On Jan. 3, 2004, cheers erupted from mission control at NASA’s Jet
Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), when the first robotic rover successfully
landed on Mars. Three weeks later, the second rover successfully landed
on the opposite side of Mars.

One year later rovers Spirit and Opportunity have exceeded all mission
expectations and continue to make discoveries. The goal of NASA’s Mars
Exploration Rover (MER) mission was to explore for a minimum of 90 days
to search for evidence of past water activity.

“One Year on Mars,” a special two-hour live event to commemorate the
mission, will be presented at JPL on Monday, Jan. 3, 2005, from 2 p.m.
to 4 p.m. EST. The live event, along with additional taped programming
and live-shot opportunities, will be aired on NASA-TV.

At 2 p.m. EST, a news briefing will detail discoveries made in 2004,
and the rover’s outlook for 2005. Panelists:

  • NASA Administrator Sean O’Keefe
  • Dr. Charles Elachi, Director, JPL
  • Jim Erickson, MER Project Manager, JPL
  • Dr. Steve Squyres, MER Principal Investigator, Cornell University,Ithaca, N.Y.
  • Dr. Firouz Naderi, MER Program Manager, JPL
  • Dr. Jim Garvin, Chief Scientist, NASA Headquarters, Washington.

At 3 p.m. EST, the MER team will present “Mars Stories We’ve Never
Told.” This 60-minute live program will feature members recounting
personal experiences of the past year. The program will end with the
cutting of a rover “birthday cake.”

Two additional rover programs will air on NASA TV on Monday. “Twelve
Wheels on Mars” airs at 1 p.m. EST. This 60-minute program features
professional storyteller Syd Lieberman, who spent several months with
the MER team. “Two for Two” a 20-minute program about the rovers airs
at 4 p.m. EST.

Live shot opportunities with Squyres are available from 4:20 to 7:00
p.m. EST. To book a window for a live shot, contact Jack Dawson at:
818/354-0040. News media must contact the JPL media relations’ office
in advance at: 818/ 354-5011 to arrange access to events.

NASA TV is available on the Web and via satellite in the continental
U.S. on AMC-6, Transponder 9C, C-Band, at 72 degrees west longitude.
The frequency is 3880.0 MHz. Polarization is vertical, and audio is
monaural at 6.80 MHz. In Alaska and Hawaii, NASA TV is available on
AMC-7, Transponder 18C, C-Band, at 137 degrees west longitude. The
frequency is 4060.0 MHz. Polarization is vertical, and audio is
monaural at 6.80 MHz. For NASA TV information and schedules on the
Internet, visit:


JPL has managed the Mars Exploration Rover project since it began in
2000. Anniversary multimedia features will be added Monday to rover
information available on the Web at: