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INFOGRAPHIC: Mars' size, seasons, structure and more

November 19, 2013|By Amy Hubbard

MAVEN is now on its way to Mars, joining Curiosity and various other predecessors in humanity's effort to figure out the Red Planet.

Was there life on this apparently barren world? What happened to make Mars what it is today? MAVEN will look for clues.

The launch of the spacecraft Monday and its performance afterward went "flawlessly," according to the MAVEN team website. Next stop is Mars orbit, to be reached Sept. 22, 2014.

What's next for Mars? NASA's InSight is a mission to study the deep interior of the planet. InSight instruments include a 14-inch stake called the Tractor Mole for pounding into the surface of the planet. Launch is set for March 2016.  Coming in 2018 is the European Space Agency's ExoMars rover. Objective? To find past or present life. Then in 2020 comes NASA's next rover, investigating Mars as a possible habitat for humans. 

With all that excitement brewing, a refresher on Mars facts is in order. Below from NASA is a simple, fun comparison of Earth and Mars.

Love Mars? Me too. Follow me @AmyTheHub

Mars: Quick Facts tall infographic

NASA

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