CBS THIS MORNING is the first television broadcast to go behind-the-scenes of the assembly work for the Mars 2020 mission at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The report will be broadcast Monday, Feb. 8 (7:00-9:00 AM) on the CBS Television Network. CBS News Correspondent Jan Crawford will go inside the Pasadena, Calif., facility where highly sensitive work is underway for the next rover mission that will change the way we see the universe.
The rover will blast off to Mars in 2020 on an unmanned mission – another crucial step toward realizing NASA’s goal of sending humans to the red planet in the next 20 years. In Monday’s report, Crawford will speak with the NASA scientists and engineers behind the project and provide unprecedented television reporting on key parts of the mission.
Inside the spacecraft assembly room, Crawford and the engineers were required to wear protective suits to prevent the spacecraft from becoming contaminated. She will give viewers an up-close look at the rocket-powered landing system that will drop an SUV-sized rover on the surface of Mars. Crawford will also show how NASA is testing a new robotic arm and drill that will provide crucial clues in the search for Martian life. The type of drill is new for the 2020 mission, and its testing has not been shown on television before.
Senior NASA engineer Jim Lewis, whose team is testing how to extract oxygen from Mars’ atmosphere to be used as fuel and for astronauts to breathe, tells Crawford that “without question” humans will someday make it to Mars.
In addition to Crawford’s report on Monday’s broadcast, CBS THIS MORNING has partnered with the virtual reality firm Jaunt VR to give viewers a virtual look inside the Mars 2020 mission at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Viewers will be able to scroll through a 360-degree tour of various rooms, including the spacecraft assembly room and the Mars Yard. The 360-degree content will be available Monday on CBS THIS MORNING’s Facebook page and at CBSThisMorning.com. A more immersive virtual reality experience will be available on Jaunt’s app, which can be downloaded on Android or iPhone.
CBS THIS MORNING launched Jan. 9, 2012 and has become the Network’s most successful morning newscast in more than two decades. Each weekday morning, Charlie Rose, Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell deliver two hours of original reporting, breaking news and top-level newsmaker interviews in an engaging and informative format that challenges the norm in network morning news programs. The broadcast has earned a prestigious Peabody Award, two News & Documentary Emmys and one Daytime Emmy. The broadcast was also honored with an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award as part of CBS News’ division-wide coverage of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
Chris Licht is the Vice President of Programming, CBS News, and Executive Producer of CBS THIS MORNING and CBS THIS MORNING: SATURDAY.
Press Contact: Lance Frank 212-975-5959 FrankL@cbsnews.com