A Rover on the Red Planet! Spirit Will Look at the Geology of Mars
News story originally written on January 14, 2004
NASA’s rover, named Spirit, has successfully landed and will soon be scouting the surface of Mars for interesting geology!
Scientists are interested to know whether the depression where Spirit landed was once a lake. Currently, there does not appear to be liquid water at the surface of Mars, but this may not have always been the case. It is possible that large amounts of liquid water were once at the surface. If water was available, living things may have been present as well.
Spirit is looking at the nearby sedimentary rocks for clues to understand what the environment was like in the past. These types of clues are not just important for understanding Mars. Information from sedimentary rocks is also used to understand what past environments were like on Earth.
Take a look at some sedimentary rocks and environments from Earth to understand what type of clues Spirit is looking for in the Martian rocks!
Last modified January 14, 2004 by Lisa Gardiner.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
includes issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist
, full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science, ranging from seismology
, rocks and minerals
, and Earth system science
You might also be interested in:
NASA’s rover, named Spirit, has successfully landed and will soon be scouting the surface of Mars for interesting geology! Scientists are interested to know whether the depression where Spirit landed...more
NASA announced in January 2004 that it would cancel the last planned mission to the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). The head of NASA, Sean O'Keefe, believes a mission to Hubble would be too dangerous for...more
The Cassini spacecraft is on its way to Saturn. It will zoom close past a strange moon of Saturn named Phoebe. Cassini's close flyby of Phoebe will be on June 11, 2004. The best pictures we have right...more
NASA's Cassini spacecraft is in orbit around the planet Saturn. Cassini carried a landing probe, named Huygens, with it on its long journey from Earth. On December 24, 2004, Cassini released the Huygens...more
The Cassini spaceship flew by Saturn's moon Titan on October 26, 2004. Titan is Saturn's largest moon, and has the thickest atmosphere of any moon in our Solar System. Cassini took some great pictures...more
A spacecraft named Cassini will get to Saturn on June 30, 2004. Cassini's rocket engine will burn for 96 minutes to slow the robot spaceship down. If it works, Cassini will be captured into orbit around...more
Scientists have recently discovered that thousands of Adelie Penguins thrive in patches of the chilly Southern Ocean near Antarctica's coastline. In these special areas of the ocean, called polynyas,...more