Mars

  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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