Video Descriptive Text for Chapter 2: Go Back to Mars

Narration: Lauren Ward


Video Descriptive Text for Leaders in Lidar | Chapter 2: Go Back to Mars

00:00 Graphic appears reading “January 5, 1994, 467 Days after Launch” in blocky yellow text over blurry footage of a NASA press briefing

00:04 Old footage of scientist Ed Stone with a concerned look, the camera then pans to William Huntress, Jr., also with a concerned look

00:10 Timothy Coffey walks up from the panel desk to a NASA lectern and begins to speak to the audience

00:15 Graphic appears reading “Timothy Coffey, Mars Observer Mission Failure Investigation Board, Naval Research Lab”

00:17 Old footage shows an overhead slide reading “Failure Scenario Assessment Process” with several boxes of text going from first stage to fourth stage

00:23 Fullscreen graphic of a collage of newspaper headlines, the center of which reads “Mars Observer had fuel line leak”

00:27 Old footage shows animation of spacecraft rotating in orbit near Mars as two jets of yellow fuel spew out into space and a timestamp on the bottom reads “22/Aug/93 00:45:22.00”

00:31 Old footage of William Huntress, Jr. speaking at the panel, graphic appears reading “William Huntress, Jr., Associate Administrator for Space Science, NASA HQ”

00:40 Fullscreen graphic of a newspaper headline collage, the center reading “‘Mars Observer’ doomed from start, NASA investigative panel blames poorly designed fuel system”

00:44 Another fullscreen graphic of a newspaper headline collage, the first reading “Setback batters NASA image,” a second reading “NASA’s run of bad luck questioned,” and a third reading “NASA’s rocky road to the heavens, Challenger, Hubble, Mars Observer giving space program a black eye”

00:54 David E. Smith appears in front of a white bookcase on a video call

01:00 Fullscreen graphic of series and episode title, reading “Leaders in Lidar, Chapter 2: Go Back to Mars” in yellow blocky glowing font. The background is a blue grid with multicolored laser beams flying toward the camera and various images of people and instruments swirling around the edges

01:06 Graphic dips to black then on screen Bryan Blair appears in a video call. A graphic appears reading “Bryan Blair, MOLA Flight Software Analyst”

01:15 Jan McGarry on a video call, graphic appears reading “Jan McGarry, MOLA Computer Systems Engineer”

01:30 Jim Abshire on a video call, a few seconds later a graphic appears reading “Jim Abshire, MOLA Instrument Scientist”

01:40 David E. Smith appears again on a video call, a graphic appears reading “David E. Smith, MOLA Principal Investigator”

01:48 Fullscreen graphic of a newspaper headline reading “Time for Mars Observer II?” over a blurry newspaper photo of the Mars Observer spacecraft in a cleanroom

01:51 Fullscreen graphic of the original poster for Mars Global Surveyor satellite, framed in the center hovering over the limb of Mars. The background is a blue grid with various spacecraft schematics

01:57 Back to David E. Smith on a video call

02:15 Old footage of the silver and gold Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft rotating slowly in a cleanroom, the next shot is a close up of the top of the spacecraft and the footage freezes to outline in yellow the position of the MOLA instrument as the label “MOLA” appears next to it. The footage unfreezes and the spacecraft continues to rotate.

02:25: Zooming out from a computer monitor in some old footage to an engineer looking intently at the screen with two other men in the background of the room. Graphic appears reading “voice of Jack Bufton, MOLA Lead Engineer”

02:32 Jim Abshire on a video call

02:48 Close up on an old grainy color photo of a smiling team, camera pushes into Xiaoli Sun wearing a brown sweater vest

02:53 Present day Xiaoli Sun speaking on a video call, graphic appears reading “Xiaoli Sun, MOLA Laser Detector Engineer”

03:00 Old footage with Sun in the foreground surrounded by colleagues in a room all looking at some computer monitors. The camera swings around to see Sun’s profile with Smith, Abshire and Maria Zuber behind him

03:06 Jim Abshire on a video call

03:08 An old photo is centered over a green background. The photo is of Jim Abshire speaking to another engineer in the mid 1990s. A woman is in front and with her back to the camera

03:11 Xiaoli Sun on a video call

03:22 A montage of old footage showing the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft being prepared in thermal vacuum chamber for testing, the spacecraft being slowly lowered onto a large metal dolly, guided by white suited engineers

03:28 Old photo of Bryan Blair, Jack Bufton and other engineers in an office with old computers

03:30 Old photo of a smiling young man in a white bunny suit next to two large white refrigerator-sized cylinders in a cleanroom

03:32 Old footage showing the open bay of the Space Shuttle Endeavour before launch, rows of white cylinders are visible in the large open bay while a man in a bunny suit stands nearby

03:35 Zoom in on an old official document reading “Shuttle Laser Altimeter (SLA), A Pathfinder for Space-Based Laser Altimetry and Lidar.” Beneath is the list of authors, including Bufton, Garvin and Blair. A green line appears to underline “Shuttle Laser Altimeter (SLA)”

03:39 Jim Garvin seated in a studio interview with a colorful map of Mars behind him on a large screen

03:40 Graphic appears reading “Jim Garvin, Shuttle Laser Altimeter, Principal Investigator”

03:42 Old photo of Jack Bufton and another engineer in white bunny suits standing over the large white cylindrical Shuttle Laser Altimeter

03:48 Old photo of the same lab with the Shuttle Laser Altimeter with engineer John Cavanaugh smiling at the camera

03:51 Old photo of Bryan Blair with a very long ponytail standing at a computer terminal

03:53 Old photo of a bronze colored cylinder with 5 wider metal rings around it and lots of wires coming out

03:56 A man appears in a video call with the graphic reading “Scott Luthcke, Shuttle Laser Altimeter Systems Engineer”

04:00 An old animation of the Space Shuttle Endeavour static in frame as Earth rotates beneath it. In a repeated cycle, a single red laser beam goes from the Shuttle, and a blue beam bounces back from South America to the Shuttle

04:10 Zooming into an old photo of an open office window with the flat roof visible on a clear day, several cars and another farther building visible in the background

04:20 Old footage of a circular blue and red logo reading “NASA Get Away Special” in the middle and “Small Self-Contained Payloads” around the perimeter

04:22 Old footage of white bunny suited engineers loading the bay of the Space Shuttle Endeavour with the Get Away Special payloads

04:26 Old footage of the nighttime launch of the Space Shuttle, followed by a wider shot of the rocket and Shuttle lifting off, lighting up the night sky

04:32 Old footage of the Space Shuttle in orbit with its bay wide open and the Earth limb on the right side in the background

04:37 Old footage from the perspective of the Space Shuttle bay as one of the cylinders’ covers slowly opens. The Earth is visible above because the Shuttle is upside down

04:42 Old footage with a closer shot of the cylinder opening in the all white Shuttle bay with the black of space behind it

04:45 Old footage of Jack Bufton seated in front of a computer monitor showing location of the Space Shuttle. Bufton is wearing a headset and pushing buttons and looking at a document

04:50 Old footage of another engineer seated in front of computer showing the measurements of the Shuttle Laser Altimeter as the man writes on a paper

04:53 Jim Garvin in a studio interview speaks and makes a wiggly hand gesture to illustrate the waviness of the data

04:59 Old footage of Bufton and Bryan Blair in front of the large computer, looking at the monitor and discussing

05:04 Back to Garvin in studio

05:08 Old footage showing two graphs as a computer mouse pointer indicates a large mountain profile on the graph. The graphs are titled “Mauna Kea Volcano” with the Y-axes reading “Relief (m)” and “Roughness (m)” and on the X-axes reading “Horizontal Distance (km).”

05:13 Old footage of Garvin and a woman moderator on a press briefing where Garvin speaks to camera

05:17 Old footage of Garvin as graphic appears reading “Dr Jim Garvin, SLA Science Team Lead”

05:28 Old footage of another graph of elevation, reading “SLA-01 1/15/96 Trans-Australia Pass with Desert Landscapes.” The Y-axis reads “Relative Elevation (m)” and the X-axis reads “Relative Distance (km).” The data line in the graph is very jagged with a large peak in the middle

05:30 Old footage of Bufton, Blair and another engineer in front of computers, pointing at and looking at the screen and making notes on documentation

05:34 Present day Bryan Blair on a video call

05:40 Old footage of Blair pointing at data on a computer monitor with another engineer seated with him

05:42 Fullscreen graphic labeled “Vegetation Height Measurements in the Amazon Basin,” which shows two red jagged lines outlining trees over a green background. The top red line is labeled “Canopy Top,” and the bottom read line is labeled “Underlying Terrain.” The Y-axis is labeled “Elevation (Meters)” and the X-axis is labeled “Laser Shot Number.”

05:47 Old footage showing the top of the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft, much of it wrapped in gold blanketing with small white domed tents covering the openings of instruments, including MOLA

05:51 Jim Abshire on a video call

05:53 Old footage of the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft being slowly lowered on a crane in a cleanroom as a white bunny suited technician monitors

05:58 Old footage with the logo of Mars Global Surveyor in the foreground on the outside of a shipping container while engineers in the background lower the spacecraft inside the cleanroom

06:01 Old footage of a close up of the white and teal rocket lifting off from the tower as it rises out of frame on a clear day

06:04 Old footage of a wide shot of the rocket lifting off from the tower as a graphic appears reading “November 7, 1996”

06:16 Bryan Blair on video call

06:19 Old animation of Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft flying over the surface of Mars as puffs emit from the spacecraft and slows its orbit

06:25 Old footage of a middle-aged man and then a woman staring intently at a screen in a room full of people. A graphic appears reading “September 15, 1997, Goddard Space Flight Center.”

06:29 Old footage of a room full of scientists and engineers, including Smith, Garvin, Sun and Abshire, as they all wait and watch computer screens. A woman in front is on a headset and communicates with mission operations people

06:30 Quickly cut montage of old footage of scientists and engineers, seated, standing and pacing, anxiously awaiting data from MOLA in a packed busy room

06:35 Graphic appears on screen reading “Can you tell if MOLA is turned off?

07:00 Old footage of several people huddle closely around an engineer on a computer, looking closely in anticipation

07:02 Old footage of several people cheering, yelling, clapping, jumping and shaking hands in celebration

07:12 Old footage of people looking in awe and celebration at data received from the MOLA instrument

07:23 Old footage of an engineer looking overwhelmed by the data on his monitor as many people huddle around him

07:28 Old footage of a hand pointing up and down to elevation data profiled on a computer monitor

07:32 Old animation of Mars Global Surveyor satellite moving in orbit from right to left as a glowing red pulse of light bounces between the cross-section of the surface of Mars and the spacecraft, creating a blue line draped over the topography

07:34 Old animation of the Mars surface, colored in green, yellow, red and orange, as it rotates toward the camera, revealing mountains, craters and valleys

07:36 Old animation of the multicolored topographic view of Mars as a globe as the camera pulls away from the South Pole to a wider view of the planet

07:38 Old footage of Garvin standing in a room with several scientists, engineers and posters of Mars in the background as he speaks to camera

07:40 Old animation showing a fast zoom in to a multicolored map of Mars’ South Pole, which then rotates

07:46 Old footage of David E. Smith seated on stage in front of a starry backdrop in a panel for a science result press briefing

07:49 Old animation of the Mars surface, colored in green, yellow, red and orange, as it rotates toward the camera, revealing very craggy valleys

07:54 Old footage of Maria Zuber seated on stage in front of a starry backdrop in a panel for a science result press briefing. Graphic appears reading “Maria Zuber, MOLA Deputy Principal Investigator”

07:57 Old footage of Smith seated in an office pointing to features of the MOLA-generated Martian topography to a woman seated next to him

08:01 Old footage of Smith in an office for an interview with a computer and a Mars globe behind him bathed in red lighting

08:06 Old footage of Smith and Zuber standing in front of a very large screen showing the South Pole of Mars in a blue-purple lighting. Zuber traces with her finger the perimeter of the ice cap in a counterclockwise motion while Smith watches

08:13 Old footage of Zuber wearing a blue blazer in a seated interview with images of Mars and the South pole behind her on monitors

08:25 Bryan Blair on a video call

08:39 Jim Garvin in a studio interview

08:44 Old footage of scientists and engineers crowded in a room with Zuber and Bufton in the center watching a computer monitor

08:50 Old footage of scientists and engineers huddled together looking intently at a computer that is off screen

08:54 Old footage slightly slowed down showing scientists and engineers huddled together looking intently at a computer that is off screen as Bufton in the center lifts his head up and back and smiles in elation

08:58 Graphic reading “Coming up next” in yellow blocky letters over grainy old footage of white bunny suited engineers and a large gold spacecraft

09:05 Smith on video call

09:07 Abshire on video call

09:10 Old animation of dashed green laser traveling in a right angled path inside the spacecraft components

09:12 Macroscopic black-and-white image of wires attached to a surface with noticeable metallic corrosion

09:13 Engineers in bunny suits in a cleanroom discussing with each other

09:15 Low polygon animation of a spacecraft cruising above the surface of the Moon with lots of location and time data and a logo for “LRO” in the upper right

09:16 The NASA logo, a blue circle with a red stylized arrow and a white orbit path around white letters reading “NASA”