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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.

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.

NASA´s Wine Sniffer
Topic: Mars
A detector designed to search for signs of life on Mars may prove useful closer to home. It turns out the device also excels at identifying the components of red wine and other foods and beverages that can cause headaches, or in extreme cases, even lead to strokes.

Life on Mars - Viking Revisited
Topic: Mars
The Viking missions to Mars tried to find evidence for life on the planet's surface, but the results of those experiments were frustratingly ambiguous. Joop Houtkooper recently has taken another look at the data, and he suspects that Viking may have discovered Martian microbes after all.

Phoenix Takes Flight
Topic: Mars
Phoenix, NASA´s latest mission to Mars, will land in the planet´s northern polar region. It will dig down into the permafrost, which lies just below the surface, and look for signs of past habitability.

Looking for Microbial Martians
Topic: Mars
A miniature detector, 1 million times more sensitive than the ones carried by Viking, will search for amino acids on Mars. The detector will be sent to Mars aboard the European Space Agency´s ExoMars spacecraft, scheduled for a 2013 launch.

Martian Poles in the Swiss Alps
Topic: Mars
A conference on Mars Polar Science recently met in Davos, Switzerland. By studying the poles, scientists are learning about the history of water on the planet, and how that has affected Mars' potential for life.

Mars: Time for a New Chronology?
Topic: Mars
Mars Express has provided the most detailed map to date of Mars´ mineralogy and has answered some longstanding questions. Based on this new information, a group of European scientists has proposed new names for the planet´s geologic eras. But not everyone agrees with the need for change.

Martian Clay
Topic: Mars
Although NASA´s Mars missions grab most of the headlines in the US media, the European Space Agency (ESA) recently announced that its Mars Express orbiter has uncovered an important clue to the history of water – and possibly life – on Mars.

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