Mars

  • Proving Grounds: Martian Chronicles XIV
    The Martian Chronicles, a multipart series, show the inside story of what it is like to join in a four-year space mission, in preparation for the dramatic landing sequence.
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  • Isidis, Martian Impact Basin
    Colin Pillinger, chief scientist for the Beagle lander, talked with Astrobiology Magazine earlier this month about his experiments to detect signs of life on Mars. Pillinger's approach to finding organic matter was a contrast to what in 1976, the Viking era of landers had tried.
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  • The Dark Dunes Debate
    With its seven major instruments, Mars Express offer scientists unprecedented, high-resolution maps of features on red planet. The camera promises closeups from orbit to about the size of a small car. A recent European meeting was convened to sample further expert opinion on good
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  • Call from the Red Phone
    Having missed its first three attempts at Mars contact, the Beagle 2 team will try to reach their lander about a dozen more times. Depending on the availability of listening stations, the chapter on Beagle's fate will largely be open at least until January 4th,
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  • ESA’s Beagle: Sniffing Out Life on Mars
    The European Space Agency's Beagle 2, scheduled to land on Mars on Christmas day, will be the first spacecraft in nearly 30 years to search directly for evidence of martian life. At the heart of the mission lies the lander's Gas Analysis Package.
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  • Christmas Vigil Ensues
    In 1968, when Apollo 8 became the first manned mission to orbit the moon, the crew's dramatic Christmas Eve recitation from the Book of Genesis was broadcast back to all those on the 'good Earth'.
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  • A Traveler’s Guide To Mars
    Arizona planetary scientist, Dr. Bill Hartmann, offers a visual grand tour of Mars, in anticipation of the trio of landers scheduled in the next few weeks.
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  • Time to Thaw Mars
    Climate change on Mars was long believed to be a relatively boring show. But recent evidence from orbiting cameras has revealed that Mars may be changing. Because of a pole shift, the red planet may even swing its weather enough to be considered exiting an
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  • Beagle, We Have Separation
    After traveling 250 million miles to Mars, the European lander Beagle has received its signal to separate from its orbiter. In preparation for the Christmas landing, the separation begins a process of stabilizing the lander for its final descent.
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  • Two Worlds, One Sun
    Both of next month's Mars Exploration Rovers will debut a new concept in telling interplanetary time. On board will be panoramic cameras and color calibration targets so the pictures beamed back to Earth will give a realistic view of what the landscape offers.
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  • Patina on Mars
    As three landers approach the red planet, a global dust storm may be brewing. Whether this storm dies away or spreads to envelop the planet will play out over the next few weeks. A number of spacecraft are monitoring the planet from orbit as
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  • Living on Mars Time
    During the upcoming Mars Exploration Rover missions, participating scientists and engineers will be waking and going to bed with the rising and setting of the sun - on Mars. There's a hitch: A day on Mars is 39.5 minutes longer than a day on
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  • Exiting the Martian Ice Age?
    Recently compiled evidence from the Mars Odyssey probe now orbiting the red planet may reveal recent climate change. Does this indicate that Mars is exiting its own ice age, or that more recent water may be available, at least temporarily before the dry atmosphere does
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  • Ringtones from Red Planet
    One of the first signals received in January 2004, when two Mars Exploration Rovers reach the red planet, will be from a transponder. The tones will signal the state of the rovers to NASA's Deep Space Network before, during and after landing.
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  • Mars: Separation Anxiety
    The key phases left to go for Europe and America's space missions to Mars are coming to their crescendo.
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