Scheduled to launch in the fall of 2011, Mars Science Laboratory is part of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program, a long-term effort of robotic exploration of the red planet. Mars Science Laboratory is a rover that will assess whether Mars ever was, or is still today, an environment able to support microbial life. In other words, its mission is to determine the planet’s “habitability.”
Taken from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Website

Want to send your name to Mars?? Go here to fill in your information and include your name on a microchip on the Mars Science Laboratory rover heading to Mars in 2011! You can also see a cool chart showing the number of names submitted by each state. Who says you can’t go to Mars?

While you’re waiting for the 2011 rover to take off, why not check out Invaders from the Great Goo Galaxy? It’s a fun online book to get you into an outer space frame of mind! You can also find out more information about Mars using the following links:

Kid’s Astronomy: Mars
NASA’S Mars Exploration Program
Space Place – Let’s Go To Mars!
Paper Models of the Mars Pathfinder Spacecraft!
Check out this Solar Telescope!

Happy Learning!