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Program NG Live

  • This video was filmed on October 24, 2012 as part of the National Geographic Live! Lecture series at National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C.

    A car-sized rover named Curiosity landed on Mars in August 2012. This particular rover, launched in November 2011, was created by the Mars Science Laboratory mission, which is part of NASA's Mars Exploration Program. Curiosity was designed to assess whether Mars was ever habitable. Did Mars ever have an environment able to support small life forms called microbes?


    • Director of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Dr. Charles Elachi gives a behind-the-scenes look into "Seven Minutes of Terror," the video documenting the unprecedented and historic Mars rover landing in August 2012.
  • For Further Exploration


  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    exploration Noun

    study and investigation of unknown places, concepts, or issues.

    Mars Noun

    fourth planet from the sun, between Earth and Jupiter.

    Mars Exploration Rover Noun

    one of two robots (Spirit and Opportunity) sent by NASA to explore the surface and atmosphere of Mars.

    planet Noun

    large, spherical celestial body that regularly rotates around a star.

    Encyclopedic Entry: planet
    rover Noun

    vehicle that remotely explores a region, such as the surface of a moon, planet, or other celestial body.

    solar system Noun

    the sun and the planets, asteroids, comets, and other bodies that orbit around it.

    spacecraft Noun

    vehicle designed for travel outside Earth's atmosphere.

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