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Mars: Past missions, major discoveries

Since 1960, dozens of spacecraft have been sent to Mars. It is difficult to send a spacecraft to Mars and even harder to land on the planet because of the thin atmosphere.

Data revealed the largest volcanoes in the solar system and one of the largest canyons yet discovered. Dust storms regularly sweep over the plains. Several spacecraft orbiting Mars shows an active planet rich in ingredients needed for life - water, organic carbon, and an energy source.

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Mars

Mars

  • Mars has captivated people since we first saw the reddish hue object in the night sky. In the late 1800s, telescopes revealed a surface full of patterns and landforms thought to be a bustling Martian civilisation.
  • Now, we know there are no constructions on Mars. H...

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Mars and Earth: The similarities

Everything we've learned about Mars over the last century suggests that the planet was once able of hosting ecosystems.

  • Mars is just over half the size of Earth.
  • Gravity is only 38 percent than that of Earth's.
  • It rotates around its axis at about th...

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Why explore Mars

When scientists view the Martian surface, they see branching streams, river valleys, basins, and deltas, suggesting that the planet may have once had a vast ocean covering its northern hemisphere. It was likely wrapped in a thick atmosphere able to maintain liquid water.

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Future of Mars exploration

Once every 26 months, Earth and Mars are aligned to enable spacecraft to reach it in about half a year. Space agencies launch probes during these conjunctions.

  • The most recent launches were the Hope spacecraft of the United Arab Emirates, to study its atmosphere and ...

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Surface

Surface

The red planet is actually many colors. At the surface, we see colors as brown, gold, and tan. The reason Mars looks reddish is due to oxidization—or rusting—of iron in the rocks, regolith (Martian “soil”), and dust of Mars. This dust gets kicked up into the atmosphere and from a distance makes t...

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