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MRO Snaps Phoenix
Topic: Mars
NASA has achieved a photographic first. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured an image of Phoenix, hanging below its parachute, as the lander descended through the martian atmosphere.

Martian Touchdown
Topic: Mars
NASA´s Phoenix lander has touched down safely on Mars and sent back the first close-up pictures of the planet´s northern arctic plains. Over the next three months, it will look for evidence of liquid water in Mars´s recent past.

Iron-Coated Fossils
Topic: Mars
Fossilized microbes found in Spain´s Rio Tinto valley may guide the search for past life on Mars.

Building Life's Foundations
Topic: Mars
New research conducted by the MARTE project team has shown that microbes can make barren areas suitable for life. This could have important implications for the search for life on Mars and other planets.

Rendezvous with Mars
Topic: Mars
Phoenix, NASA´s latest mission to Mars, is a lander that will touch down in the planet´s northern polar region on May 25, 2008. It will search for evidence that liquid water, and a habitable environment for life, have been present there in the recent past. But first the spacecraft has to land safely.

Oceans Gasping for Breath
Topic: Climate
During the Jurassic, global warming and severe environmental change led to the extinction of many species. One of the most intriguing effects was that the oceans became starved of oxygen.

Testing Times for Robotic Explorers
Topic: Mars
A team of scientists have been investigating how signs of life on Mars can be spotted using instruments on robotic probes.

Is There Life on Mars? Ask a Magnet.
Topic: Mars
Magnetite, a type of iron oxide, is common on both Earth and Mars, and appears in many forms. On Earth, some of those forms are produced only by bacteria and have unique magnetic signatures. Soon Sam Kim has developed a means of detecting this biologically-produced magnetite help in the search for life on Mars.

Intelligence: A Rare Cosmic Commodity
Topic: Alien Life
A mathematical model taking into account the limited habitable lifespan of the Earth suggests that four evolutionary steps were required for intelligent life to evolve. If this applies to other worlds, intelligent life may be rare in the universe.

A Vision for Exploration
Topic: Moon to Mars
Bernard Foing is chief scientist of the European Space Agency´s Research and Scientific Support Department. He sees exploration of our Moon as only the first step toward understanding the potential for life in our solar system and beyond.
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