New Video Series: Countdown to Mars!

Join us as we countdown to the launch of the Mars 2020 rover: Perseverance!

Join us as we countdown the days until the launch of the Mars 2020 rover, Perseverance! Each weekday from July 1st, 2020 until Perseverance takes off, NASA Astrobiology will be showcasing a short video highlighting why our researchers are excited about this important mission back to the red planet.


Countdown to Mars! with Dr. Stephanie Getty
Dr. Stephanie Getty discusses the importance of a multi-pronged approach to exploring Mars and how Perseverance is both building on its predecessors and helping future missions like ExoMars.

Click to watch on the NASA Astrobiology YouTube channel.

Image credit: Mike Toillion / NASA Astrobiology.
Countdown to Mars! with Dr. Heather Graham
Dr. Heather Graham discusses some scientific "extras", known as witness tubes and drillable blanks, that the rover is bringing along to increase the accuracy of its experiments.

Click to watch on the NASA Astrobiology YouTube channel.

Image credit: Mike Toillion / NASA Astrobiology.
Countdown to Mars! with Dr. David Des Marais.
Dr. David Des Marais breaks down the importance of studying the geology and chemistry of early Earth in order to understand the possibilities for ancient life on Mars.

Click to watch on the NASA Astrobiology YouTube channel.

Image credit: MIKE TOILLION / NASA ASTROBIOLOGY.
Countdown to Mars! with Dr. Parag Vaishampayan
Dr. Parag Vaishampayan explains how his planetary protection team is creating a genomic inventory of any possible microbial life that could be stowing away onboard Perseverance, and how they're protecting the red planet from contamination.

Click to watch on the NASA Astrobiology YouTube channel.

Image credit: Mike Toillion / NASA Astrobiology.
Countdown to Mars! with Dr. Melissa Rice
Dr. Melissa Rice discusses the ins and outs of MASTCAM-Z, Perseverance's vision system and her excitement of the unexpected.

Click to watch on the NASA Astrobiology YouTube channel.

Image credit: Mike Toillion / NASA Astrobiology.
Countdown to Mars! with Dr. Prabhakar Misra
Dr. Prabhakar Misra reflects on the 30-year history of Mars exploration and how it strives to answer key questions in Astrobiology: are we alone in the Universe? is there, or was there ever life on Mars?

Click to watch on the NASA Astrobiology YouTube channel.

Image credit: Mike Toillion / NASA Astrobiology.
Countdown to Mars! with Dr. Jennifer Glass
Dr. Jennifer Glass discusses the importance of methane, a possible biosignature on Mars, and her hope of Perseverance discovering stromatolites, which are geologic structures that are signs of past life.

Click to watch on the NASA Astrobiology YouTube channel.

Image credit: Mike Toillion / NASA Astrobiology.
Dr. Rakesh Mogul
Dr. Rakesh Mogul from Cal Poly Pomona discusses how studying the microbial environment of NASA's spacecraft production facilities can inform Planetary Protection policies and the search for life on Mars.

Click to watch on the NASA Astrobiology YouTube channel.

Image credit: Mike Toillion / NASA Astrobiology.
Countdown to Mars! with Dr. Amy Williams
Dr. Amy Williams discusses the 3 astrobiology goals of this mission: determining the habitability of Jezero crater, searching for geology with the highest potential for biosignature preservation, and searching for evidence of ancient life.

Click to watch on the NASA Astrobiology YouTube channel.

Image credit: Mike Toillion / NASA Astrobiology.
Countdown to Mars! with Dr. Edgard Rivera-Valentín
Dr. Edgard Rivera-Valentín discusses how learning more about the Martian water cycle could reveal its potential for supporting life.

Click to watch on the NASA Astrobiology YouTube channel.

Image credit: Mike Toillion / NASA Astrobiology.
Countdown to Mars! with Dr. Alexis Templeton
Dr. Alexis Templeton from the University of Colorado, Boulder, discusses the importance of Perserverance's landing site, Jezero Crater, and how it relates to her fieldwork here on Earth!

Click to watch on the NASA Astrobiology YouTube channel.

Image credit: Mike Toillion / NASA Astrobiology.
Dr. Ruben Michael Ceballos
Dr. Ruben Michael Ceballos, from the University of Arkansas discusses NASA's long history of space exploration and the search for extremophiles: organisms that can live under extremely harsh conditions.

Click to watch on the NASA Astrobiology YouTube channel.

Image credit: Mike Toillion / NASA Astrobiology.
Countdown to Mars! with Dr. Nathalie Cabrol
Dr. Nathalie Cabrol, the Director of the Carl Sagan Center at the SETI Institute, discusses how this mission to Mars is the culmination of years of field work and study on Earth.

Click to watch on the NASA Astrobiology YouTube channel.

Image credit: Mike Toillion / NASA Astrobiology.
Countdown to Mars! with Dr. Justin Filiberto
Dr. Justin Filiberto discusses Jezero crater, the landing site of Perseverance, and how it relates to his field work in geologically similar places on Earth.

Click to watch on the NASA Astrobiology YouTube channel.

Image credit: Mike Toillion / NASA Astrobiology.
Countdown to Mars! with Tessa Fisher
Tessa Fisher, a PhD candidate from the School of Earth & Space Exploration at Arizona State University, discusses her research on the potential habitability of the Martian subsurface, particularly at its icy pole.

Click to watch on the NASA Astrobiology YouTube channel.

Image credit: Mike Toillion / NASA Astrobiology.
Countdown to Mars! with Dr Paula Welander
Dr. Paula Welander discusses the importance of returning samples from Mars and the symbol of hope that this mission provides in difficult times.

Click to watch on the NASA Astrobiology YouTube channel.

Image credit: Mike Toillion / NASA Astrobiology.
Countdown to Mars! with Dr. Kennda Lynch
Dr. Kennda Lynch discusses the importance of the Perseverance landing site, Jezero crater, and if paleolake basins like it could harbor signs of ancient life.

Click to watch on the NASA Astrobiology YouTube channel.

Image credit: Mike Toillion / NASA Astrobiology.
Countdown to Mars! with Dr. Sarah Johnson
Dr. Sarah Stewart Johnson discusses the importance of getting samples back from Mars and the search for what she calls "agnostic biosignatures"!

Click to watch on the NASA Astrobiology YouTube channel.

Image credit: Mike Toillion / NASA Astrobiology.
Countdown to Mars! with Dr. Mackenzie Day
Dr. Mackenzie Day from UCLA discusses Martian wind and the rare opportunity presented to study its effects without the usual weather conditions on Earth.

Click to watch on the NASA Astrobiology YouTube channel.

Image credit: Mike Toillion / NASA Astrobiology.



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Created by: Mike Toillion
Music by: Mike Toillion & Sam Doshier