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Lakeside Landing
Topic: Mars
Gusev Crater, one of the landing sites proposed for the upcoming missions to Mars, is believed to the site of an ancient lakebed. By landing there, NASA hopes to learn more about Mars's watery past.

Red Rovers: Returning to Mars
Topic: Mars
NASA will launch two rovers to Mars in the late spring of this year. In this, the first of two articles on potential landing sites, we will examine one of the leading candidates, Meridiani Planum.

Mars: Tilting towards Life?
Topic: Mars
Where is the best place on Mars to look for evidence of life? At the poles, says one scientist. Although frozen solid today, in past eras, when Mars was more highly tilted, the poles were warm enough for liquid water to form.

Evidence of Snow on Mars - and Perhaps an Abode for Life?
Topic: Mars
Erosion patterns inside craters on Mars suggest a snowy cycle to water runoff. The Mars Odyssey team has proposed a new model that brings the prospect of liquid water closer to the surface.

Early Mars: Oceans Away?
Topic: Mars
The surface of Mars is scarred by ancient river valleys, apparently carved by liquid water. But was Mars warm and wet continuously for millions of years - or only temporarily when massive asteroids slammed into it? The likelihood of life on Mars may depend on the answer.

Stargazers To See Red
Topic: Mars
2003 promises a Martian close approach not witnessed in more than 50,000 years--since early humans started cave-painting. Indeed, the astronomical year ahead promises to be painted red for stargazers.

Roses for the Red Planet
Topic: Mars
At a conference on terraforming Mars, one topic of discussion was the importance - and the risks - of seeding the Red Planet.

Build Your Own Planet
Topic: Mars
Build your own virtual planet, complete with weather, habitable tropics and a tunable thermostat. In reality, changing an entire biosphere would dwarf the limits of engineers' most grand projects: Hoover Dam, Suez and Panama Canals, or hurricane cloud-seeding.

Smoking Craters: Home to Martian Life?
Topic: Mars
Mars may be smaller than Earth, but it's still huge to a roving spacecraft that can cover only 100 meters a day. For that reason, Mars mission planners must go to great lengths to find landing sites that might still carry evidence that life once existed on Mars.

No Drought of Mars Landing Sites
Topic: Mars
With the Mars Exploration Rover (or MER) landing sites narrowed from 150 alternatives, the prospect of roaming around ancient lakebeds or searching for the grey crystals called hematite has orbital cameras clicking.
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