Mars

  • 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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  • James Cameron’s Mars Reference Design
    Academy Award winning film director, James Cameron, takes a tour through a human mission to Mars. His commissioned renderings of the Mars Design Reference Mission illustrate how a quarter billion miles away, a crew and cargo will meet up to build and fuel their future
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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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  • Opportunity Knocks, Spirit Responds
    Getting the first picture back in a week from Spirit has the rover team hopeful that the problems with software resets and a lack of commandability may have stemmed from too many files on board the spacecraft.
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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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  • Mars, Simply Beautiful
    Why land in Gusev Crater? What does a planetary geologist dream about, when catching catnaps between exploration sessions on Mars? Gusev scientist Nathalie Cabrol talked about her experiences so far.
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  • Depth to Bedrock, Zero
    The Opportunity landscape offers enough geological gems that science teams already have a rough idea of where they want to explore, only hours after the first pictures arrived. The scientists rated the Meridiani site as their first choice prior to launch.
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  • Where on Mars is Beagle?
    Large radio telescopes and a constellation of orbiting cameras are continuing their Christmas vigil, in hopes of getting a signal from the lost Beagle 2 Mars lander. Scientists however have begun to accept that while it is on the martian surface, the lander is inactive.
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  • Opportunity Finds Martian Layer Cake
    Geologists on the rover science team are excited by the discovery of fine layering in the rock outcrop that sits directly in front of Opportunity. One possibility is that the layers are sediments deposited billions of years ago by liquid water.
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  • Terra Meridiani, Not Terra Firma
    The three standout features in the initial color postcard from the Opportunity landing site at Meridiani Planum include: the first observed martian bedrock, a talcum-powder-like soil texture, and the iron-rich color reminiscent of red clays from Texas and Oklahoma. But analogs on Earth may be
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  • Mars 2053
    After 18 martian days of a near-perfect mission, a Spirit rover message came to Earth with corrupted data. When decoded, this tiny clue showed that the mobile laboratory's software considered that it was the year 2053.
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  • A Bizarre New Mars
    Initial color images from Meridiani, Opportunity's landing site in a flat, volcanic plain, suggest fine-grain soil and the first bedrock ever seen on Mars. The significance of bedrock to geologists can be compared to a history book of the planet, with its binding still ordering
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  • Where on Mars is Opportunity?
    Using images taken by Opportunity during its descent to the martian surface, mission scientists have begun to pinpoint the rover's location. Nearby, a large crater beckons as a long-range scientific target.
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