find BROADCAST INFORMATION with airdates, times, and content. If you're a TV STATION, it's also the place to find satellite coordinates and a registration form. TEACHERS, PARENTS AND PUBLIC also invites anyone, anywhere to watch: the programs have special "life of tape" rights for educators, courtesy of P2K's support from NSF and NASA. And if you missed the broadcasts, here's the place to find out how to ORDER TAPES/DVDs.
An introduction to Mars as a place, in 3 sections: The Red Planet, about Mars in human history; Follow the Water, which is both NASA's guiding vision for current missions to Mars, and a pretty good description of what spacecraft have been doing from orbit, and now... soon... from the ground; and Life? (the question mark is definitely required)-the Big Question which makes Mars so fascinating. Has life ever originated on another world in our solar system? The answer will help answer one of humanity's oldest questions: Are we alone?
Please note that each page has a WANT TO KNOW MORE? box, providing customized links to more information about many of the topics discussed. (Who says you can't learn anything from STARSHIP TROOPERS?)
True to our portal promise, this links directly to the most authoritative and current sources of information on the Mars Exploration Rover mission, the sites at JPL and Cornell. JPL, managed for NASA by the California Institute of Technology, also manages the rover mission, and is home base for many of the men and women you'll meet on camera and online. Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, is home to the Athena science instrument team, under Steve Squyres. "Athena" was and is the name of the suite of instruments originally designed to fly on a cancelled 2001 rover mission. Now Steve and colleagues finally get to send Athena to Mars. In addition to information about all the science instruments, you can also meet "Way Cool Scientists" working on the mission,
and there are activities designed by Bill Nye The Science Guy, host of our first and second live TV specials, COUNTDOWN TO MARS and FIRST LOOK. Be sure to check in regularly to read "This Just In", Steve Sqyures breezy insider's view of that week's happenings, the ups and the downs, of doing one of the most difficult tasks imaginable.
This section provides exclusive portraits of some of the men and women behind the mission, not just the scientists who will announce new data and stunning images, but those who design, build, test and operate the rovers. Check out the growing set of BIOgraphies We've also included links to NASA and other biographical information, where it already exists. In the course of developing TMwM we've also accumulated nearly 150 hours of tapes, including candid INTERVIEWS with many of the project leaders. Now you can sample an oral history of MER, science history in the making. Lastly, JOURNALS, a link to Steve Squyres unrivalled set of diaries dating back to 1999 and continuing, including behind the scenes accounts of launch, cruise, landing and surface operations. Also, links to Journals written by young people participating in The Planetary Society's Red Rover Goes to Mars project and Cornell's Athena Student Intern Project, ASAP: student astronauts write daily reports about getting to travel to JPL and actually work with rover scientists!
We hope you'll "get involved" with "To MARS with MER," and then stay involved, following news of the launch, cruise and landing, and-in Winter/Spring 2004-surface operations of the twin rovers on Mars. This section of the website describes the resources offered as part of "To MARS with MER" by ourselves and our partners are.
Find out how to WATCH THE VIDEOS, or send e-mail to Mars researchers and engineers through ON-AIR. Check out about VIDEO STREAMING, or if your local PBS station is planning to carry the programs. Here are also HANDS-ON ACTIVITIES
directly related to sequences in the videos: watch how NASA planned to bounce MER down onto Mars, then try to do the same... with an egg. If you lead a youth group, challenge your youngsters to "Build a Robot out of Humans" and get them personally involved in programming how to move blindfolded but safely over a landscape. Here's also information about outreach relating to Mars by our project partners, the Space Science Institute (creators of the "MarsQuest" and "Destination Mars" traveling exhibits) and DePaul University. Also check out Marsapalooza and the M-TEAM, an innovative national tour featuring 3 scientists and 3 engineers, 3 male and 3 female, who went on the road in December 2003 to spread information and inspiration about the rover mission in the exciting last month before landing! You're invited to watch, browse, ask, visit, stage community events, and generally... GET INVOLVED!
During the broadcasts, and for one hour thereafter, students, teachers, parents, informal science educators and youth group leaders will have the opportunity to submit questions in real time to researchers studying Mars and receive back individual answers via e-mail, again in real time. This section of the site provides everything you need to submit your questions to the experts including guidelines on how to ask a good question and how to submit your questions.
Portions of the NASA websites with information about the mission are in Spanish as well as English. This section links you to those resources.
NEW & NOW
"Mars constantly surprises us" say members of the MER team. That's what excites them, and what makes the exploration of the planet full of NEW & NOW information to excite all of us. Here you can find "local" and "global" news. On this Site: Here we point to new additions to this "To MARS with MER" site, which will be constantly growing and changing until summer 2004. Around the World Wide Web: Mars is of great interest to both professional astronomers and the general public. Here are links to recent press releases and news stories, articles in general and specialist publications, relating to Mars, MER, exploration, the search for life beyond Earth, and robotics. Check back every week, and we're sure you'll find lots that's NEW & NOW, on this site and around the world.
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