This section includes a description and history of Mars, including Mars-related missions and projects.
Description of Mars
Life on MarsThe August 6, l996, announcement by NASA of the possible discovery of early life on Mars is cause for speculation and further inquiry. The following information and links are provided to get you started in your own investigation of the evidence:
Mars Global Surveyor
Scientific InstrumentsThe wide range of instruments on Mars Global Surveyor reflects the various objectives of the mission. Their tasks range from imaging Mars to searching for an ancient magnetic field. Four of the instruments are attached to the side of the spacecraft that always faces the surface of Mars: the Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC), the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA), the Electron Reflectometer (ER), and the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES). The Magnetometer (MAG) is attached to the ends of the solar arrays which are always pointing toward the sun. In order to maintain the proper temperature, the instruments will be covered in thermal blankets.
Mars Together ProjectYears ago, even back to the time of the Apollo missions, the United States and Russia were competing in a space exploration race. As time has passed, other countries in Europe and Asia have developed space programs of their own.
With today's shrinking space science budgets, it has become increasingly
clear that it will be difficult for any one country to take planetary
science solely upon themselves. Rather, international efforts will allow
researchers to take the most advantage of each spacecraft that is launched.
Mars Together, an international space exploration program, is an example
of such an effort.