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  • Into the Briny Deep – Perhaps
    Spirit has discovered irregular patterns in a small patch of fine-grained soil at Gusev Crater. One possible explanation is that there is liquid brine -salty water - below the surface. Scientists plan to use one of the rover's wheels to dig a trench, so they
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  • Born Bone Dry
    Mars has polar ice caps, and pockets of liquid water are suspected to exist beneath the martian surface. Yet compared to Earth, Mars is a very dry place. Why is Mars so arid? The answer may lie in the random nature of
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  • Flying Above Mount Olympus
    The European Mars Express orbiter captured the highest resolution images yet of the largest volcano in our solar system, named Olympus Mons. In addition to the need for water in any biological scenarios, geothermal heat may also have had a role in the planet's past.
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  • Roam in a Day
    Four prominent scientists are represented on the new Presidential commission chartered to study how best to plan a moon to Mars initiative. The commissioners repeated a need for crafting sustained efforts, while also considering an off-charter topic of how to sustain interest in space astronomy.
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  • Evocative Debris, Orbital Opportunity
    Finding the space hardware left over from various stages of a successful descent on Mars has given scientists and engineers some remarkably evocative views from orbit. Opportunity landed in a small crater, in a fortunate turn of events compared to a golfing hole-in-one.
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  • Opportunity Finds ‘Blueberry Muffins’ on Mars
    Small spheres of rock are embedded within the layered bedrock outcrop that Opportunity has begun to explore. Scientists said the rock looked a bit like a blueberry muffin.
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  • Touch and Go Days
    Acting as a surface surveyor, the twin geology labs have their days that are called 'touch and go'. These traverses typically mean that the rover picks a target, then studies its thermal, chemical and microscopic profile. As both rovers gear up for travel, the
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  • Opportunity Puts Hematite on Hold
    Scientists have produced a map showing the concentration of hematite in a small area of the crater where Opportunity landed. There's plenty of hematite around, but figuring out how it got there may have to wait. First, Opportunity is going to study a nearby bedrock
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  • Mars, The ‘Little Round Guys’
    The Opportunity rover sent back microscopic images of the martian soil. Intriguing spheres found on top of the crater floor has scientists interested in seeing what's inside.
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  • Twin Rovers, Parallel Parking
    For the Spirit rover on one side of the martian equator, science resumed with preparations to put a diamond drill up against a volcanic rock called Adirondack. For the Opportunity rover on the other side of the planet, the 'mission success', full color panorama
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  • Roaming the Rust Belt
    The Rust Belt states span from Indiana to New Jersey, but on Mars the rusty region known as Meridiani is a scientific prime in a number of ways. Running along the prime meridian (0 degrees longitude) near the equator (0 degrees latitude), this 150 km
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  • Tango, Bravo, Echo
    Mars' Opportunity rover became the second mobile laboratory as it drove through the soil with six wheels and collected science data on soil properties. The science team confirmed that Meridiani indeed is rich in the iron-oxide mineral, hematite, as first observed from orbit.
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  • Greening the Red Planet
    Greenhouse gases might one day be used to warm the cold surface of Mars, and make the planet habitable for humans.
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  • Mars: Upstairs, Downstairs
    The science teams planning Spirit and Opportunity rovers get to debate Martian features, while working on different floors at JPL, keeping opposite times of day and night, and looking at different sides of the planet. They have discovered two of the faces of
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  • Follow the Fire
    Among those primordial elements critical for life, water has been considered the one in short supply on Mars. But even as scientists adopt the theme to 'follow the water', another element, geothermal heat, may offer interesting exploration opportunities.
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