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NOVA; Welcome to Mars


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Welcome to Mars
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Series Description

Premiered March 1974 NOVA is a general-interest documentary series that addresses a single science issue each week. Billed as "science adventures for curious grown-ups" when it first aired in March, 1974, NOVA continues to offer an informative and entertaining approach to a challenging subject. 1996 marked NOVA's 23rd season, which makes it the longest-running science program on national television. It is also one of television's most acclaimed series, having won every major television award, most of them many times over. Series release date: 3/3/1974

Program Description

On January 3, 2004, a tiny rover named Spirit crash-landed on the dusty surface of Mars and sent its first message home. The elation of the assembled scientists, as well as the behind-the-scenes engineering story leading up to the landing, was captured by NOVA in "Mars Dead or Alive." That elation is the starting point for this sequel, which follows the adventures of Spirit and Opportunity on the red planet. Once again, NOVA's producers enjoyed unprecedented access to the mission scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory as they wrestled with the technical crises that soon beset the rovers. All goes well until Spirit suddenly falls silent and then, inexplicably, starts spewing gibberish. For three agonizing days, the engineers struggle to regain control of the unhinged rover before they finally solve the problem. Then Opportunity lands and sends back the image of an outcrop of bedrock just a few meters away. The rock turns out to be a crucial clue in the long quest to discover if there was once water and life on Mars. But the race to collect confirming data turns into an emotional rollercoaster for the engineers as they struggle to keep their earthly lives in synch with the longer day/night cycle of the red planet. "Welcome to Mars" presents a compelling inside story of triumph and technical ingenuity, full of scientific and human drama, with stunning fresh images from an alien world.



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Broadcast program

Media Type


Chicago: “NOVA; Welcome to Mars,” 11/10/2004, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed December 17, 2018, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_A165B09DC91E44F7AE4D1B3FFB1E3B73.
MLA: “NOVA; Welcome to Mars.” 11/10/2004. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. December 17, 2018. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_A165B09DC91E44F7AE4D1B3FFB1E3B73>.
APA: NOVA; Welcome to Mars. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_A165B09DC91E44F7AE4D1B3FFB1E3B73
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