NASA spacecraft read layered clues to changes on Mars

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona.Polar layered deposits exposed in a scarp at the head of Chasma Boreale, a large canyon on Mars.Mars climate history, recorded in ice-rich deposits near the poles, on crater-wall cliffs and ancient sand dunes, is being revealed by a trio of NASA instruments now flying over and rolling across the planet, suggest Washington University in St. Louis researchers playing key roles in the mission.

Water detection at Gusev crater described

Alian Wang in the laboratoryA large team of NASA scientists, led by earth and planetary scientists at Washington University in St. Louis, details the first solid set of evidence for water having existed on Mars at the Gusev crater, exploration site of the rover Spirit.

Despite hurdles, human missions to Mars are in the works

Mars Exploration Rover mission scientists remind us that the amazing success of the rovers *Spirit* and *Opportunity* is a harbinger for the day when humans inhabit the Red Planet.The major drawback to a human mission to Mars is preparing for the one to two years of radiation and microgravity exposure that astronauts must endure. While that is a large hurdle, enabling technologies are emerging that should be able to make this goal a reality over the next couple of decades, and America should go for it. That’s the theme of a report from NASA’s 2002 Astrobiology Academy appearing soon as a paper in Acta Astronautica.