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To MARS with MER - MARS the Planet
MARS the Planet
At present two American spacecraft are orbiting Mars, sending back thousands of images, answering some questions, and raising many more. We've mapped the Martian surface in great detail with a laser altimeter on board Mars Global Surveyor.
Images courtesy of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Images courtesy of NASA/Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) Team
NASA's 2001 Mars Odyssey has shown there are huge amounts of water ice beneath the dust and rocks.
But something is causing these gulleys: some researchers think it's liquid gushing from a sub-surface reservoir. And Global Surveyor's camera has caught dark streaks appearing in the last few years. Something's definitely changing. What's going on? What's Mars really like?