The U.S. Mission To Mars

The U.S. Mission To Mars

In early August, the Mars rover named Curiosity is slated to enter the Martian atmosphere. It will travel 13,200 miles per hour and then stop within seven minutes for a landing on the planet's surface. Diane and her guests talk about their hopes and fears for the mission to Mars.

Not long ago the idea of Earthlings visiting Mars was confined to the realm of fiction. But scientists say NASA's current mission to Mars could bring us closer to making such a visit a reality. The Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft was launched last November. The detachable rover named "Curiosity" is scheduled to land on the red planet on August 6. The mobile lab will spend two years searching for evidence that Mars might have contained life. With NASA facing sharp funding cuts, there's a lot riding on the success of the mission. Some say it could determine the future of the nation's entire Mars program. Diane and her guests talk about their hopes and fears for the Mars landing and mission.

Guests

James Green

director of planetary science at NASA headquarters.

Marc Kaufman

science writer for The Washington Post and author of the National Geographic "e-short" "Mars Landing 2012: Inside NASA's Curiosity Mission," released this month.

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