First Mars was the setting of imaginary declining civilizations; then it was a dead, cratered, Moon-like world. Thanks to a coordinated Mars exploration program that began in 1996 and continues to the present day, we now know Mars better than any world other than our own, yet we have more questions than ever.
Geologically, Mars is quiescent, but its atmosphere breathes and changes from year to year, interacting in complex ways with the water sequestered in Mars' ice caps and permafrost. Water does not, today, flow on Mars, but it evidently has in the past, and it may flow again in the future when Mars' rotation axis tilts much more steeply. Did Mars ever look like Earth, or has it always been as cold and dry as an Antarctic desert? Has there ever been the right combination of liquid water, available energy, and time to permit life to begin on Mars?
Latest Blogs from Mars
Opportunity is still exploring an outcrop high up on Murray Ridge as the winter solstice on Mars approaches. At this location the tilts are good, so Opportunity is getting excellent solar input on its solar panels.
Posted by Larry Crumpler on 2014/02/25 12:18 CST
Today is the tenth anniversary of Opportunity's landing on Mars. Here at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, we just opened a tenth anniversary exhibit.
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