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Mars Rover Takes Baby Steps
image of Mars Rover in a lab
Like any travelers worth their frequent flyer miles, the twin rovers of the Mars Exploration Rover Mission must prepare for a long journey. Unlike airline passengers, however, the rovers won't have an attentive flight crew to tend to their needs. Instead, the twins face a daunting 460 million kilometer (286 million mile) voyage to Mars. Read More...
How to Land Softly on a Hard Planet
image of Airbags
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. Read More...
Student Navigators Drive Mars Rover Testbed
picture of two workers talking with a student
Intense discussion, various viewpoints, chairs being scooted around, slightly raised voices, and eventual consensus: just a typical meeting of scientists in the lab; in this case a rover lab at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Read More...
Steve Alfery - Dealing for Rover Wheeling on Mars
man kneeling infromt of the Rover
No banks, stock exchanges or other financial institutions are known to exist on Mars. So how does a business and economics graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara end up in a key role on a mission to the red planet? Read More...
Team Member
Steve Alfery
acquisitions representative
2003 Mars Exploration Rover Mission
Project Scientist for the Mars Exploration Rover Mission
picture of a woman sitting on rocks
Dr. Joy Crisp of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory devotes her time working to unearth answers about Mars' geology. Tucked away in her prefab trailer office in the middle of the JPL campus, she enables the efforts of the team of scientists whose instruments will be onboard two rovers destined to land on Mars in 2004. Read More...
Team Member
Dr. Joy Crisp
2003 Mars Exploration Rover Mission
Where to Land on Mars?
Mars Rover image
Of all the places to land on Mars, where in the world should twin rovers go? This question has been on the front burner of discussion with Mars scientists who have the arduous task of selecting a site where it is safe to land. Read More...
If Santa Were a Martian
image of polar region of Mars
If Santa Claus were a martian, he'd be in for one bumpy ride.

That's the assessment of navigators and engineers controlling the flight of NASA's 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft as it presently flies four times daily above the north polar region of Mars. Read More...
Machinists to the Stars
picture of one of the machimists
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. Read More...
Team Member
Gary Keel
night shift supervisor fabrication shop
2003 Mars Exploration Rover
Mike Mangano
mechanical systems project element manager
2003 Mars Exploration Rover
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