Synopsis by Mark Deming
After a pair of near-disastrous incidents with the Space Shuttle, all eyes were on NASA in early 2004 when their latest project edged into the spotlight -- a pair of roving space probes, Spirit and Opportunity, were set to land on Mars and send back pictures and data on the planet's landscape. Despite technical glitches and other unexpected difficulties, the rovers proved to be a major success, running longer than expected and sending back crucial data that suggested the presence of water on Mars -- and with it, the possibility of life. Nova: Welcome to Mars is a documentary produced for the popular PBS science series which offers a behind-the-scenes look at the Spirit and Opportunity missions -- how the rovers were created, how they made their way to Mars, and how NASA's crew was able to troubleshoot the machines from millions of miles away. Nova: Welcome to Mars originally aired on January 4, 2005.
Mars, science, space-exploration