The latest Times Square attraction: Mars

Sally Herships Aug 3, 2012
HTML EMBED:
COPY

The latest Times Square attraction: Mars

Sally Herships Aug 3, 2012
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Jeremy Hobson: This Sunday night, NASA’s Curiosity Rover will be landing on Mars. And the $2.5 billion mission will be getting some big time publicity. The landing will broadcast live on the huge Toshiba Screen in New York’s Times Square.

Sally Herships reports.


Sally Herships: Just in case you didn’t know, NASA isn’t allowed to advertise. So when Toshiba offered the space administration the chance to broadcast in pricey Times Square, it was all systems go.

Sarah Ramsey: This is the American Space Agency. This is the American People’s Space agency.

Sarah Ramsey works with NASA. She says this is the hardest mission NASA has ever attempted in the history of robotic, planetary exploration. So, the agency wants people to see it. And to know where their tax dollars are going. In this case, to Mars with rovers.

Mary Lynne Dittmar: It is their best-selling hit.

Dr. Mary Lynne Dittmar is a consultant in space — the industry. She says in 2004, when NASA also sent rovers to Mars, she did a study where she found consumer interest in the rovers to be near adoration.

Dittmar: These two little critters that just kept on going. There were windstorms. There was dust all over the panels. They were declared dead on more than one occasion. And so there was drama.

Dittmar says with all the federal budget problems, it’s likely NASA is counting on intense geek love to help raise support for the space program.

From planet earth, I’m Sally Herships for Marketplace.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.