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Return to Mars
Red Planet: Up Close and Personal (Webcast)
Date: August 27, 2003
Running Time: 00:37:05

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We stayed up with Exploratorium scientist Ron Hipschman at the Lick Observatory in San Jose, California, for the best view we've had of Mars in a long, long time. At midnight on August 27, Earth and Mars passed closer to one another than they have in 60,000 years. Astronomers were on hand to tell us all about our nearest neighbor—its geography, orbit, and why both NASA and the European Space Agency have chosen this time to launch robotic missions to Mars.
Learn about ongoing missions to Mars and the long history of Mars exploration! Beginning in August 2012, we’ll present a series of webcasts about the Mars Science Laboratory mission and the newest rover, Curiosity. In over 30 previous webcasts, we’ve reported on the activities and discoveries of the Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, and the Mars Phoenix Lander. We also explore our changing perceptions of the red planet and envision how a human being would experience Mars.