Mars

  • MRO Hits Its Mark
    The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter peeked from behind the Red Planet and told mission scientists it survived the journey. Breathing a huge sigh of relief, the scientists now plan to reduce its current elongated orbit around Mars into a more circular one.
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  • MRO Approaches Mars
    On Friday, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) will reach Mars. Will it start orbiting the planet, fly right past it, or dive too close to the atmosphere and burn up? Because the spacecraft must loop behind the planet, mission scientists won´t know the
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  • Roving the Red Planet
    NASA's Mars rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, have been working overtime to help scientists better understand ancient environmental conditions on the red planet. NASA's third mission extension for the rovers lasts through September 2006, if they remain usable that long.
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  • Seeing Life in the Land
    One of the paradoxes of recent explorations of the Martian surface is that the more we see of the planet, the more it looks like Earth, despite a very big difference: Complex life forms have existed for billions of years on Earth, while Mars never
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  • Divining Ice on Mars Through Time
    The spectacular features visible today on the surface of the Red Planet indicate the past existence of Martian glaciers, but where did the ice come from?
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  • Mars Getting Drier and Drier
    Geologic features at the Opportunity landing site on Mars were formed not by a lake that evaporated but by constant strikes from meteorites, say two Arizona State University geologists.
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  • Chemistry Says… Mars Not so Wet
    A region of Mars that some planetary scientists believe was once a shallow lakebed and likely habitable for life may not have been so wet after all, according to a new University of Colorado at Boulder study.
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  • Opportunity’s Anniversary
    On December 12th, Opportunity celebrated one Mars year. A mission planned for 90 days has turned into an adventure that's lasted nearly two Earth years! Opportunity has traveled over four miles and returned over 58,000 images, helping us see into our planetary neighbor's alluringly watery
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  • Auroras Common on Mars
    Auroras similar to Earth's Northern Lights appear to be common on Mars, according to physicists at the University of California, Berkeley, who have analyzed six years' worth of data from the Mars Global Surveyor.
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  • Radio Free Mars
    University of Iowa Space Physicist Don Gurnett and his UI colleagues report that a scientific instrument aboard the European Space Agency's (ESA) Mars Express spacecraft is working perfectly and that its data have so far revealed that Mars' ionosphere -- part of the upper atmosphere
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  • Opportunity Tells a Hard Tale
    Life may have had a tough time getting started in the ancient environment that left its mark in the Martian rock layers examined by NASA's Opportunity rover. The most thorough analysis yet of the rover's discoveries reveals the challenges life may have faced in the
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  • Martian Water, Past and Present
    The European Space Agency's Mars Express mission has just been extended, allowing the satellite to continue its investigations of the Red Planet for two more Earth years (or one martian year). Now, two new Mars Express reports help illuminate the role of water on Mars.
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  • Just Keeps Going and Going…
    Spirit, the untiring robotic "wonder child" sent by NASA to explore the eerily earthlike fourth planet from the sun, has completed one martian year--that's almost two Earth years--on Mars. Designed to last only 90 martian days (sols), the six-wheeled marvel the size of a golf
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  • Dust Storm in Opposition
    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. Hubble astronomers were also excited to have captured a regional dust storm on Mars that has been growing
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  • Desert Hopping for Methane
    Evidence of methane-producing organisms can be found in inhospitable soil environments much like those found on the surface of Mars, according to experiments undertaken by scientists and students from the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California and the University of Arkansas
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