With Mars in the news, students interact with NASA researchers and find out
how they can target a camera aboard the “Mars Odyssey” spacecraft!

Out-of-this-world interactive learning adventure debuts live at 13:00-14:00
Eastern, Tuesday March 19, 2002 on participating public television stations
and educational networks. (Check local listings)

Mars, the Red Planet, has always fascinated humans. Just last week, America
Online showcased news of ancient Martian floods on its “Welcome” screen.
Newspapers across the nation made the first discoveries from NASA’s 2001
Mars Odyssey mission front page news: lots of water ice found on the
planet! Now students watching via public television and NASA-TV, and
connecting over the Internet, can interact with some of the same
researchers who made those headlines. They’ll also have the opportunity to
explore Mars for themselves, through some of the amazing images recently
sent back to Earth.

LIVE FROM MARS 2002 originates live from the Mars Student Imaging Facility,
at Arizona State University, where Phil Christensen, who heads up the
visible and infrared camera team for Odyssey, will unveil some images “just
in” from Mars. Heather Enos from the Gamma Ray Spectrometer Team (GRS) at
the University of Arizona, Tucson, will present some of the fundamental
science behind the initial discoveries. Bill Feldman, from the Los Alamos
National Laboratory, will use billiard balls and jars of water to explain
how Odyssey’s sophisticated instruments can tell the composition of Mars
from high in orbit round the planet. Bill Boynton, head of the GRS team,
describes their surprise at finding such large amounts of hydrogen,
evidence of water ice, so early in the mission. On location at the Grand
Canyon and Meteor Crater, viewers discover how Earth and Mars are both
alike and also very different in geology and surface features, atmosphere
and “weather”, and explore the role of water in shaping the Martian
landscape, and the possibility of past or present life.

One of the most unique aspects of the program will be an explanation of how
students can now actually apply to target the THEMIS camera for themselves!
The new Mars Student Imaging Facility, supported by NASA and the Jet
Propulsion Laboratory, opened on February 22nd, just a few days after the
first Odyssey science images arrived. MSIP Director Sheri Klug and
colleagues explain the process of applying for on-site “missions,” or
connecting remotely via the Internet. The first group of on-site “Student
Interns”, from the Olympia school district, IL, explain what they’ve
learned about image processing, and what features on Mars they’ve selected
for the very first student target. Middle and High School students in
Nogales, AZ, are seen getting ready for their own participation.
Demonstrating more of what the Internet now makes possible, classrooms in
Green Valley, close to Tucson; Chehalis, WA; Silverton, OR, and
Pennsylvania, collaborate via videoconference on a hands-on activity
building lava layers like those seen on Mars. Some of them interact with
Phil Christensen and other members of the enthusiastic THEMIS team, and ask
questions about the recent discoveries. Via videocAAq5rence and documentary
sequences Odyssey scientists and engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion
Laboratory update us on the status of the spacecraft. Arizona student
participation on site at MSIP and across the state is being supported by
ASSET, Arizona School Services through Educational Technology, which will
make the entire program accessible as an indexed video archive after the
initial live program.

Viewers of this broadcast can do lots more than just sit back and watch:
during the program, and for one hour afterwards, any student, anywhere, can
use P2K’s “ON-AIR” software to send questions to some of the scientists
seen on camera, and get back answers in close to real time. After the
broadcast, all the question and answer pairs will be archived as a
student-generated Mars “FAQ.” (Teachers are invited to subscribe to the
moderated DISCUSS-MARS mail list to share resources with fellow-educators,
and more: for information about how to subscribe, check out the LIVE FROM
MARS 2002 section of the PASSPORT TO KNOWLEDGE website,

Looking to the future, Francis Cucinotta, Manager for Radiation Health at
the Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, explains what the Martian Radiation
Environment Experiment on Odyssey discovered en route to Mars, and how to
keep future astronauts safe on the long journey there, and back. But first,
in 2003, NASA will launch 2 robotic spacecraft, the Mars Exploration
Rovers. Larger and heavier than the only previous rover mission, they’re
due to land on Mars in early 2004. One of Odyssey’s tasks, in fact, is to
scout out safe and scientifically interesting landing sites for the rovers.
. We go behind the scenes of this exciting new mission, seeing airbags
being made in Delaware and tested in Ohio, sophisticated rock grinding
instruments being manufactured in New York City, and the rovers themselves
coming together in clean rooms and software testbeds at JPL. Students meet
some of the hundreds of engineers and scientists already involved with the
rovers, and find out that as they struggle with tight budgets and even
tougher schedules, it’s the creativity and persistence of the men and women
on the rover team who really make the mission fly.

It’s a fast-paced hour, formatted to be viewed again and again, and used in
short segments, on tape, in class.

Major support for LIVE FROM MARS 2002 comes from NASA, through its Office of
Space Science. Additional support for the ASU/MSIP uplink comes from ASSET,
Arizona School Services through Educational Technology. Additional support
for this program has been provided through the cooperation of the Mars
Exploration Program at JPL (NASA/Caltech), the ASU Mars K-12 Education
Program, Arizona State University, Tempe, and by KAET, Channel 8, Tempe.
The remote classroom videoconference has been facilitated by Qwest
Communications International, Inc.


PASSPORT TO KNOWLEDGE (P2K), producer of LIVE FROM MARS 2002, is public
television’s longest-running series of interactive science education
projects. P2K’s mission is to connect classroom instruction to exciting,
current real world science. P2K aligns its materials with the National
Academy’s Science Education Standards and Project 2061/”Benchmarks.” Its
website (passporttoknowledge.com) also provides correlations with all 50
state science standards. To date P2K has created nearly 65 hours of
original video programming, supported or complemented by award-winning
on-line materials and inquiry-based hands-on activities, featuring
world-class research and researchers working for NASA, NSF, NOAA and other
leading science agencies. Objective measures show 22% improvements in work
embodying the National Science Standards. Many public television stations
nationwide now regard the LIVE FROM programs as valuable components of
their schedule.


The program will be accessible to public television stations on Digicypher
Channel 512, one of PBS’s digitally-encoded transponders. (Please note,
there will be NO test signal on this transponder: program begins straight
up at 13:00 hours Eastern.) Please check local listings.

The program may also be accessed from a non-encrypted, analog, Ku-band
transponder: AMC-3 (formerly GE-3), 87 degrees West, Ku-band, transponder
15, Horizontal polarity, downlink frequency, 12000.000 Mhz, audio on 6.2
and 6.8. (A test signal of slate, bars and tone will run from 12:30-13:00
Eastern, followed by the program.)

This program is free to all PBS stations and non-commercial educational
networks upon registration of usage (form online and distributed via
e-mail/PBS FirstClass), and may be re-broadcast unlimited times for one
year after March 19. Teachers may tape the program off air and use it in
class, also for one year after broadcast.

In addition, subject to Space Shuttle and International Space Station
programming, we expect the programs to be carried live and/or on tape delay
on NASA-TV. Please check the NASA-TV schedule on the day of the broadcast
for any late pre-emptions. NTV is broadcast on GE-2, transponder 9C,
C-Band, located at 85 degrees West longitude. The frequency is 3880.0 MHz.
Polarization is vertical and audio is monaural at 6.8 MHz.


59:29, mono 2-track, not Closed Captioned.


LFM2002 relates cutting-edge space research to fundamental science concepts
being studied in every course of instruction: light and optics, the
spectrum, atoms and elements, 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. Hands-on activities created by NASA,
JPL, ASU and others are available online in PDF and html formats, via the
Mars Exploration Program and Mars Odyssey websites:

Please contact PASSPORT TO KNOWLEDGE at 973.656.9403 or via


The Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for
NASA’s Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. Investigators at Arizona
State University in Tempe, the University of Arizona in Tucson, and NASA’s
Johnson Space Center, Houston, operate the science instruments. Additional
science partners are located at the Russian Aviation and Space Agency,
which provided the high-energy neutron detector, and at Los Alamos National
Laboratories, New Mexico, which provided the neutron spectrometer. Lockheed
Martin Astronautics, Denver, is the prime contractor for the project, and
developed and built the orbiter. Mission operations are conducted jointly
from Lockheed Martin and from JPL, a division of the California Institute
of Technology in Pasadena.