Season 31, Episode 9 MARS Dead or Alive

First Aired: January 4, 2004

Tracking the mission of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover and chronicling the MER's construction and testing process. The mission's purpose: to look for signs of life (or at least water), but getting the MER safely onto the frigid, rocky, windy and dusty Martian surface is no easy task. Nor was designing and testing the parachute and airbags that will cushion the impact of the 900-mph landing. The MER "will be on its own," says chief project scientist Stephen Squyres. "A lot can go wrong."

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  • Premiered: March 3, 1974
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  • Premise: PBS's premier science-documentary series, which has won six Peabody Awards and more than 20 Emmys (four in 2002 alone) since its 1974 debut. `Nova' clearly, and often engagingly, `demystifies' a vast range of science, technology and history topics---past a… (more)

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