In an interactive video experience at “Welcome to Mars,” the latest educational resource from the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), Steve Squyres, principal scientific investigator of the Mars rover mission, narrates a “once-in-a-lifetime” visual tour of the rovers’ most revealing discoveries. Using compelling photography from the Spirit and Opportunity rovers, Squyres describes NASA’s search for the presence of water in the planet’s bedrock, fighting technical issues and potential disappointment along the way. With each breathtaking image, Squyres relives the excitement of finding proof that water once existed on Mars–and of discovering what kind of environment the planet once had. This visual tour is just one of the many interactive elements featured on the site. Others include “Anatomy of a Rover,” where students can examine the robotic geologists and their suite of scientific instruments; “Design a Parachute,” where students can try their hand at creating a parachute strong and light enough to safely slow the rovers in their descent toward Mars; and “From Launch to Landing,” where students can watch an animation of one rover’s fantastic journey from Earth to Mars. The web site, which also includes a “Teacher’s Guide,” is a companion to a documentary by the same name that premiered Jan. 4 on PBS.

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