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Mars Organic Analyzer
UC Berkeley graduate student Alison Skelley sampling at the Rock Garden site in the Atacama Desert.
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The capillary electrophoresis instrument of the Mars Organic Analyzer (right) and the subcritical water extractor, both of which together form the Mars Astrobiology Probe being assembled by UC Berkeley, JPL and Scripps.
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Mars Organic Analyzer field testing in the Atacama Desert, Chile
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Flourescence Image. The Atacama Desert is the most arid region on Earth. It may also be the most lifeless. In the interior of the desert, rain is measured in millimeters per decade and solar radiation is intense because of the high altitude. But there is life where the desert meets coastal mountains. Organisms have been discovered that survive on sunlight and fog.
© 2005 Carnegie Mellon University
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Salar Grande Atacama Desert, Chile
© 2005 Carnegie Mellon University
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Zoe in the Atacama Desert October 18, 2004.
© 2005 Carnegie Mellon University
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CRISM, the first visible-infrared spectrometer to fly on a NASA Mars mission, will look for the residue of minerals that form in the presence of water –“ the "fingerprints" left by evaporated hot springs, thermal vents, lakes or ponds. The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Md., led the effort to develop, test and integrate CRISM. Principal Investigator Scott Murchie, of APL, leads the CRISM project.
Credit: NASA
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Artist's concept of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter at the red planet. Credit: NASA
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This map was made from only three colors (green, red and infrared) in Mars Pathfinder images and shows iron oxide coatings crusted on rocks.
NASA/JPL/APL
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The figure illustrates a guided balloon platform (with exaggerated dimensions) operating at Mars overlaying a Mars Express image [Copyright ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukim)] of canyon walls. The top of the balloon is aluminized, hence it reflects the Martian scene around it.

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Figure 2. A closer look with at the alcoves and lineated valley fill seen in Fig 1. The locations of these THEMIS & higher resolution MOC images are marked in Fig. 1a.
a)Four alcoves cutting into the plateau at the bottom of the picture, each with a lobes flowing down and outwards into the adjacent lineated valley fill. Note how these lobes merge trends of the lineated valley fill on the valley floor tothte left.
b)East-facing alcoves with multiple concentric-ridged lobes extending east and converging with the lineated valley fill on the valley floor
c)An even closer look at the deformed ridges and pitting on the valley floor of Fig. 2b.
Figure credits: Amanda Nahm, Brown University
Geological Society of America
2005 Annual Meeting News Release 05-37, 14 October 2005.
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Figure 2. A closer look with at the alcoves and lineated valley fill seen in Fig 1. The locations of these THEMIS & higher resolution MOC images are marked in Fig. 1a.
d)The outflow of two ridged lobes from alcoves (bottom left and right) as they join a major lineated vally fill of area C (upper right) near the convergence with B (Fig. 1c). The left lobe is swept westward, forming broad arcing folds while the right lobe is increasingly compressed until it resembles a tight isoclinal fold. Both lobes ultimately merge into the general lineated valley fill parallel to the valley walls.
e)Detail of siedways lobe-like flows converging into the lineated valley fill on the valley floor, where flows merge from areas A and D.
f)A major east-facing zone of multiple alcoves and converging lobe-like flows in the more disatant reaches of the system, along the edge of the northernmost large mesa (area G). Note the concentric-outward ridges reaching out from the alcoves and their progressing compression, folding and flattening as the ridges deform and become part of the lineated valley fill on the valley floor.
g)The northern reaches of the lineated valley system. The lineated valley fill splits in two (bottom right) and flows around a massif to create a broad up-flow collar and a diffuse, down-flow wake.
Figure credits: Amanda Nahm, Brown University
Geological Society of America
2005 Annual Meeting News Release 05-37, 14 October 2005.
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Figure 1. The fretted channel and lineated valleys of the central Deuteronilus-Protonilus Mensae region.
a)A Viking Orbiter mosaic and map. Boxes show locations of images in Fig. 2.
b)Color topographic map with each contour line showing 400-meter-elevation difference.
c)Map showing alcoves (narrow arrows) and broad flow trends of lineated valley fill on the valley floor (wide arrows). From Mars Express High Resolution Stereo Camera, THEMIS and MOC images.
d)Topographic profiles from north to south across the same region. From MOLA locations shown in b).
Geological Society of America
2005 Annual Meeting News Release 05-37, 14 October 2005.
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This is a map of the magnetic field of Mars observed by the Mars Global Surveyor satellite at a nominal 400 km altitude. Red and blue stripes represent magnetic fields with opposite directions. Darker hues represent more intense magnetic fields. To show the location of the magnetic stripes on Mars, the map is superimposed on a topography relief map from the Mars Observer Laser Altimeter instrument. Credit: NASA
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Artistic illustration of Earth's magnetic field. Earth's magnetic field protects the planet from harmful solar and cosmic radiation. Credit: NASA
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Artistic illustration of Mars magnetic field. Credit: NASA
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NASA's Hubble Space Telescope snapped this picture of Mars on October 28,
within a day of its closest approach to Earth on the night of October 29.
Credit: NASA, ESA, The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), J. Bell (Cornell
University) and M. Wolff (Space Science Institute)
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This illustration shows the relative positions of Earth and Mars at the
last six oppositions, when the Sun and Mars are on exact opposite sides
of Earth. The images of Mars show the planet's apparent relative size
at each opposition, as viewed by the Earth-orbiting Hubble Space Telescope.
Orbits of the inner planets are to scale. Credit: NASA, ESA, and Z. Levay (STScI)
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Dust storm on Mars October 28, 2005.
Credit: Hubble
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Don Gurnett Credit: University of Iowa
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A plot of the 13,000 auroral events detected in the past six years by Mars Global Surveyor shows them clustering around the margins of the regions of strong surface magnetic field, mostly in the southern hemisphere. The margins are where the magnetic field lines converge on the surface, funneling electrons that crash into atmospheric carbon dioxide and generate the ultraviolet flashes. The red X marks the spot where Mars Express first detected an aurora last year. (Credit: David Brain & Jasper Halekas/SSL)
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These are not boils on Mars, but a way of depicting the surface magnetic fields on the planet to emphasize their ability to shield the surface from the solar wind. The greater the bulge, the stronger and more protective the magnetic field. Note that most of the remaining magnetic fields are in the southern hemisphere. (Credit: David Brain/SSL)
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This 360-degree panorama is one of the first images beamed back to Earth from the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity shortly after it touched down at Meridiani Planum, Mars. The image was captured by the rover's navigation camera. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
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This mosaic of navigation-camera frames from NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity, presented in a vertical projection, shows the rover's position after it dug itself to wheel-hub depth in a small dune during its 446th martian day, or sol (April 26, 2005). The colors are coding for information about relative elevations in the surrounding area. Red areas are the highest in the image, green areas the lowest. The difference between red and green is about 70 centimeters (28 inches). Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
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This image from the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity's panoramic camera is an approximate true-color rendering of the exceptional rock called "Berry Bowl" in the "Eagle Crater" outcrop. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell
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This image shows the route that NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity had driven through its 659th Martian day, or sol, (Dec. 1, 2005) relative to the potential destination of "Victoria Crater" farther south. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/OSU
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This is a simulation of water-ice accumulation (millimetres per Martian year) from the atmosphere, as predicted to have taken place in the Eastern Hellas basin a few million years ago by the Martian climate computer model. Such ice accumulation is in agreement with the glacier-like landforms observed today in this region.
Credits: Lab. de Meteorologie Dynamic, IPSL (Paris, France)/MGS MOLA
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This map shows an excellent match between the geological structure of the Tharsis region on present-day Mars (left), where glaciers remnants are indicated in yellow, and a simulation of glacier formation by atmospheric precipitation in the same region a few millions year ago (right).
In the simulation, performed by a Martian climate computer modelling tool, it is assumed that the rotation axis of the planet was tilted by 45º with respect to the planet´ orbital plane, about 20º more than today. Here, the results of the simulation are superimposed on a topographical map of the Tharsis area made by NASA's Mars Global Surveyor MOLA altimeter.
Credits: A: D.H. Scott, K.L. Tanaka, USGS. B: Lab. de Meteorologie Dynamic, IPSL (Paris, France)/MGS MOLA
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A perspective view obtained by the HRSC on board ESA's Mars Express, showing an unusual 'rock glacier' in the eastern Hellas region. Ice-rich material seems to have flowed from a small, 9 km wide crater into a larger 16 km wide crater below. The ice may have precipitated from the atmosphere a few millions years ago. Credits: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum)
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Azurite crystals. Photo courtesy of Downs laboratory, The University of Arizona.
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Robert Downs adjusts a piece of the mineral corundum in a Raman spectrometer. Rubies are red-colored corundum; sapphires are blue-colored corundum. Photo courtesy of the Downs laboratory, The University of Arizona.
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The source of desert varnish has intrigued scientists since the mid-nineteenth century. Credit: Imperial College London
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Desert varnish was used to create images know as petroglyphs like these in Grimes Point, Nevada. Credit: Imperial College London
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Mars drill prototype device at NASA Ames Research Center. Credit: NASA
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Close-up of Mars drill prototype device at NASA Ames Research Center. Credit: NASA
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Greg Delory and a truck instrumented to measure electric fields that he used to chase dust devils around Arizona (2002).
Credit: Greg Delory/UC Berkeley
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An artist's concept of a Martian dust storm, showing how electrical charge builds up as in terrestrial thunderstorms. Though on Earth, lightning is common, there is no evidence that lightning accompanies storms on Mars. Credit: NASA
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NASA's Mark III Spacesuit
Although heavier than earlier suit designs (59 kilograms / 130 pounds for the suit and an additional 15 kilograms / 33 pounds for the Portable Life Support System), the Mark III's selling point is its superior mobility. By combining soft suit joints, hard joints, and bearings, expected lunar or Martian surface mobility tasks can be performed within acceptable levels of effort. For instance, the task of kneeling and picking up an object would not be possible with the Apollo A7L or Shuttle EMU suits. With the Mark III (in lower gravity, of course) astronauts could perform handstands or somersaults in the suit. Credit: Credit: NASA
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Satellite Image of Svalbard
This image from space shows many of the sites of the Arctic Mars Analogue Svalbard Expedition. Credit: NASA
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Svalbard Field Site
Site of the Arctic Mars Analog Svalbard Expedition. Credit: Courtesy Andrew Steele
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The microdosimeter instrument consists of small sensors connected to an electronics board, shown here without the casing. Spacesuits integrated with this technology can warn astronauts at the onset of an elevated exposure event, assess risk, and help crews determine safe locations during these periods.
Credit: National Space Biomedical Research Institute
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