Status Report

Planetary Society Red Rover Challenge

By SpaceRef Editor
December 3, 2002
Filed under ,

Dear Member,

Today I am writing to tell you that our revolutionary
student-involvement program, Red Rover Goes to Mars,
is back on track – and it’s even bigger and better
than before! This incredible enterprise will help
secure a place for you and me and all interested
citizens at the helm of real planetary exploration.

But we need your help . . . For the first time in
the history of the space program, NASA has allowed
a private organization, The Planetary Society, to
create an educational experiment for an actual
Mars mission AND include specially selected students
to participate in hands-on mission operations.

Next spring, when the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER)
mission heads to the Red Planet with its two rovers,
we will be an integral part of it. Our partner in
the pioneering venture, the LEGO Company, has agreed
that for every dollar we raise in the next 30 days
toward this innovative Red Rover project, they will
match that gift with an additional dollar!

This special Red Rover Challenge means every $1 of
your gift is worth $2 to the Society.

For the first time, public participants – not just a
small, lucky, elite group of NASA scientists – will
be part of mission control, sitting in on operations
meetings and working with the mission science team.

Our role on MER is essentially composed of two unique
projects – the selection of student “astronauts” to
participate in mission operations at JPL, and the
imaging of two experiments on a Society-supplied DVD
that will fly aboard the spacecraft.

As a dedicated Society Member, you can be proud that
we are sponsoring such inspiring endeavors. This is
only the second time in the history of space
exploration that privately contributed hardware is
flying to another world — the first time was when
our Mars Microphone flew in 1998.

I’m asking you, as a Member of The Planetary Society,
to play a crucial role in the transformation of
space exploration by allowing true public
participation in this great adventure. Please
help us to “make it happen” with your most generous
gift, to be matched dollar-for-dollar by the LEGO
Company, in support of our Red Rover Challenge.

Support this project online at:

Thank you,

Louis D. Friedman
Executive Director

P.S. If you haven’t received it already, you will
probably be getting a letter about this challenge in
the mail. If you would prefer making a donation to
support Red Rover Goes to Mars through
standard mail, please feel free to use the
response envelope we’ve included with your letter.

SpaceRef staff editor.