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This is an image of a plateau and surrounding steep slopes within the Valles Marineris.
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Image from: Malin Space Science Systems

Questions about Mars to be addressed by the Mars Surveyor Program

After decades of exploration of Mars, many questions still remain.

  • What happened to the water on Mars?
    • Has all the water escaped is it hidden in the ground and polar caps?
  • What is the present and past climate of Mars?
  • What is the crustal history of Mars
    • How and when did Mars experience separation and evolution of the surface?
    • What caused the surface of Mars to split into two halves (old southern highlands, young northern lowlands)?
    • Did the crust of Mars stop evolving, and if so when & why?
  • If Mars used to have a thick atmosphere made of CO2, where is all the CO2 now?
    • if CO2 went into the ground, where is the carbonate on the surface of Mars?
    • Unlike Hyrodgen or Helium, CO2 does not readily escape from an atmosphere
  • Does Mars have a magnetic field?


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The Climate of Mars

The unusual climate of Mars makes Mars not quite right for life as we know it on Earth. If the climate were warm enough, water would not freeze into the ground but vaporize into the atmosphere. Lots of...more

Differentiation

Differentiation is a scientific term which really means "to separate". In their earliest history, elements which made the planets would part into separate regions, if the planet were warm enough. This...more

Carbonates

Carbonate is a name for rocks and minerals which contain a molecule made of both carbon and oxygen known as CO32-. (CO32- is also known as the molecule carbonate). Limestone is an example of a calcium...more

Mars Global Surveyor Magnetometer findings

An important new result from the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) mission is the definite confirmation of the presence of a magnetosphere around Mars. Previous missions did not make really good measurements...more

Initial Mars Global Surveyor Findings

These are some of the initial findings of Mars Global Surveyor. There definitely is a magnetosphere near Mars. suggests scientists must rethink theories about the evolution of Mars. Geologic features at...more

Results from Mars Pathfinder

These are the findings of Mars Pathfinder. Rounded Pebbles, Cobbles and possible Conglomerates were found - a result from analysis of the landing site, the rocks, and the soils. showed that there were...more

Rock weathering on Mars

The rocks explored by the Mars Pathfinder's Rover are classified into two groups according to how they eroded. Rocks put in place as a result of an impact which forms a crater are usually much less eroded...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF