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. Science Channel To Broadcast Red Planet Landing Live May 25

In what is designed to be mankind's best effort to date to find life on Mars, the rover has covered 422 million miles over the past nine months. Its mission is to help answer questions about life-supporting conditions on the planet by analyzing ice from the northern Martian arctic using a suite of onboard, state-of-the-art instruments.
by Staff Writers
Silver Spring MD (SPX) May 15, 2008
Science Channel will broadcast live coverage of mankind's next major step in Mars exploration with MARS LIVE: THE PHOENIX LANDS premiering Sunday, May 25, 2008, from 7-9 PM (ET) and 4-6 PM (PT). Originating LIVE from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. and the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, the program will give viewers a first look at photos sent back from the Mars surface.

There will also be exclusive, in-depth analysis and perspective of the mission's historic scientific implications from NASA Chief Scientist Dr. James B. Garvin, as well as firsthand reactions from scientists including Phoenix Mars Mission Principal Investigator Peter Smith.

"We're incredibly proud that Science Channel will cover this extraordinary live event and offer our audience exclusive analysis of NASA's historic mission," said Clark Bunting, president and general manager, Discovery Emerging Networks. "Science Channel's mandate is to celebrate and understand the full spectrum of science, so we're excited to offer our viewers in-depth commentary of this exciting achievement as events unfold."

In what is designed to be mankind's best effort to date to find life on Mars, the rover has covered 422 million miles over the past nine months. Its mission is to help answer questions about life-supporting conditions on the planet by analyzing ice from the northern Martian arctic using a suite of onboard, state-of-the-art instruments.

Dr. James B. Garvin is the world's leading expert on the surface of Mars. Throughout the broadcast, Dr. Garvin will guide viewers as the Phoenix Lander approaches the surface of Mars, and provide commentary in the critical moments when NASA loses radio contact with the rover. As the first pictures return from the Mars surface, Dr. Garvin will lend valuable perspective on what scientists are seeing and may find, and can speak to what conditions the Phoenix is facing on Mars.

Following MARS LIVE: THE PHOENIX LANDS, Science Channel looks back at recent missions to the red planet with encore presentations of REVEALING MARS at 9 PM (ET)/6 PM (PT) and ROVING MARS at 10 PM (ET)/7 PM (PT). REVEALING MARS walks viewers through NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's (M.R.O.) scientific payload and the high-tech instruments used to capture stunning images of Mars.

The M.R.O. was launched in 2005. ROVING MARS immerses viewers in the journeys of Spirit and Opportunity, two rovers that explored the red planet on remote, unmanned NASA missions. Spirit and Opportunity launched in June 2003 and landed on Mars in January 2004.

This year, Discovery Communications is partnering with NASA to help commemorate its 50th anniversary with a variety of events and programs celebrating space exploration. Collaborations include:

- Science Channel's Second Annual SPACE WEEK premiering July 6-11

- Science Matters!, a series of nationwide school assemblies led by past and current astronauts and stressing science literacy

- Discovery Channel's WHEN WE LEFT EARTH: THE NASA MISSIONS premiering consecutive Sundays, June 8, 15 and 22 at 9 PM (ET/PT)

- An extensive online experience for users to delve deeper into NASA's history and future at http://www.discovery.com/nasa and http://www.sciencechannel.com

MARS LIVE: THE PHOENIX LANDS (wt) is produced in partnership with Discovery Channel Canada. Anne-Marie Varner is executive producer for Discovery Channel Canada. John Grassie is executive producer for Science Channel.

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Phoenix Landing Area Viewed By Mars Color Imager
Pasadena CA (SPX) May 13, 2008
NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander is scheduled to land on the Martian northern plains near 68 degrees north latitude, 127 degrees west longitude on May 25, 2008. In preparation for the landing, NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has been monitoring weather in the region around the landing site. On April 20, 2008, the orbiter's Mars Color Imager camera captured this view of a large region of northern Mars that includes the landing target area in the lower right quadrant.

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