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PASSPORT TO KNOWLEDGE - To MARS with MER

COUNTDOWN TO MARS
Thursday, May 1, 2003
13:00-14:00 Eastern

Who You Will See
Chicago
Host: Bill Nye
Guests: Nagin Cox, Wayne Lee, Jim Sweitzer

JPL
Host: Stephenie Lievense
Guests, live and on tape: Joy Crisp, John Callas, Jessica Collisson, Eddie Tunstell, Adam Stelztner

Program Description:
In 1997 NASA's Mars Pathfinder spacecraft touched down, and half a billion visitors rushed to check out related websites. In January 2004, 2 new rovers - much larger and more sophisticated - will land. But the adventure is already under way, with launches due in June and July 2003.

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 from 13:00-14:00 Eastern 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 such as Project Scientist Joy Crisp and engineer Eddie Tunstell on camera, but - during the program and for one after afterward (i.e. from 13:00-15:00 ET) - anyone, anywhere could send e-mail and get back individual answers, by going to the ON-AIR section of INTERACT on P2K's "To MARS with MER" website. Fast-paced documentary reports take viewers behind the scenes to meet the unusually diverse group of men and women whose passion and hard work underpin mission success.