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2001-2004

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter: Fall 2004 Update Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter: Fall 2004 Update - January 11, 2005

Less than a year before the launch of the largest spacecraft ever sent to Mars, engineers and technicians at Lockheed Martin were busily assembling the spacecraft while engineers and scientists at JPL were moving into their operations space.

QuickTime 6.9 MB   |   QuickTime (captioned) 6.9 MB
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Rotating for Even Sharper Images Rotating for Even Sharper Images - September 27, 2004

This animation portrays the movements that NASA's Mars Global Surveyor undergoes to acquire an enhanced-resolution image using a technique called compensated pitch and roll targeted observation.

QuickTime 5 MB  

Driving Uphill Backwards Driving Uphill Backwards - August 09, 2004

With Spirit's right front wheel showing signs of age, engineers are finding creative ways to keep the rover moving. Teamwork is essential. Learn how they go about it in their own words.
QuickTime 8.2 MB   |   MPEG 10.2 MB
MPEG-4 7.7 MB
 

Testing Spirit on Five Wheels in Reverse Testing Spirit on Five Wheels in Reverse - July 16, 2004

This movie shows a model of the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit being tested for performance on five wheels at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Spirit's right front wheel, now operating at six times its design life, has been showing signs of age, so rover planners had to come up with a new approach to driving.

This particular test shows rover engineers driving a rover model backward on five wheels. On July 15, 2004, Spirit successfully rolled across the surface of Mars in this new, backward orientation.

Image credit: NASA/JPL
QuickTime 1.4 MB   |   MPEG 2 MB   |   MPEG-4 924 kB  

Testing Spirit on Five Wheels Moving Forward Testing Spirit on Five Wheels Moving Forward - July 16, 2004

This movie shows a model of the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit being tested for performance on five wheels at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Spirit's right front wheel, now operating at six times its design life, has been showing signs of age, so rover planners had to come up with a new approach to driving.

This particular test shows rover engineers driving a rover model forward on five wheels. Because the test rover automatically veered toward the faulty wheel, rover engineers also came up with some creative commands that allowed the rover to autocorrect itself to a limited degree. Those commands have been implemented in the test shown here.

Ultimately, it was decided that Spirit would drive backward on five wheels for three reasons: wheel resistance is lower; the rover makes faster progress; and driving is more efficient.

On July 15, 2004, Spirit successfully rolled across the surface of Mars in its new, backward orientation.

Image credit: NASA/JPL
QuickTime 1.2 MB   |   MPEG 1.7 MB
MPEG-4 813 kB
 

Testing Spirit on Five Wheels in Reverse - 2 Testing Spirit on Five Wheels in Reverse - 2 - July 16, 2004

This movie shows a model of the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit being tested for performance on five wheels at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Spirit's right front wheel, now operating at six times its design life, has been showing signs of age, so rover planners had to come up with a new approach to driving.

This particular test shows rover engineers driving a rover model backward on five wheels. Because the test rover automatically veered toward the faulty wheel, rover engineers also came up with some creative commands that allowed the rover to autocorrect itself to a limited degree. Those commands have been implemented in the test shown here.

On July 15, 2004, Spirit successfully rolled across the surface of Mars in this new, backward orientation.

Image credit: NASA/JPL

QuickTime 1.8 MB   |   MPEG 2.5 MB
MPEG-4 1.1 MB
 

Testing Spirit on Five Wheels Uphill Testing Spirit on Five Wheels Uphill - July 16, 2004

This movie shows a model of the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit being tested for performance on five wheels at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Spirit's right front wheel, now operating at six times its design life, has been showing signs of age, so rover planners had to come up with a new approach to driving.

This particular test shows rover engineers driving a rover model backward on five wheels up a slope of 7.5 degrees. Spirit may ultimately drive up similar slopes on its way into the "Columbia Hills."

On July 15, 2004, Spirit successfully rolled across the surface of Mars in its new, backward orientation.

Image credit: NASA/JPL

QuickTime 2 MB   |   MPEG 2.7 MB   |   MPEG-4 1.2 MB
 

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Animation - Full Version Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Animation - June 07, 2004
To further our global perspective of Mars and its watery past, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter will reveal the red planet like never before. After a seven-month cruise to Mars and six months of aerobraking to reach its science orbit, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's instruments will zoom in for extreme close-up photography of the martian surface, analyze minerals, look for subsurface water, trace how much dust and water are distributed in the atmosphere, monitor daily global weather and survey the surface for landing sites for future missions.

QuickTime 9.8 MB   |   MPEG 7.8 MB
MPEG-4 4.3 MB
 

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Animation - Part 1 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Animation - June 07, 2004
Part 1: Launch to Orbit insertion
QuickTime 5.4 MB   |   MPEG-4 2.9 MB
MPEG 5.2 MB
 

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Animation - Part 2 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Animation - June 07, 2004
Part 2: Aerobraking to Mission Simulation and Objectives
QuickTime 3.2 MB   |   MPEG-4 1.4 MB
MPEG 2.6 MB
 

Simulation of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Deploying its High-Gain Antenna Simulation of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Deploying its High-Gain Antenna
- July 07, 2004

QuickTime 1.9 MB   |   MPEG-4 1.3 MB
MPEG 2.5 MB
 

Simulation of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Deploying its Solar Panels Simulation of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Deploying its Solar Panels
- July 07, 2004

QuickTime 1.9 MB   |   MPEG-4 1.3 MB
MPEG 2.5 MB
 

Mars on Earth II Mars on Earth II - June 21, 2004
Full Version
QuickTime 23.5 MB   |   QuickTime (captioned) 23.6 MB
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Part 1
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Part 2
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Part 3
QuickTime 8.7 MB   |   QuickTime (captioned) 8.8 MB
MPEG-4 9.7 MB   |   MPEG 7.8 MB
 

Entering Endurance Crater Entering Endurance Crater - June 21, 2004
QuickTime 8.6 MB   |   QuickTime (captioned) 8.4 MB
MPEG-4 9.5 MB   |   MPEG 7.7 MB
 

Mars Exploration: A Framework For The Future Mars Exploration: A Framework For The Future - May 18, 2004
From the fly-by missions of the 1960s to the landed rovers of today, NASA has, for decades, endeavored to unveil the mystery of our neighboring planet. With the success of the Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity, the red planet's allure has intensified. With planned missions scheduled through 2009, NASA has structured a solid framework for comprehensive investigation of the planet that will lay the groundwork for future sample returns and even human missions.
Full Version
QuickTime 10 MB   |   QuickTime (captioned) 10 MB
MPEG-4 16.9 MB   |   MPEG 14.8 MB

Part 1
QuickTime 9.9 MB   |   QuickTime (captioned) 9.9 MB
MPEG-4 6.8 MB   |   MPEG 5.8 MB

Part 2
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Part 3
QuickTime 9.9 MB   |   QuickTime (captioned) 10 MB
MPEG-4 6.5 MB   |   MPEG 5.7 MB
 

this image shows a screenshot from the video 'Mars on Earth' Mars on Earth - April 23, 2004
In many ways, Mars is the most Earth-like of the other planets in our solar system. Learn how scientists can interpret what they see on Mars by following geologist Jim Garvin, Mars lead scientist for NASA, on a virtual tour of Surtsey, a recently formed volcanic island in Iceland.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL

Full Version
QuickTime 14 MB   |   QuickTime (captioned) 19.6 MB
MPEG-4 20 MB

Part 1
QuickTime 5 MB   |   QuickTime (captioned) 7.1 MB
MPEG-4 7 MB   |   MPEG 10 MB

Part 2
QuickTime 4.7 MB   |   QuickTime (captioned) 6.6 MB
MPEG-4 7 MB   |   MPEG 9.2 MB

Part 3
QuickTime 4.5 MB   |   QuickTime (captioned) 6.3 MB
MPEG-4 7 MB   |   MPEG 8.8 MB
 
Challenges of Getting to Mars series Impact to Egress - December 24, 2003
Even after the landers and airbags safely bounce to a complete stop on Mars, the challenges of getting to Mars continue. It will take each rover a minimum of nine days to emerge from its lander cocoon, stand up, orient itself, safely unlock its body from the lander, and roll down to the martian ground. In this last episode of the Challenges of Getting to Mars video series, the rover team describes the Impact to Egress phase of getting six wheels on the surface.
Watch "Impact to Egress" video

First Person - Ayanna Howard First Person - Ayanna Howard - August 20, 2003
JPL robotics engineer Dr. Ayanna Howard explains how engineers design and test rovers that may one day go to Mars.

RealPlayer
QuickTime

Convoy Convoy - June 02, 2003
Ride along with the convoy that transported the Mars Exploration Rover to the launch facility.

QuickTime 8 MB
MPEG 10 MB
Wheels in the Sky Wheels in the Sky - May 30, 2003
Randy Lindemann, Mars Exploration Rover Mechanical Lead, discusses the design of the rover's wheels.
Read more about the wheels


MPEG 9 MB
Rover Mission to Mars Animation
Rover Mission to Mars Animation - 2002


RealVideo
QuickTime 18 MB


MER Launch and Cruise
MER Launch and Cruise - 2002


QuickTime 5 MB


Mars Exploration Rover Entry, Descent and Landing on Mars

Mars Exploration Rover Entry, Descent and Landing on Mars - 2002

This animation features the Mars Exploration Rover's entry into the martian atmosphere and final soft landing using airbags.


QuickTime:320x180 (99.43 Mb) | 640x360 (119.26 Mb) | 480x270 (176 Mb) | 1280x720 (360.97 Mb) |
MPEG-4:640x360 (73.59 Mb) | 320x180 (160.11 Mb) | 1280x720 (185.99 Mb) | 640x360 (243.19 Mb) |
Exploring the Martian Surface
Exploring the Martian Surface - 2002


QuickTime 10 MB


Mars Exploration Rover First Steps - 11/06/2002
Mars Exploration Rover First Steps - 11/06/2002


RealVideo

Imagine Mars December 13, 2002 Web Cast Imagine Mars Web Cast: December 13, 2002
Join educators, students and special host, Emmy Award-winning Bill Nye, The Science Guy, as they explore what a community might be like on Mars during this entertaining and interactive Web cast. Then follow along as renowned choreographer, Debbie Allen, leads dancers and Mars scientists through an exploration of how the gravity and environment of Mars would affect dance and movement. [MORE...]

RealVideo


Mars Odyssey Web Cast: November 14, 2002 Mars Odyssey Web Cast: November 14, 2002
Scientists explain Odyssey's initial discoveries and take questions from schools, museums, and employees at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory during a live interactive web cast broadcasted from JPL's von Karman auditorium.

RealVideo


Mars Student Imaging Project Mars Student Imaging Project
The Mars Student Imaging Project allows students from the fifth grade through community college to take their own pictures of Mars using a thermal infrared visible camera system onboard NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft, which is currently circling the red planet.

QuickTime:
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RealVideo


Pathfinder 5th Anniversary Pathfinder's 5th Anniversary
On Friday, July 4, 1997, American flags dressed the nation in a giant Independence Day celebration. It was National Hot Dog Month, and an estimated 155 million hot dogs hit the grill that weekend alone. Space must have been on moviegoers minds, as the alien flick "Men in Black" took in a whopping $84 million during its holiday opening.

QuickTime:
320x240 6.5 MB

MPEG:
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Flash Presentation


Odyssey's Gamma Ray Spectrometer Instrument Deployed Odyssey's Gamma Ray Spectrometer Instrument Deployed
Flight controllers for NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft completed the last major technical milestone today in support of the science mission by unfurling the boom that holds the gamma ray spectrometer sensor head instrument.

QuickTime:
160x120 2.5 MB


Sending RATs to Mars
Sending RATs to Mars
NASA and JPL are sending RATS to Mars to work as field geologists. A RAT is not quite a furry little friend, but rather a high-tech robot with diamond teeth, called a Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT).



MPEG:
192x144 3 MB
320x240 12 MB


Mars Odyssey Observes First Anniversary in Space Mars Odyssey Observes First Anniversary in Space
What a year this has been for the Mars Odyssey team!
The excitement of launch last April 7, the arrival at Mars, the long, sometimes tedious aerobraking concluded so successfully, the beginning of the mapping phase ....


QuickTime:
160x120 7.2 MB

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View an mpg or QuickTime movie showing how better airbags are built. How to Land Softly on a Hard Planet
Just one of the many problems in landing on another planet, after it's been determined where to land and the method to get there, is landing safely. For NASA'a Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a safe landing is "the name of the game," as engineers work to prepare two rovers for the journey to Mars.


QuickTime:
240x180 10.5 MB

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Charley Kohlhase Long-time Mission Manager Dreams of Humans Exploring Mars Someday
After spending a career in planetary exploration, Charley Kohlhase dreams not of the past, but of the future. What does he envision someday? Humans living on Mars, continuing to study the planet in great detail. Of course, NASA has a lot of work to do before human missions are possible, but today's robotic missions are paving the way by helping us understand the Martian environment and its potential impact on human health. Once we learn more, Kohlhase believes, the spirit of exploration will make Mars an irresistible destination for future astronauts.


QuickTime:
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Happy Navigators Prepare to Say "Goodnight and Goodbye" to Odyssey's Successful Aerobraking Happy Navigators Prepare to Say "Goodnight and Goodbye" to Odyssey's Successful Aerobraking
With the successful completion of the aerobraking effort, the Odyssey navigation team is leaving a legacy of well-honed interdisciplinary tools and techniques certain to be used on future missions using aerobraking.


MPEG 5 MB

Robotic Workers Robotic Workers
NASA researchers have successfully demonstrated the first use of multiple rovers that work tightly in sync to perform tasks such as coordinated grasping, lifting and moving of an extended payload, while navigating through obstacles on natural terrain.


MPEG 5 MB

New Rover Design Videos New Rover Design Videos
NASA researchers are developing new prototype robots that can drive up steep hills and descend almost-vertical cliffs. Working alone or as a team, these autonomous robotic explorers may go where no rover has gone before -- the cliffs of Mars.


QuickTime:
320x240 10 MB
240x160 7 MB
160x120 6 MB

MPEG 17 MB

Machinists Video Machinists to the Stars
It's the middle of the night at JPL, and the usual dozens of deer are on their nightly foraging rounds across the campus. Mars is up. So is the Moon. And so are nine machinists in the lab's high-precision fabrication shop, working the second shift that ends between midnight and 3 a.m. They are part of the round-the-clock team turning out odd-shaped pieces of metal that will become robots destined for Mars.
QuickTime 320x240 18 MB

MPEG 7 MB

MOI CGI animation w/ voiceover Mars Orbit Insertion
Experience a computer-generated animation of the Odyssey spacecraft on its voyage to the red planet. This animation covers its journey from Earth to Mars, Orbit Insertion, and Aerobraking.
Spacecraft animations by Zareh Gorjian

QuickTime 20 MB
The Challenges of Getting to Mars

Orbit Insertion Orbit Insertion
Getting to Mars is difficult enough -- staying there is even more challenging. Odyssey met up with Mars on October 24 02:26 UTC (October 23: 7:26 p.m. PDT/10:26 p.m.EDT). That's when the spacecraft executed an engine firing that slowed it down (relative to Mars) and allowed Odyssey to be captured into orbit around Mars. In this final episode, Odyssey team members explain their rigorous preparations for the event.

NASA TV will begin coverage at 7 p.m. PDT October 23. - Download the free RealPlayer


QuickTime 4 MB
QuickTime 6 MB
Telecommunications Telecommunications
How do you converse with a robot nearly one hundred million miles away? In this video, Odyssey team members describe communications with the 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft using the antennas of the Deep Space Network.

QuickTime 3 MB
QuickTime 4 MB
QuickTime 5 MB


Interplanetary Cruise QuickTime 5 MB
QuickTime 2 MB
Interplanetary Cruise
At the time this video was released, the Odyssey team had successfully completed the third trajectory correction maneuver to adjust the spacecraft's flightpath toward its final aimpoint for entry into Mars orbit. In the second installment of a four-part video series, The Challenges of Getting to Mars, Odyssey navigation team members discuss the challenges of flying from Earth to Mars.


Aerobraking QuickTime 55 MB
QuickTime 5 MB
QuickTime 2 MB
Aerobraking
The Odyssey spacecraft was launched toward Mars on April 7, 2001 from Cape Canaveral, Florida. In this four-part video series, Odyssey navigation team members explain the daily challenges of steering a spacecraft 93 million miles from Earth to Mars.

The first episode describes the intense aerobraking phase, which begins two days after the spacecraft arrives at Mars (Mars Orbit Insertion, October 24, 2001). From then on, navigation team members still have three months of difficult maneuvering to do in order to slow the spacecraft down and bring Odyssey into its circular science mapping orbit. Using atmospheric drag to "aerobrake," the spacecraft dips into the Martian atmosphere once every time the spacecraft swings by its closest approach to Mars.

Future episodes discuss the hostile conditions the spacecraft encounters on its journey to Mars, the challenges of communicating with a distant spacecraft, and the upcoming critical event: Mars Orbit Insertion.


Fourth of July Tribute to Pathfinder Fourth of July Tribute to Pathfinder
Four years ago, on July 4, 1997, Mars Pathfinder bounced in airbags to a safe landing on the red planet. A tremendous success, the mission lasted three times longer than expected, with the Sojourner rover operating 12 times its design lifetime of seven days. Little Sojourner was the first free-ranging robotic rover to operate on the surface of another planet. With Sojourner's help, the mission returned 2.3 billion bits of information, including more than 16,500 images from the lander and 550 images from the rover. From this information, we learned that Mars probably had liquid water on its surface long ago. View our tribute video in RealPlayer format.


Journey to Mars Journey to Mars
Is there water on Mars? Where might there have been life? What do we know about Mars, and what are we trying to find out? Take this Journey to Mars with Dr. Dan McCleese, Mars Chief Scientist, as he narrates this multimedia presentation on the past, present and future of Mars exploration. Available in a 3.5 MB Flash 4, or QuickTime 5 file. It will take approximately ten minutes to download on a 56k modem.


View Our QuickTime Movies!

Pathfinder Test:
Pathfinder Test:
high-bandwidth 5 MB
low-bandwidth 1 MB
Mars Pathfinder Panorama:
Mars Pathfinder Panorama:
high-bandwidth 1 MB
low-bandwidth 250 kB
 
Mars 2003 rover:
Mars 2003 rover:
high-bandwidth 2 MB
low-bandwidth 420 kB
Human Exploration on Mars:
Human Exploration on Mars:
high-bandwidth 4 MB
low-bandwidth 1 MB
 
Mars Astronomy Timeline:
Mars Astronomy Timeline:
high-bandwidth 6 MB
low-bandwidth 1 MB
 

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