Nov. 23, 2010 Update: The rover chat is over. Check back for future chats.
Engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory are currently assembling and testing the rover and other components of the Mars Science Laboratory in a clean room at JPL. The rover, known as Curiosity, is scheduled to launch at the end of 2011.
JPL's Education Office is hosting video chats about the mission for classrooms. Chats will feature the continuous live video feed of the rover's construction, available at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/nasajpl .
The first chat will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 23 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. PDT (1 to 1:30 p.m. EDT). The guest will be Ashwin Vasavada, the Mars Science Laboratory Deputy Project Scientist.
Each chat will be limited to six classrooms. Interested teachers are asked to send an email as soon as possible to firstname.lastname@example.org . Classrooms will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Teachers will be quickly notified if they are chosen to participate in the November chat. In order to participate, selected teachers must email at least three questions composed by their classes about Curiosity, the mission or Mars. Those questions must be submitted by Friday, Nov. 19. Teachers will then receive the email and password to the chat page.
Technical requirements: Classrooms must be able to view the live video on JPL's Ustream page at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/nasajpl and have access to email. It is not necessary for classrooms to use the Ustream chat functionality.
More information about the mission can be found at http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/ . Highlights of the rover can be found at http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2010-302 .