John Bluck

NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

650/604-5026 or 604-9000



You are invited to interview Ames scientists and cover Mars Polar Lander
spacecraft Internet “webcasts” Friday, Dec. 3, 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. PST.
The spacecraft is scheduled to land on Mars on Friday afternoon. Reporters
are also invited to Ames on Saturday, Dec. 4, 11 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. to
interview scientists when an audio-only Mars Polar Lander webcast will take

To reach Ames, take the Moffett Field exit from Highway 101, drive east to
the Moffett main gate, and report to the guard. Please arrive early enough
to allow transit time to building N240. After passing through the gate,
turn left on the first street, Arnold, Ave. Enter Bush traffic circle, and
go half way around; turn right on DeFrance Ave. Go two blocks, and turn
right on Warner. At the end of the block, turn left onto McCord Ave. Go
part way down the block, and turn right into building N240’s parking lot.
Go to conference room 107A in building N240. Only U.S. media
representatives who are U.S. citizens or have green cards with valid press
pass credentials and picture ID will be admitted to Ames.


People worldwide can use the Internet to interact live with
scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, CA, about the
Mars Polar Lander spacecraft scheduled to land near the Martian south polar
region on Fri., Dec. 3.

Following the landing, scientists expect to receive a radio signal from the
spacecraft at 12:37 p.m. PST at the Deep Space Network, Goldstone, CA.
The signal will take about 20 minutes to reach Earth.

“What’s unique about this Internet opportunity is that people from around
the globe can chat on line with Mars scientists about the mission, both
when the spacecraft lands and afterward,” said Sandy Dueck of the NASA
Quest project based at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA.

Sometime during the mission, a microphone aboard the lander may gather
sounds from the planet’s surface. The audience will be able to hear
Martian sounds via the Internet, if all goes well with that experiment.
The Planetary Society, Pasadena, CA, is a private, nonprofit organization
that is sponsoring the Mars Microphone instrument.

The live Mars Internet events will include web chats and webcasts during
which scientists will discuss Mars and answer Internet audience questions
as the mission unfolds from Dec. 3 to Dec 5. Other Internet events are
slated for Dec. 9. Webcasts enable the Internet audience to watch live
video, listen to sound and interact in real-time with experts participating
in the programs.

JPL scientists scheduled to appear in the webcasts include: Solar System
Exploration Chief Scientist Dr. Stephen Saunders, Mars Scientist Dr. Robert
Anderson, Mars Science Software Engineer Charles Acton and Chief Engineer
for the Mars Sample Return Rover Tom Rivellini.

Educators can reach NASA Quest’s Learning Technologies Channel on the
Internet at:

NASA Quest webcasts also provide opportunities for educators from all over
the world to bring space science content to the classroom through Internet
technology. Webcasts are just one of many Internet offerings from NASA
Quest. Other on line, interactive projects connect students with NASA
employees and are designed to inspire young people to pursue careers in
high technology.

The Mars Polar Lander Quest schedule of events is listed on the web at:

Internet “webcasts” are scheduled for Friday, Dec. 3, 3:30 p.m. to 5:30
p.m. PST (video and audio); and 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. (audio only).
Audio-only Mars Polar Lander webcasts are also scheduled for Saturday, Dec.
4, and Sunday, Dec. 5, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. both days.