LIFE ON MARS
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Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun and the second smallest planet in the Solar System. Named after the Roman god of war, it is often described as the “Red Planet”. The smooth Borealis basin in the northern hemisphere covers 40% of the planet and may be a giant impact feature. Mars has two moons, Phobos and Deimos, which are small and irregularly shaped.
Mars has approximately half the diameter of Earth. It is less dense than Earth, having about 15% of Earth's volume and 11% of the mass. Its surface area is only slightly less than the total area of Earth's dry land.The red-orange appearance of the Martian surface is caused by iron(III) oxide, more commonly known as hematite, or rust. HYDROLOGY
Liquid water cannot exist on the surface of Mars due to low atmospheric pressure, except at the lowest elevations for short periods. The two polar ice caps appear to be made largely of water. The volume of water ice in the south polar ice cap, if melted, would be sufficient to cover the entire planetary surface to a depth of 11 meters.Landforms visible on Mars strongly suggest that liquid water has at least at times existed on the planet's surface.
The shield volcano, Olympus Mons (Mount Olympus), at 27 km is the second highest known mountain in the Solar System. It is an extinct volcano in the vast upland region Tharsis, which contains several other large volcanoes. Olympus Mons is over three times the height of Mount Everest, which in comparison stands at just over 8.8 km
Mars lost its magnetosphere 4 billion years ago, so the solar wind interacts directly with the Martian ionosphere, lowering the atmospheric density by stripping away atoms from the outer layer. Compared to Earth, the atmosphere of Mars is quite rarefied. Atmospheric pressure on the surface today ranges from a low of 30 ORBIT AND ROTATION
Mars's average distance from the Sun is roughly 230 million km (1.5 AU) and its orbital period is 687 (Earth) days. The solar day on Mars is only slightly longer than an Earth day: 24 hours, 39 minutes, and 35.244 seconds.A Martian year is equal to 1.8809 Earth years, or 1 year, 320 days, and 18.2 hours.
Mars pathfinder was a U.S. spacecraft that landed a base station with a roving probe on Mars in July 4, 1997. It consisted of a lander and a small 10.6 kilograms. It was the first rover to operate on the surface of Mars.
Mars Global Surveyor
NASA launched Mars Global Surveyor on November 7, 1996 which was the first successful mission.It entered the orbit of Mars on September 12, 1997.Mars Global Surveyor completed its primary mission on January 31, 2001, and completed several extended mission phases. On November 5, 2006 MGS lost contact with Earth.NASA ended efforts to restore communication on January 28, 2007. MARS RECONNAISSANCE ORBITER
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is a multipurpose spacecraft designed to conduct reconnaissance and exploration of Mars from orbit.It was launched August 12, 2005, and attained Martian orbit on March 10, 2006.The MRO contains a host of scientific instruments such as the HIRISE camera, CTX camera, CRISM, and SHARAD. The HIRISE camera is used to analyze Martian landforms, whereas CRISM and SHARAD can detect water, ice, and minerals on and...
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