Mars

  • Where on Earth is That?
    Short of buying a ticket to Mars, where on Earth is the best place to get a taste of what scenery the red planet offers? A tourist to a Mars analog location would have to pack well, because the destination may be cold, dry,
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  • There’s History in Them Thar Hills
    Taking the Spirit rover over the horizon is just one of the unique mission options available to scientists as they debate where to turn next on Mars.
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  • Location Is Everything
    To tie down Spirit's location, three mission teams have agreed to within a quarter-mile. But before driving their rover around, the teams want to agree precisely on terrain and features in an otherwise flat landscape.
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  • Alien Textures ‘Weird Stuff’
    Judging from just the glimpses of high-resolution imagery coming from Mars, some bizarre features of the Spirit rover's immediate neighborhood has geologists scratching their heads. The instrument package, called Athena, will be very capable of getting good answers once it rolls off its landing
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  • Interview with Nathalie Cabrol
    Geologist Nathalie Cabrol has had her eye on Gusev Crater for more than 15 years. Cabrol, along with her husband, Edmond Grin, were the scientists who first proposed that Gusev would make a good MER landing site. Now, as a member of the Spirit
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  • Finding Spirit
    Near the equator on Mars, in the floor of a huge crater, rests NASA rover, Spirit.
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  • Mars is Solar Groovy
    While engineers engage their rover with mission commands and scientists look for rocks, an untold history on Mars is being written by the weather itself. In Gusev crater, or the 'cup' where the Spirit rover came to rest, newly released images from orbit indicate
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  • Red Soil, Rock Garden
    The first color swatch from the large Mars panorama shows a number of smooth rocks, which may be wind-eroded, and potentially iron-rich, red soil in what may be an ancient lake-bed. Cornell's Steve Squyres says 'this is just a taste of things to come'.
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  • Water Signs
    If the Mars Exploration Rovers' twin panoramic cameras represent a pair of eyes, then the Mini-TES (Mini-Thermal Emission Spectrometer) is its third eye. Mini-TES analyzes a scene in infrared, rather than in visible light. Scientists can interpret its data to determine the mineral composition of
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  • Rover Science Team Eyes Sleepy Hollow
    After passing a complete check-up on Sol 2, the Spirit rover is getting ready to communicate directly with Earth using its high-gain antenna.
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  • Postcards from Mars
    In its first transfer of Mars imagery, the rover Spirit beamed down around seventy images, and exceeded its best predicted transfer rates by 150%. The landing area looks surprising clean and not too rugged, which will help geologists uncover whether it is an ancient dry
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  • Mars Rover: The Owner’s Manual
    If all goes well, driving around Mars is a possibility expected in nine to ten days. In the meantime, after a complete check-up, the rover will take more color and infrared panoramas of its unique landing spot, in the mouth of a 100 kilometer crater
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  • Interview with Matt Golombek
    Pathfinder chief scientist, Matt Golombek, is a geologist on the science team evaluating what their second day on Mars will encompass. He describes what the first panoramas can show to a trained eye and what may follow in the days and weeks ahead for
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  • Ancient Lakebed: Spirit Has Landed
    The closest earth analog to where the first Mars Exploration Rover, Spirit, is landing may be Lake Vanda in Antarctica. The impact crater, Gusev, has an intriguing erosion pattern and shows evidence of a potential ancient river and lake system. Spirit successfully landed on the
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  • Spirit’s First Light
    First images show spectacular camera views from nearly a quarter billion miles away, on the surface of Mars.
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