When a Boeing [NYSE: BA] Delta II rocket launches the first of two Mars Exploration Rover (MER) missions for NASA on June 8, the world will experience the excitement of space exploration and science more than ever before through the worldwide web.
In partnership with NASA's Kennedy Space Center and Jet Propulsion Laboratory, LEGO and The Planetary Society, Boeing has created a link to the Delta II mission press kit that will introduce visitors to the flurry of activity surrounding the launches of MER A and MER B.
The web site, aptly named Mars Exploration Rover Mission, highlights key Mars activities including live coverage of the launches, press conferences and mission briefings on NASA Select (television) and NASA Direct (web).
Visitors can find the answers to all of their Mars questions on the MER Mission page; or find out how a rocket really launches on the Delta II press kit pages.
But who said science couldn't be fun too?!?!
Through the Mars Exploration Rover Mission web page, space enthusiasts young and old can follow the MER missions through the Astrobot diaries, drive a rover over the surface of Mars (simulated, of course) and read about the LEGO 1:1 scale model of the real Mars rover.
And for the ultimate team experience, school age fans of Mars can join the FIRST LEGO LEAGUE Challenge:2003; and this year the international competition is all about Mars!
For all the adventure and excitement Space has to offer online visit the
Mars Exploration Rover Mission web site.
Delta II/MER A Mission
The launch of MER-A will occur at an instantaneous window of 2:05:55 p.m. EDT from Space Launch Complex 17A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. A second launch opportunity exists on June 8 at 2:44:07 p.m. EDT, if necessary.
MER-A will be launched aboard a Delta II 7925-9.5 configuration launch vehicle and will be deployed approximately 37 minutes after liftoff.
The second of the two missions, MER-B, is scheduled for launch on June 25, also from Cape Canaveral.
The primary goals of the MER missions are to: determine if life existed on Mars; characterize the climate of Mars; characterize the geology of Mars; and prepare for human exploration of Mars.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $25 billion business. It provides systems solutions to
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space-based communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile defense; NASA's largest contractor; and a global leader in launch services.