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Mars Planet

SCIENCE
December 1, 2005 | John Johnson Jr., Times Staff Writer
Using sophisticated radar aboard the European Mars Express spacecraft, scientists have for the first time peered into the heart of Mars, uncovering ancient geological structures and reservoirs of ice more than a mile beneath the arid surface. "We're looking at the third dimension on Mars, something no other mission has done before," Agustin Chicarro, project scientist for the European Space Agency, said during a news conference Wednesday from the agency's Paris headquarters.
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SCIENCE
May 28, 2005 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
The Mars rover Spirit has discovered several layers of rocks in a hilly region of the Red Planet that suggest a wet and violent history in the planet's early life, scientists said Tuesday. The six-wheeled robot has been examining rocks from three outcrops in the Gusev Crater region that show possible successive deposits of water-altered debris from explosive events.
SCIENCE
December 7, 2002 | Usha Lee McFarling, Times Staff Writer
A new study is throwing cold water on the idea that Mars was once a warm, wet planet. Because Mars' surface is carved by major river channels and covered by huge lake or ocean shores, many scientists have long believed that the Red Planet was once warmer and wetter, and basked in Earth-like conditions that could have allowed the evolution of life.
SCIENCE
June 30, 2007 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
The Mars rover Opportunity is preparing to descend into the huge Victoria Crater, a trek from which it may not be able to return. The descent will allow the rover to examine the composition and texture of exposed materials in the crater's depths for clues about ancient, wet environments. But if a wheel fails, the craft will not be able to climb back out.
SCIENCE
April 7, 2007 | John Johnson Jr., Times Staff Writer
Global warming on Mars? It turns out you don't need belching smokestacks and city-choking traffic to heat up a planet. Changes in surface reflectivity may also do the trick, according to research published Thursday in the journal Nature. The research team, composed of scientists from NASA's Ames Research Center in Northern California and the U.S. Geological Survey, compared images of Mars taken by the Viking missions in the 1970s to pictures taken a quarter century later by Mars Global Surveyor.
SCIENCE
December 12, 2007 | John Johnson Jr., Times Staff Writer
With their third Martian winter fast approaching, the twin rovers patrolling opposite sides of the Red Planet are showing distinct signs of age, even as they uncover fresh evidence that the planet was once hospitable to rudimentary life forms. In fact, Spirit made one of its most significant discoveries because of its deteriorating health.
SCIENCE
March 31, 2007 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
China and Russia will mount a joint effort to explore Mars and one of its moons in 2009, Chinese state media reported Wednesday. A Russian rocket will lift a Chinese satellite and Russian exploration vehicle to survey Mars and Phobos, the innermost and biggest of the red planet's moons, the state-run China Daily reported, citing China's National Space Administration.
SCIENCE
March 16, 2007 | John Johnson Jr., Times Staff Writer
The ice at Mars' south pole contains enough water to cover the planet in an ocean 36 feet deep, scientists said today. Observations by the European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter determined the ice -- largely covered by dust and rock -- is more than two miles thick in places and is nearly pure water, according to research being published in the journal Science.
SCIENCE
February 25, 2006 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is on course and in apparently good condition as it nears the Red Planet on a search for water and future landing sites, officials said. The spacecraft, scheduled to enter orbit around Mars on March 10, is expected to examine the planet in unprecedented detail. In addition to cameras that should be able to see the two Martian rovers on the planet, its radar can spot underground features 50 feet across, such as a water basin.
SCIENCE
December 7, 2006 | John Johnson Jr., Times Staff Writer
NASA scientists announced Wednesday that they have found evidence that water still flows on the surface of Mars in the form of sporadic gushers that increase the possibility that the Red Planet harbors some form of life. Using images obtained by the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft, the researchers concluded that changes in the shapes and sizes of gullies cut into the walls of two Martian craters were probably made by flowing water. The team looked at two sets of images taken several years apart.
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