Jet Propulsion Laboratory JPL - Earth JPL - Solar System JPL - Stars & Galaxies JPL - Technology Jet Propulsion Laboratory California Institute of Technology Mars Exploration Rover Mission Home NASA Home Page Jet Propulsion Laboratory California Institute of Technology Follow this link to skip to the main content
+ NASA Homepage
+ NASA en Español
+ Marte en Español
Kids
Students
Educators
Press
+ Mars Home
+ MER Home
l2_summary.gif
l2_g_images.gif
l2_g_videos-sel.gif
The Challenges of
Getting to Mars
Animation
Hardware
People
Webcast
The Challenges of Getting to Mars

Mars is right next door to Earth, but it isn't very neighborly. Two-thirds of all international missions have failed, but an undaunted human spirit and hard work keep us on a path to explore Mars - a world so much like our own, but much more hostile and uninviting. In this Challenges of Getting to Mars web series, Mars Exploration Rover team members describe the challenges of getting to Mars and maneuvering on the surface once the rovers are there.
Launch
Weather Dangers and Delays
The rover launch site at Cape Canaveral, Florida is the "Lightning Capital of the United States." Launching a spacecraft safely is challenging enough. Learn how the Force of Nature intercepted the Rover Team's efforts to launch Spirit for two days.
QuickTime 7 MB
MPEG 7 MB
Two Launches: Spirit and Opportunity
The first episode documents the hurdles leading up to both launches. From Mother Nature being uncooperative to a problem with the cork insulation on the rocket, lift-off was no small feat. Ultimately the rover team rejoiced as their twins left the nest and headed for Mars.
QuickTime 7 MB
MPEG 7 MB
Cruise
Testing the Rovers for the Treacherous Martian Terrain Testing the Rovers for the Treacherous Martian Terrain
See how the scientists and engineers on Earth stretch their imaginations to design the best rover system to deal with the unpredictable dangerous terrain on Mars. Rover team members at Jet Propulsion Laboratory are currently testing the limitations of the rovers through engineering models on Earth so they can safely maneuver the real rovers on Mars.
QuickTime 8 MB
MPEG 6 MB
Future Episodes
Coming soon. Future episodes will include the rovers' long ride, or cruise, the critical entry, descent and landing phase and the harsh conditions they will face on the surface
Credits Feedback Related Links Sitemap