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. Astrobot Biff Starling Prepares for Mars Landing

An Avatar's Delight

Pasadena - Jan 01, 2004
Biff Starling - one of two intrepid spacefarers in The Planetary Society's web adventure, the Astrobot Diaries - is preparing for arrival on Mars when NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit bounces down on Saturday, January 3, 2004.

"Way cool!" Exclaimed Biff. "I've got my handholds all picked out, and I'm ready to bounce!"

Bolted to each of NASA's two Mars Exploration Rover spacecraft is a mini-DVD provided by The Planetary Society to carry to the surface of Mars the names of 4 million people collected by NASA. The Astrobots, representations of robotic minifigures suited up for space, appear as part of the structure that mounts the mini-DVD onto each spacecraft.

The Planetary Society, in cooperation with the LEGO Company, designed the Astrobot Diaries as a program to enable young people and adults alike to journey vicariously to the Red Planet with the Mars Exploration Rover mission.

Biff and his counterpart Sandy Moondust on the second Mars Exploration Rover mission, Opportunity, have discussed both the excitement of exploration and the progress of the Mars Exploration Rover mission in a series of fictitious e-mails on The Planetary Society's website.

"Biff and Sandy help voice our excitement about NASA's Mars Exploration Rover missions that will soon land on Mars," said Planetary Society Director of Projects, Bruce Betts, the voice behind The Planetary Society Astrobot Corps.


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Spirit Heading To 'Home Plate'
Pasadena CA (JPL) Jan 09, 2006
Last week Spirit completed robotic-arm work on "El Dorado." The rover used all three of its spectrometers plus the microscopic imager for readings over the New Year's weekend.

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