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A Divining Rod for Mars
Topic: Mars
Mars may have water underground but exactly where it is located is not known. An instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory will use neutrons to help spy for the water.

Liquid Water in the Martian North? Maybe.
Topic: Mars
Scientists responsible for NASA's Phoenix mission were surprised to find the chemical compound perchlorate in the soil at the spacecraft's landing site. On Earth, perchlorate is commonly associated with liquid water. On Mars, however, the implication is not so clear.

Unlocking Martian Rocks
Topic: Mars
A new study offers a simplified technique for detecting biological molecules in martian rock. The equipment is too large to be put on a rover, but it could be used to analyze samples brought back from Mars.

Testing for Life on Mars
Topic: Mars
Controversy still surrounds the life-detection results from NASA's Viking mission of 30 years ago. The Phoenix mission now on Mars may help answer questions raised by Viking, but researchers will need to be able to spot the difference between chemical and biological signatures.

Biological Stowaways on Mars
Topic: Mars
Astrobiologists hope to find evidence for life on Mars. Sending spacecraft from Earth to study the planet could introduce biological contamination, however, and lead to a false detection of alien life. New research adds to these concerns with evidence that ATP -- an energy-storage molecule vital to life on Earth.

Can You Hear Me Now?
Topic: Mars
A glitch in the communications hardware of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has caused a delay in the Phoenix mission.
UPDATE: MRO received information from the Phoenix Mars Lander Tuesday evening and relayed the information to Earth.

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.
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