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NOVA: Is There Life On Mars?

Airs Wednesday, August 10, 2011 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity climbed out of "Victoria Crater" following the tracks it had made when it descended into the 800-meter-diameter bowl nearly a year earlier.

Buzz Aldrin Interview

As the second person to set foot on the moon, Buzz Aldrin knows a thing or two about visiting other planetary bodies. He's dismayed by the fact that astronauts haven't ventured farther than our closest celestial neighbor and wants to put humans permanently on Mars. In this interview, hear his ideas on how and why he thinks it should be done.

More than four years after they landed on Mars, NASA's twin robot explorers, Spirit and Opportunity, have lasted 16 times longer and driven 20 times farther than expected.

Along the way, they've endured the worst Martian storm ever recorded and survived near-fatal software glitches, a broken wheel and hair-raising climbs and descents on steep slopes. And since May 25, 2008, they've had new company on the red planet: NASA's Phoenix probe, which dramatically "tasted" water ice on the planet in July.

NOVA "Is There Life on Mars?" showcases the latest scientific results from the rovers and Phoenix, which are poised to reveal provocative new clues in the tantalizing search for water and life on the Red Planet.

Video

Preview: NOVA: Is There Life On Mars?

Watch the full episode. See more NOVA.