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07-Jun-03 | MER-A ready to go

MER-A is ready to go! Mission managers have closed out all of their reviews, and operations are progressing on schedule. Now the only issue is with the weather, which — as is typical of Florida this time of year — threatens developing afternoon thunderstorms. NASA will announce the names of the rovers, along with the grade school student who submitted the names, at a ceremony Sunday morning at 10:00 EDT, less than five hours before launch. All events will be carried live on NASA’s first-time online coverage of an expendable vehicle mission, called “NASA Direct!” — and if this mission has anywhere near the public response that Mars Pathfinder did, the real challenge tomorrow will be in keeping the web servers from being overwhelmed with visitors.

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