Beyond the Headlines: Squyres Recalls Mars Rover Missions

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Beyond the Headlines: Squyres Recalls Mars Rover Missions

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Michael Hagerty/KUNR

We talk with Dr. Steven Squyres, who led the Spirit and Opportunity rover missions to Mars. And astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson on the future of space exploration.

In January 2004, two small robots rolled across the rocky terrain of Mars taking photos. They only moved a few miles, but back on earth Steven Squyres knew they had made a leap forward in history.

The two robots, nicknamed Spirit and Opportunity, were searching for the building blocks of life on Mars -- namely water -- and they found proof that it once existed there.

And it's for that discovery and those missions that the Desert Research Institute will honor Dr. Squyres for his work with its 25th annual Nevada Medal.

On this edition of Beyond the Headlines, Squyres talks about his experiences on the missions and his continued search for life on other planets.

Also: Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson talks about his role demoting Pluto from planet status and about the future of space exploration.

And we'll hear the story of a B science fiction movie about Mars that was shot in Nevada's Lehman Caves in the 1960s.