Game Day! Join NASA In The Excitement As We Countdown To Landing On The Red Planet
After six months, more than 300 million miles and seven precarious minutes...
On February 18, NASA begins an epic and unparalleled exploration of Mars with the landing of its newest rover. As the first rover to land on the red planet since 2012, the Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover is the agency’s most ambitious rover yet. The SUV-sized rover will explore Mars in search of signs of ancient life, collect samples of Martian rocks and sediment for future return to Earth, study the planet’s geology and climate, and pave the way for human exploration beyond the Moon. Throughout all of this, it will also collect the first sounds from the Red Planet, allowing us to hear what Mars sounds like!
Perseverance is landing in the most challenging Martian terrain ever targeted: an area known as Jezero Crater. Scientists want to explore and investigate Jezero Crater because they believe it was once filled with flowing water, and perhaps had the right environment that could have supported ancient microbial life. But Jezero is also a dangerous area to land in because it has steep cliffs, sand dunes, and boulder fields.
NASA team members will be available for virtual one-on-one interviews on Wednesday, February 17 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. EST and Thursday, February 18 from 6:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. EST. The capsule carrying Perseverance enters Mars’s atmosphere at 3:48 p.m. EST and lands at 3:55 p.m. EST on Thursday, February 18.
** Interviews will be conducted using video chat programs including Zoom in 15-minute slots. For example 600-615 ET, 615-630 ET, etc. Satellite interviews are not available. ** Interviews are available in Spanish**. List of participating scientists will be added next week.
Please note the following changes to the form: Our preferred video chat program is now Zoom and you will need to provide us with the Zoom link. No IFB interviews will be done. (If you require an IFB please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org) All taped radio interviews will be done over Microsoft Teams. We will provide you with the Microsoft Teams link.
Suggested Anchor/Host Intro:
TOMORROW / TODAY IS THE DAY NASA WILL LAND THE FIRST ROVER ON MARS IN NEARLY A DECADE. PERSEVERANCE WILL SEARCH FOR SIGNS OF LIFE, COLLECT THE FIRST SAMPLES THAT WILL BE RETURNED BY A FUTURE MISSION, AND PAVE THE WAY FOR HUMAN EXPLORERS. JOINING US TODAY TO TALK ABOUT THIS MISSION IS ______.
Suggested Questions: Perseverance is the first rover to land on Mars since Curiosity in 2012. What makes this rover special? Perseverance is going to an intriguing place on Mars that scientists believe was an ancient lakebed. What will the rover be studying there? I hear that the rover is landing in quite a dangerous part of Mars. What will be going through your mind during the landing? Perseverance will be collecting samples of Martian rock and soil. What will happen to those samples? What are you most looking forward to learning with Perseverance? How can our viewers watch the landing and stay up-to-date on this mission?
Questions for longer interviews: I hear the rover also has a sidekick. Can you tell us what Ingenuity is and what it's trying to test for the first time? Thanks to Perseverance, we’re actually going to hear what Mars sounds like for the first time. What are you most excited to hear? How does this mission set the stage for future human missions to Mars? How difficult is it to send a rover to Mars?