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A Tale of Planetary Woe
Topic: Mars
Some scientists believe that a relatively wet and warm ancient Mars may have been a second location for life. However, Mars did not end up as a planet filled with the multitude of life we see on Earth. NASA's new Mars orbiter, MAVEN, may help astrobiologists understand why.

Frost-Covered Phoenix
Topic: Mars
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has captured images of the Phoenix lander shrouded in dry-ice frost on Mars. Phoenix has been inactive since the completion of its mission in November 2008. Early next year, scientists will try to contact the lander to see if it is still able to communicate.

Seeking Life´s Shadow
Topic: Mars
New research on ancient fossils also may offer insight into finding signs of life in Martian rocks.

Ice Deposit Larger Than Texas
Topic: Mars
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has provided 3D images of the north-polar ice layers of Mars. The images provide validation for theoretical models of Mars' climate cycles over the past few million years. With accurate climate models, scientists can help determine whether or not Mars was once a habitable environment for life.

Meteorites Excavate Martian Ice
Topic: Mars
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has revealed frozen water hiding just below the surface of mid-latitude Mars. The spacecraft's observations were obtained from orbit after meteorites excavated fresh craters on the Red Planet.

Red Rock Tumbler
Topic: Mars
Scientists may have a new explanation for why Mars is red. Previously, the 'red planet' was thought to have received its characteristic color due to rocks rusting in water that once flooded the planet. New research shows this may not be true.

Dark Days for Spirit
Topic: Mars
A dust storm is causing problems for NASA's Mars Exploration Rover, Spirit. The mission team on Earth is now anxiously watching the weather reports from Mars. They hope that Spirit will soon be on the move, continuing its mission to search for signs that Mars was once habitable.

Mars Meteorite Points to Thicker Atmosphere
Topic: Mars
The Mars Rover Opportunity has discovered a metallic meteorite on the surface of Mars that is providing important information about Mars' environmental history. The information could help astrobiologists understand whether or not the planet supported habitable environments in its past.

The Immovable Dunes of Mars
Topic: Mars
Even though Mars can be a windy place, many of the dunes on the planet's surface haven't moved in more than 30 years. Scientists thought that ice or snow trapped inside the dunes could prevent them from moving – but new research shows that trapped ice wouldn't be enough to stop them entirely.

Phoenix Results Point to Climate Cycles
Topic: Mars
New data shows that the area where NASA's Phoenix Mars mission landed may have been habitable for microbes in Mars' past – and could become habitable again in Mars' future. The results are discussed in the first major peer-reviewed reports on the mission's findings, published in this week's edition of the journal Science.

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