George H. Diller


KSC Release No. 111-00

NASA today announced that it is exercising a contract option with the Boeing
Company for a Delta II vehicle to launch the Mars Exploration Rover 2
(MER-B). The spacecraft is scheduled for launch at the beginning of a
21-day planetary window that opens on June 27, 2003. This firm-fixed price
option is covered under the NASA Launch Services contract (NAS10-00-001)
officially awarded by NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on June 16, 2000 to:

Delta Launch Services, Inc.

5301 Bolsa Avenue

Huntington Beach, CA 92647-2099

NASA’s total launch services budget for the MER-B campaign is approximately
$68 million dollars.

The goals of the Mars Exploration Rover 2003 mission are to land a roving
vehicle on Mars for science observations that will help determine the water,
climatic and geological history of a site on Mars where conditions may have
been favorable to the preservation of evidence of life or associated
pre-biotic processes.

NASA’s Mars Program is managed by the NASA Headquarters Office of Space
Science, Washington, D.C. The MER-B spacecraft project is managed for NASA
by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Ca.