Mars

  • 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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  • Guide to Mars: Interview with Bill Hartmann
    Bill Hartmann, scientist, painter and author, talks about what Mars may offer the three landings missions planned this winter. His insight comes from serving as co-investigator on the Mariner 9 mission that discovered the first evidence of erosion patterns that even as images have gotten
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  • Mars Encounter, Christmas
    Around Christmas, Europe's first Mars lander, Beagle 2, will encounter the large equatorial basin known as Isidis Planitia.
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  • Spirit and Opportunity On Course
    The problems initially detected on the Mars Exploration Rover, Spirit, have been tested and will not affect the main science mission. The instrument in question, a Mössbauer spectrometer, is needed for determining rock compositions on Mars.
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  • NASA’s RATs Go Roving on Mars
    Instruments on the Athena Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, will measure the composition of Martian rocks, searching for evidence of past water. But how will they "see" the real rock beneath all the dust? The Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) comes to the rescue, cutting
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  • Martian Deltas
    New images from cameras orbiting Mars show strong evidence that ancient rivers were persistent, as meandering rock formations are linked to deltas and past flowing water--according to results published in Science.
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  • Space Invaders
    On the sixty-fifth anniversary of Orson Welles famous radio broadcast of H.G. Well's, 'War of the Worlds', astrobiologist David Grinspoon considers how best to protect our planet and others in the neighborhood.
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