Mars

  • 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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  • Night Lights: Interview with Woody Sullivan
    University of Washington Professor, Dr. Woody Sullivan, talks about designing the first interplanetary sundials that will serve as camera calibration targets on the forthcoming Mars' rovers. Not only will they shadow time, but also keep all the colors correct.
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  • Martian Dangers: Staring at the Sun
    Radiation may seem like a necessary energy input to sustain any biological ecosystem: warmth, light, photosynthesis depend on our sun. But is radiation an invisible enemy to finding life elsewhere, where a protective blanket does not shroud thinner atmospheres than our own?
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  • Martian Chronicles XIII: Elves
    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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  • Seeing Red: Getting the Front Seats
    The Mars Express took its closest view yet of the red planet, from a distance of several million miles. The best seats for the forthcoming landing views are just beginning to fill up for the start of the show.
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  • Mars: Not Because It is Easy
    Getting to Mars is an achievement, both scientifically and logistically. Two in three haven't made it, but as Pathfinder Project Scientist put it: "taking a little risk can result in an enormous payoff."
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  • Viking Dust
    The soft-landing Viking missions to Mars offered a challenging set of experiments to test for biological activity in 1976. As biology has progressed in the ensuing quarter-century, one of the principal investigators continues to mull over what that mission sought to test. In preparation
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  • Beagle Pointing the Mars Way
    The European mission to Mars, the Express orbiter and Beagle lander, are right on-course, following the recent solar flares and software checkouts.
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