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The Rover, Barnacle Bill, and Yogi.
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NASA

Results from Mars Pathfinder

These are the findings of Mars Pathfinder.

  • High Silica Rocks - a result from chemical analysis of the Martian rocks.
    • suggestive of differentiated (evolved) rocks and minerals.
    • helps establish that, like Earth, Mars experienced mineral separation, evolution, and differentiation of the silica rocks (the same rocks which are important to terrestrial planet formation).
  • Rounded Pebbles, Cobbles and possible Conglomerates were found - a result from analysis of the landingsite, the rocks, the soils, and erosion patterns.
    • suggestive of fluvial processes over a long time
    • suggestive of liquid water in equilibrium with the atmosphere
    • suggestive of a warmer & wetter Martian past
  • Airborne Dust is Magnetic
    • chemical analysis of the dust shows that iron seems to be leached from the crust by an active hydrologic process
  • Better Moment of Inertia measurement (the shape of Mars)
    • suggests Mars has a large core
  • Landing site is as expected
    • validates the use of ground-based measurements
    • showed a variety of rocks deposited by a catastrophic flood
    • questions remain about the deposition conditions, variety, and origin of the rocks
    • other remaining questions include: how fast, & where was the Martian water flowing, what was the capacity of the flood?
  • Atmosphere
    • water ice clouds were found
    • dust devils
    • predictable local weather
These findings help address questions which remain about Mars.


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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA