Exploring Mars

  • How the Mars Curiosity Rover Works
  • Water on the Moon or on Mars
  • Are we all Martians?
  • How the Mars Exploration Rovers Work
More About the Red Planet
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How Mars Works

Since the 1960s, we've been captivated by our planetary neighbor. How different is the planet next door, and what have we learned about it so far, compliments of NASA's adventurous robotic crew?

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Spaced Out: Mars Quiz

Since the 19th century, humans have wondered about the prospect of life on Mars. How is it different from Earth? How is it similar? And could life really have existed there long ago, or exist in the future?

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Mars Landing Pictures

NASA has an SUV-sized rover on Mars, and it’s sending new data back to Earth all the time. Landing Curiosity (and other rovers) on the red planet is no small affair. Check out these pictures of rovers and the extreme engineering that goes into a successful mission.

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Are we all Martians?

You probably self-identify as an Earthling, right? What if we told you that a few seed-bearing meteorites from Mars may have changed that little fact?

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How the Mars Exploration Rovers Work

Of course we want to go to Mars. Until we figure it out though, roving robots with names like Spirit, Opportunity, Sojourner and Curiosity are our best bet for digging up dirt on our nearest planetary neighbor. Want to go along for the ride?

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How will landing on Mars work?

Imagine parallel parking on slippery ice during a dangerous dust storm. Landing on Mars presents similar obstacles, on a grander scale. And remember, insurance doesn't cover extraterrestrial damage.

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How the Mars Curiosity Rover Works

Martians, there's a spiffy, new rover in town. If you want to meet this nuclear-powered, laser-toting monster truck of science, head on over to the Gale Crater to get a glimpse.

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How Mars Odyssey Works

We’re going to get to Mars someday. Until then, we’re sending orbiters, landers and rovers to blaze the Martian trail before us. The Mars Odyssey is a key member of that enterprising crew.

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Is there really water on Mars?

Until recently, most people assumed that if Mars had liquid water, it no longer did and hadn't for quite some time. But scientists have recently noticed some anomalies in photos of Mars that may suggest there is water. Could there be life, too?

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What's more important, water on the moon or on Mars?

Scientists have discovered the existence of water on both our moon and on Mars. Both findings are significant, but what do they mean? Can we use this information to our advantage for space exploration?

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How does water on Mars and the moon differ from water on Earth?

You're parched. Do you know what planetary thirst quencher to reach for? Is Martian water of a vintage you'd rather not try? And how are those lunar additives going to work out for you?

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How much food and water do you need for a one-year stay on Mars?

If you spent a year on Mars, you would need to take more food and water than you could possibly carry. But if you had to go, how much would be enough?

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What are the odds there is life in outer space?

Are we alone? Jodie Foster's character in "Contact" didn't think so, and neither do the scientists who've been listening for an extraterrestrial message for decades.

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Are we not the only Earth out there?

Not by a long shot, self-centered earthlings. So the question is, exactly how many Earth wannabes are cruising around the universe and what are they like?

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Is there really a face on Mars?

After Viking 1 captured images of what looked like a face on Mars, the public began to speculate. Had Martians carved a colossus, or was there another answer?

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Will orbital chaos cause Earth, Venus and Mars to collide?

It's not a pleasant thought, is it? But when you mix chaos theory with a few crazy cosmologists, those tidy, predictable orbits start getting lively.

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Is it possible to terraform Mars?

Forget about curb appeal. This cosmic fixer-upper requires some serious renovations before we can start living on it. So how serious are we talking? And are they going to happen in our lifetime?

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How Terraforming Mars Will Work

The thought of terraforming Mars is one of those ideas so outrageous that it just might work. Learn how!

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