Updated Jan. 27: Our web chat is over. You can watch an archive of the program here: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/12283600 .
January is a great month to talk to students about rovers and robotics. Seven years ago, in January 2004, the rovers Spirit and Opportunity landed on Mars. This month, engineers and technicians at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory continue to put finishing touches on the rovers' successor, the Mars Science Laboratory, also known as Curiosity.
This Thursday, Jan. 27 at 11 a.m. Pacific, schools are invited to watch a live web program featuring questions submitted by students on the topics of Mars exploration and rovers. (We are no longer accepting questions for the chat.) Our guest will be NASA/JPL engineer Nagin Cox. Nagin is currently on the mission operations team for the Mars Science Laboratory. She was the Deputy Team Chief of the Spacecraft/Rover Engineering Flight Team for Spirit and Opportunity. In addition, Nagin spent most of 2010 looking into a future Mars mission.
The live chat will be online at http://www.ustream.tv/nasajpl2 . It will be archived on the same website after the program.
Technical requirements: To watch the live or archived chat, classrooms must be able to view the live video on JPL's Ustream page at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/nasajpl. It is not necessary for classrooms to use the Ustream chat functionality.
More information about the Mars Science Laboratory 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 .
Information about Spirit and Opportunity can be found online at http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/home/index.html .