NASA EDGE Presents 2009 Mission Madness

March 13, 2009--What fun is March Madness if you can only play basketball on Earth? Travel into space and beyond with NASA EDGE?s Mission Madness to vote for your favorite NASA mission.

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Beginning Thursday, March 19th, participants will be able to begin voting. Voters can get started now by clicking here to view the lineup of 64 NASA missions, learn about mission goals, and predict which missions their fellow fans will vote for during this single elimination round.

Participants will be able to? vote for their favorite missions as many times as they like while? polls are open, with the very first Mission Madness Championship? Winner determined on April 8th, 2009.

Voting for the first round features 32 predetermined mission matchups. Each round consists of two days of online voting with the winning missions advancing in head to head competition.

How to Play

Print out your Mission Madness bracket here and make your predictions as you learn about the missions. You can print out as many brackets as you like to evaluate endless winning scenarios.

Second, return to the website and vote for your favorite missions ?during each round. You are allowed to vote for your favorite missions as many times as you like, so be sure to support your favorite ?missions to help them advance deep into the tournament. As voting is? completed for each round, the winning missions advance allowing you to? see how your predictions compare to all of the voters.

Key Dates:

March 9-18: Brackets available on the web site with the? head to head line-ups for each region.??
March 19-20: Round 1 Voting??
March 23-24: Round 2 Voting??
March 26-27: Sweet Sixteen Voting??
March 30-31: Quarter Final Round Voting??
April 2-3: Semi Final Round Voting
April 5-6: Final Round Voting??
April 7: NASA EDGE names 2009 Mission Madness Winning Mission

Mission Madness Selection Show

After applying a series of both computer formulas and human metrics to ?the vast body of NASA Missions, NASA EDGE hosts Chris, Blair and Franklin will reveal the ?opening round lineup of 64 competing missions for the 2009 Mission ?Madness Tournament. Sixteen individual missions competing in each of ?the four divisions (Nebula, Stellar, Galaxy and Horizon) provide key? matchups between missions past, present and future.??

NASA EDGE is joined by three prominent Mission Madness Analysts. Miles? O?Brien (former CNN Reporter), Melvin Ferebee (NASA Langley) and Keith? Cowing (NASA WATCH) will give their unique take on the how early rounds? will shake out and which missions will remain competitive deep into? the tournament. Further analysis is provided by NASA EDGE Facebook ?friends.

The true final four will not be revealed until April 4th, ?but Chris, Blair and Franklin share their predictions for which ?missions they think will compete to be the 2009 Mission Madness? Champion.

Until April 8th, it's up to you! Don?t forget to vote for your favorite: NASA?s Phoenix Mars Mission!