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Latest Martian soil Stories

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2008-05-14 11:24:17

Even in the clearest, bluest sky on Earth, there is still water vapor in our atmosphere. If you could condense all the water vapor out of the atmosphere above you, it would form a layer of water two centimeters deep. On Mars today, there is also water vapor in the atmosphere but it would create a layer just 10 micrometers thick. As on Earth, this water is constantly moving through a cycle of condensation and evaporation. When it condenses, it falls to the surface. When it evaporates, it...

2008-05-13 17:07:05

This story was updated at 1:33 p.m. EDT. WASHINGTON — With just 12 days to go until its Mars arrival, NASA's Phoenix lander is functioning well and on course to be the first mission to land in the frigid, arctic regions of the red planet, NASA officials said today. A planned maneuver to adjust Phoenix's course was canceled last Saturday because the spacecraft is on track for its May 25 landing, said Barry Goldstein, Phoenix project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion...

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2008-05-10 08:05:00

When NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander descends to the surface of the Red Planet on May 25, few will be watching as closely as the men and women who have spent years planning, analyzing and conducting tests to prepare for the dramatic and nerve-wracking event known as EDL -- Entry, Descent and Landing. For after all their hard work, they know that landing on Mars is not a walk in the park. Less than 50 percent of all previous lander missions have made it safely to the surface. Like all missions,...

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2007-06-20 08:53:11

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Gusting winds and the pulsating exhaust plumes from the Phoenix spacecraft's landing engines could complicate NASA's efforts to sample frozen soil from the surface of Mars, according to University of Michigan atmospheric scientist Nilton Renno. Set to launch Aug. 3 from Florida, the $414 million Phoenix Mars Lander will use descent engines to touch down on the northern plains, where vast stores of ice have been detected just below the surface. A robotic arm will scoop...

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2007-05-21 15:30:00

PASADENA, Calif. - A patch of Martian soil analyzed by NASA's rover Spirit is so rich in silica that it may provide some of the strongest evidence yet that ancient Mars was much wetter than it is now. The processes that could have produced such a concentrated deposit of silica require the presence of water. Members of the rover science team heard from a colleague during a recent teleconference that the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer, a chemical analyzer at the end of Spirit's arm, had...

2006-12-09 00:00:06

By JOHN JOHNSON JR. NASA scientists announced Wednesday that they had found evidence that water still flows over the surface of Mars - sporadic gushers that increase the possibility that the Red Planet could harbor some form of life. Using images obtained by the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft, the researchers concluded that geologic changes in the shapes and sizes of gullies cut into the walls of two Martian craters were likely made by flowing water. The team looked at two sets of...

2163768839095e150da9c58fc31de0191
2006-07-31 18:45:00

Electricity generated in dust storms on Mars may produce reactive chemicals that build up in the Martian soil, according to NASA-funded research. The chemicals, like hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), may have caused the contradictory results when NASA's Viking landers tested the Martian soil for signs of life, according to the researchers. Lead authors Gregory Delory, senior fellow at the University of California Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory, and Sushil Atreya, planetary science professor at...

cf4d05318c08a3f6ff2180ffd96cf0f31
2006-07-24 16:20:13

The answer to the question about life on Mars may very well come from analyzing an unsuspecting source - the soil, specifically the icy layer of soil underneath the red planet's surface. By analyzing the properties of Mars frozen layer of soil during NASA s next lander mission, scientists will be able to better understand and theorize about life on Mars. A synopsis of the project was presented by Douglas R. Cobos on Monday, July 10, 2006, during the 18th World Congress of Soil Science in...

9fee21750ac7eb784e057751deea37c41
2006-04-20 08:45:00

Ever get a fragile item packed in a box filled with Styrofoam peanuts? Plunge your hands into the foam peanuts to search for the item, and when you pull it out foam peanuts are clinging to your arms. Try to brush them off, and they won't fall off -- instead, they seem to hop away, only to cling to your legs or elsewhere. The smaller the peanuts, the more tenacious they seem. In fact, if you break a foam peanut into bits, the tiny lightweight bits are almost impossible to brush off. This...

a9d42a2407acee97a1568c6a1b3f901c1
2005-10-30 08:05:00

A NASA report lays out the risks of exploring Mars and considers how to mitigate them. NASA -- This is it: the moment of truth. The spacecraft door has just clanged shut behind you, locking you and your fellow astronauts into the small cabin that will be your home for the next half-year's journey through interplanetary space--at the end of which you personally will be the first human to set foot on Mars. As the countdown echoes in your ears and as you feel the boosters rumbling beneath you,...


Word of the Day
cenobite
  • One of a religious order living in a convent or in community; a monk: opposed to anchoret or hermit (one who lives in solitude).
  • A social bee.
This word comes from the Latin 'coenobium,' convent, which comes from the Greek 'koinobios,' living in community.
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