On the Cover: In less than a year, Mars will play host to an international party of visitors. The European Space Agency’s Mars Express (with the British Beagle 2 lander) is scheduled to get to the Red Planet in late December 2003 or early January 2004—the same month that NASA’s twin Mars Exploration Rovers and Japan’s Nozomi will arrive. Here, Mars Global Surveyor’s Mars Orbiter Camera reveals our ruddy neighbor’s north polar cap as it appeared in May 2002. Seasonal dust storms swirl around the cap’s edge in this mosaic of daily global images. NASA/JPL/MSSS
6 A Place to Call Home: Selecting the Next Mars Landing Sites: Emily Stewart Lakdawalla reports on the results of multiple landing site meetings for the Mars Exploration Rovers.