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  • Opportunity Finds Beachfront Property on Mars
    NASA scientists have determined that the bedrock outcrop in Eagle Crater, where Opportunity landed, formed in liquid water. The new discovery makes Meridiani Planum a prime target for future exploration.
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  • Iron Blueberries
    MER mission scientists have found hematite in the small spherical "blueberries" embedded in the rock outcrop near Opportunity's landing site. They speculate that the broad plain surrounding Eagle Crater, where the rover landed, may be littered with blueberries.
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  • Clues to Life in the Mines of Murgul
    The Mine of Murgul sounds like an ominous place in "The Lord of the Rings," a dark cavern filled with menacing orcs and trolls. But, in fact, this copper mine in Turkey may help shed light on life's origin.
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  • The Big Bounce
    JPL's Tom Rivellini led the team that worked on engineering the successful airbag landing on Mars. His first person account of test and design iterations gives insight into how a complex challenge evolved into a fully-functioning lander on the surface of another planet.
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  • You Are Here
    The Spirit rover captured a unique perspective on the Earth as seen from the surface of another planet. Because Mars is beyond Earth's orbit, our home world appears to follow the Sun's path, which makes glare-free photography of Earth difficult.
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  • Red Planet in Sensaround
    An experience that few can imagine sampling is in some ways the simplest: to breathe deeply on another planet or moon. So what does Mars offer today to the sensory connoisseur?
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  • Bad Moon Rising
    The Opportunity rover captured an image of a solar eclipse from the surface of Mars. While not a rare event on the red planet, capturing the image of one of Mars' two moons as thet pass in front of the Sun can tell atmospheric
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  • The Case for Spirit’s Water
    If the Opportunity site was 'drenched' in water, the Spirit site also has revealed the interior of a volcanic rock called Humphrey, which shows evidence of perhaps bringing up subsurface water with magma.
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  • Questioning The Prime Directive
    It has become somewhat accepted that an extrasolar contact could be interpreted as a good 'artificial' signal if it arose from certain branches of mathematics. If another galactic civilization decided to reach us, they would send a beacon of bleeps akin to the digits of
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  • Brewing Sulfur with Martian Water
    If the very high sulfur content found at the Opportunity landing site points to its aqueous history, then what speculative biology could take advantage of brewing sulfur with water. According to one Mars' veteran, there are fascinating extreme microbes that can make good use of
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  • Evidence of Water Found on Mars
    Opportunity has found definitive evidence that liquid water was once present in Meridiani Planum - enough water to provide a habitat suitable for life as we know it. The evidence comes from a detailed study of El Capitan, a narrow section of the rock outcrop
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  • Hours to Impact
    Last January, astronomers thought an asteroid might hit the Earth. The asteroid AL00667 seemed to be on a direct course for the Northern Hemisphere, due to strike in two days or less.
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  • Divining Water: The Plot Thickens?
    One of the fascinating mysteries unraveling on Mars is the origin of the tiny spherules which dot the crater floor at Opportunity's Meridiani Planum. If these tiny balls turn out to show significant layering, a theory of their watery past would likely rise in prominence.
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  • Biosphere Under the Glass
    In Oracle, Arizona, the Biosphere 2 project became the world's largest closed ecosystem. Project managers have now opened its interior to visitors. Among the diverse land, water and air environments enclosed under glass, most of the planet's major biomes are represented to view.
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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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