In early January 2004, two spacecraft carrying identical robotic explorers will touch down on the surface of Mars. On that day, NOVA will present a special television event that climaxes with live coverage as NASA/JPL scientists await the first critical signals confirming that the rovers have landed safely. The show features a gripping behind-the-scenes glimpse of the design, testing, and launch of the mission. The engineers face a tense deadline as Mars approaches its closest rendezvous with Earth, they're stretched to the limit as parachutes rip, bolts fail, and airbags pop, everything that can go wrong does. Watch them apply all their ingenuity to overcome the technical hitches. Then join NOVA's exploration of the latest clues in the ultimate quest for signs of life on the mysterious red planet.