PASSPORT TO KNOWLEDGE, public television’s longest-running series of
interactive learning adventures is pleased to announce 2 new programs for
the 2001-2002 school year. Building on the phenomenal interest in NASA’s
Pathfinder mission to Mars–which brought half a billion hits to NASA
websites in the summer of 1997–PASSPORT TO KNOWLEDGE invites teachers and
students to return to the Red Planet with the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission!

LIVE FROM MARS 2001, Tuesday October 30, 2001, 13:00-14:00 Eastern
LIVE FROM MARS 2001 originates live from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory
in Pasadena, California, where the spacecraft is managed for NASA by the
California Institute of Technology. Just days after the Odyssey mission
(named for Arthur C. Clarke’s famous science fiction story and film)
reaches Mars orbit (October 24), mission scientists and engineers take
students behind the scenes for a live update on the spacecraft as it begins
to lower itself down towards Mars to begin its science mission. Amazing
images from the ongoing Mars Global Surveyor mission show new evidence for
the existence of water on the planet, raising the continuing and
tantalizing possibility of past life.

Web-based e-mail allows students from any location to send questions to the
NASA researchers, and receive back answers in real time. Pre-taped segments
show how to follow this and other NASA missions throughout the school year,
including–courtesy of NASA, JPL and researchers at Arizona State
University–opportunities for students to actually target some of Odyssey’s
science instruments and analyze results, working alongside Mars scientists!

LIVE FROM MARS 2002, Tuesday March 19, 2002, 13:00-14:00 Eastern
LIVE FROM MARS 2002 updates viewers on new results “just in” from Mars
Odyssey, and explains how this information will contribute to understanding
the Red Planet as well as our home, the Earth. Students will see how
Odyssey’s instruments use parts of the electromagnetic spectrum beyond
visible light to discover otherwise hidden aspects of Mars’ mysterious
surface. At Arizona State’s new Imaging Facility–built specially to
accommodate student guest observers!–viewers will see how 5th to 12th
graders can become directly involved in Mars science. LIVE FROM MARS 2002
will explain how “virtual observations” are open to any teams of students,
anywhere, via the Internet.

Video reports on the Mars Exploration Rover mission (“MER” for short) being
built by NASA/JPL, Cornell University and international partners, show how
the new images and understanding coming from Odyssey, Global Surveyor and
other observations will help support ambitious plans to launch 2 large and
capable robots to Mars in 2003.

Satellite and downlink information

Both programs will be accessible on one of the PBS digital transponders, as
well as from a non-encrypted, analog Ku-band transponder. Details will be
published on FirstClass and via fax and personal e-mail to station ITV
directors in coming months.

In addition, subject to Space Shuttle and International Space Station
programming, we expect both programs to be carried live and/or on tape
delay on NASA-TV.

Running time and technical details

The programs will be 59:29, mono 2-track, and closed captioned.

Educational support materials and resources

Both programs will relate exciting, cutting-edge space research to
fundamental science concepts being studied in every course of instruction:
light and optics, force and motion, weather on Earth and the planets of our
solar system, water and life, and many more topics central to the
curriculum. Target grades are 5-9, though extension options will easily
engage elementary and high school students. Interdisciplinary opportunities
including math, language arts, social studies and more will also be
offered. Online resources (debuting in Fall 2001) will relate the content
of the programs directly to national and state science standards.

Hands-on activities created by NASA, JPL, ASU and others are already
available online in PDF and html formats, via the Mars Exploration Program
and Mars Odyssey websites:


For more information on LIVE FROM MARS 2001 and LIVE FROM MARS 2002 you’re
invited to subscribe to a moderated discussion group designed to support
teachers interested in using the exploration of Mars to excite and inform
students. Check the PASSPORT TO KNOWLEDGE website for background
information and details about how to subscribe (coming soon!)

Questions about broadcast information or educational resources
Please contact PASSPORT TO KNOWLEDGE at 973.656.9403 or via

Credits and Acknowledgments

LIVE FROM MARS 2001 is made possible in part by major support from the
Office of Space Science, NASA, and through the cooperation of the Mars
Exploration Program at JPL (NASA/Caltech) and by the ASU Mars K-12
Education Program, Arizona State University, Tempe.