Mars

  • Has Spirit Found Bedrock in Columbia Hills?
    Since arriving at the Columbia Hills, Spirit, one of the Mars Exploration Rovers, has encountered some mysterious phenomena. The rover's right front "arthritic" wheel that plagued Spirit's 2-mile trek across the plains is now suddenly working perfectly.
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  • State-of-the-Art Mineralogy for Mars
    Aiming to nail down whether Mars could have nurtured life in the past, the Mars Science Laboratory will live up to its name, with a state-of-the-art internal chemical and mineralogical laboratory. The rover will pick up rocks, chew, swallow, then analyze the minerals in detail
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  • Tornado, Signs of Martian Spring
    At the Spirit rover's site in Gusev Crater, the appearance of a mini-tornado, or dust devil, is a sign of spring. As the midday heat peaks, so the whirling winds of this dusty crater bed. Dust devils are familiar to observers in the American Southwest
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  • Knocked Off Its Axis
    Since the time billions of years ago when Mars was formed, it has never been a spherically symmetric planet, nor is it composed of similar materials throughout, say scientists who have studied the planet. Since its formation, it has changed its shape and thus the
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  • Next to Rove Mars?
    European space scientists have strongly recommended a mission equipped with a Rover as the next scientific mission to Mars as part of the European Space Agency's Aurora programme of planetary exploration.
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  • Flying a Science Lab to Mars
    How do you follow a flat-out success like the Mars Exploration Rovers, still cruising Mars after all these months? By thinking "bigger and better." The Mars Science Laboratory, currently scheduled for launch in 2009, will land a rover three times as massive as Spirit or
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  • Rovers Happily Not to Go Away Soon
    NASA has approved up to 18 more months of operations for Spirit and Opportunity, the twin Mars rovers that have already surprised engineers and scientists by continuing active exploration for more than 14 months.
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  • The Martian Mortal Coil
    While the Spirit and Opportunity rovers continue to investigate Mars, scientists are already testing more advanced rovers for future missions. Nathalie Cabrol, a planetary geologist with NASA Ames and the SETI Institute, and a member of the Mars Exploration Rover team, has been testing
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  • Medusa on Mars
    Images, taken by the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on board ESA's Mars Express spacecraft, show part of the Medusa Fossae formation and adjacent areas at the highland-lowland boundary on Mars.
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  • Martian Fire and Ice
    Mars isn't as sleepy as scientists suspected. An international research team, which includes Brown University planetary geologist James Head, has found evidence of recent glacial movement and volcanic eruptions in 3-D images from the Mars Express mission.
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  • Warming Up to a Martian Carcass
    The detection of methane on Mars has generated a lot of speculation about what could possibly be producing it. Is it coming out of active volcanoes? Maybe the methane results from some geologic or chemical process we don't yet understand.
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  • The Martian Frozen Sea
    At the recent European Space Agency's Mars Express conference, scientists announced they had found a frozen sea on the martian equator. John Murray, from the Department of Earth Sciences at the Open University in the UK, is lead author on the paper to be
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  • Dust Devil, The Movie
    One of the most elusive but fascinating movies one could make on Mars today is a time-lapse film of an afternoon dust devil, or miniature tornado. Spirit rover scientists have finally captured a brief animation of such a tiny twister.
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  • Mars: The Other Time-of-Flight
    Recent discoveries on Mars such as methane in the atmosphere, a subterranean ice pack near the equator, and evidence of flowing water in the planet's past brings new speculation to the most frequently asked questions about the Red Planet: Is there, or was there ever
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  • Search for a Second Genesis
    Chris McKay, a planetary scientist at the Ames Research Center, has long been investigating the coldest and driest places on Earth. In this part of McKay's lecture series, entitled, Drilling in Permafrost on Mars to Search for a Second Genesis of Life, he touches on
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