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We now offer the Cool It! card game in our Science Store. Cool It! is the new card game from UCS that teaches kids about the choices we have when it comes to climate change.
This image shows some of the soils of Mars from the Viking 2 landing site, Utopia Planitia.
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NASA

Martian Soils

The first analysis of Mars' soil from Viking landers found no evidence of life, instead showing that organic molecules are even more scarce than on the Earth's moon. The Viking missions did confirm the presence of water in the soils and atmosphere, in both solid and vapor form. The soils found near the rocks explored by Mars Pathfinder's Rover were similar to those found by Viking I (check the large topographic map of Mars for the distances between these two landing sites), even though the rocks were not. At the Viking landing site the rocks were commonly coated with a bright red dust, while at Ares Vallis, these rocks were rare. Instead the rocks seemed to be mostly dark gray in color. This suggests that soils of Mars may be the same throughout the globe, perhaps carried all over Mars by global dust storms.

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Soils explored by the Rover

Spinning the Rover's rear wheels was one way for scientists to test the soil of Mars. As the wheels dug into the surface, the Rover discovered that much of the ground is made of dust, possibly deposited...more

The Viking Missions

The Viking I and Viking 2 missions were to both orbit Mars and land on the planet's surface. There were two spacecraft for each mission. At this stage in the history of the exploration of Mars, scientists...more

Phoenix Mars Lander - Instruments and Mission Objectives

NASA has a new spaceship on Mars. The robot is called the Phoenix Mars Lander. Phoenix landed near the North Pole on Mars. This page tells about the mission of Phoenix. It also describes the instruments...more

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The Mars Odyssey was launched April 7, 2001. After a six-month journey, the Odyssey arrived at Mars on October 24, 2001. The instruments onboard the Mars Odyssey will study the minerals on the surface...more

Mars 2005

The Mars 2005 mission is still in the planning stages. It is set to launch in the year 2005. ...more

Aerobraking

Aerobraking slowed the Mars Global Surveyor down when it reached Mars. Aerobraking also helped MGS to get into the right orbit for mapping the surface of Mars. Aerobraking means that the MGS flew through...more

Mars Global Surveyor Measures Olympus Mons

Mars Global Surveyor carries an instrument which measures the heights of things. This instrument is called an altimeter, or "altitude-meter". The graph to the left shows the results returned from Mars...more

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