Mars

  • Martian Sites Selected to Land
    The two landing sites selected for roving the Red Planet are official: one near a crater that may be a dry lakebed, and another rich in a water-formed mineral called hematite. Both continue the theme of 'following the water' in search of potential clues to
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  • Hitchhikers May Have Thumbed A Ride to Mars
    Could dormant forms of bacteria called endospores potentially travel from Earth to Mars aboard spacecraft? If so, new experiments suggest that even a dry and cold Mars might not prove so inhospitable, despite the possibility of self-sterilizing and oxidizing martian soil.
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  • Martian Map Quest
    The winds of time have carved a remarkable set of features onto the face of Mars. A large gallery of images from the Global Surveyor spacecraft reveal hints of what future Mars landers will navigate.
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  • Roadtest for Robots
    A series of robot experiments are planned to prepare for exploring Mars. The robots will begin their roadtests by travelling unsupervised more than a 100 miles across the driest place on Earth.
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  • Martian Ground Truth Sought on Dark Dunes
    A European panel of Mars experts recently debated the mystery of seasonal spots that pockmark the dark dunes on the Red Planet.
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  • Lakeside Landing
    Gusev Crater, one of the landing sites proposed for the upcoming missions to Mars, is believed to the site of an ancient lakebed. By landing there, NASA hopes to learn more about Mars's watery past.
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  • Red Rovers: Returning to Mars
    NASA will launch two rovers to Mars in the late spring of this year. In this, the first of two articles on potential landing sites, we will examine one of the leading candidates, Meridiani Planum.
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  • Martian Liquid Center
    By watching the tidal pull on their orbitting Global Surveyor spacecraft, scientists have confirmed that Mars has a liquid iron core, much like Earth and Venus. Many astrobiologists conclude that such a molten and magnetic interior is critical to developing life.
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  • Mars: Tilting towards Life?
    Where is the best place on Mars to look for evidence of life? At the poles, says one scientist. Although frozen solid today, in past eras, when Mars was more highly tilted, the poles were warm enough for liquid water to form.
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  • Evidence of Snow on Mars – and Perhaps an Abode for Life?
    Erosion patterns inside craters on Mars suggest a snowy cycle to water runoff. The Mars Odyssey team has proposed a new model that brings the prospect of liquid water closer to the surface.
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  • Martian Water, Water Everywhere…
    Using hydrogen to track down sub-surface water on Mars, Los Alamos scientists may have accounted for enough buried in the poles and soil to cover the entire planet ankle-deep.
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  • Hot Martian Heartbeats: Seasonal Valentine
    The Mars Orbital Camera captured these South Pole changes over a two year span, as entire hills and mesas reshaped and dry ice sublimed seasonally. The time-sequence shows the remarkable changing geography of a planet in flux-perhaps moving out of the last Martian Ice Age.
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  • The Many Martian Face Lifts
    How old the Martian surface might be, affects estimates for its potential time to develop or sustain possible life. A new estimate for when volcanoes might have covered up ancient crater impacts, has geologists recounting the age of Mars.
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  • Early Mars: Oceans Away?
    The surface of Mars is scarred by ancient river valleys, apparently carved by liquid water. But was Mars warm and wet continuously for millions of years - or only temporarily when massive asteroids slammed into it? The likelihood of life on Mars may depend on
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  • Stargazers To See Red
    2003 promises a Martian close approach not witnessed in more than 50,000 years--since early humans started cave-painting. Indeed, the astronomical year ahead promises to be painted red for stargazers.
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